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Paddock Postcard from Monte Carlo

24 May 2015

Monaco always has a unique atmosphere and so many activities over the race weekend. Under the patronage of SAS Prince Albert II the annual Star Team for Children charity football match took place at the Stade Louis II on the Tuesday before the race to raise funds for children around the world, and featured various F1 stars and celebrities.

The Prince’s AS Star Team, captained by Novak Djokovic, were victorious 3-1 against Felipe Massa’s Formula One Drivers Star Team in a game watched by Paris Hilton. Players included Fernando Alonso, Giancarlo Fisichella and Ivan Capelli, plus former France international William Gallas who played on the drivers’ side.

On Wednesday Howden Ganley launched his excellent autobiography ‘The Road to Monaco’ and later presided over presentation of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Club’s prestigious Jean Sage Award to Sauber’s Monisha Kaltenborn. Drivers attending included Patrick Tambay, Nanni Galli, Teddy Pilette and Jo Vonlanthen.

There was also a taster at l’Hermitage for Hannes Schalle’s highly commended new documentary ‘LAUDA: The Untold Story’, and his forthcoming works on the old Nurburgring - ‘Green Hell’ - and Wings For Life founder and KTM saviour Heinz Kinigadner.

Friday saw several drivers - Felipe Nasr, Nico Hulkenberg, Daniil Kvyat, Marcus Ericsson, Roberto Merhi, Will Stevens, Adrian Sutil, and Esteban Gutierrez - modelling the latest collection of Apsley Tailors bespoke suits as international supermodels and F1 ladies, including Jessica Button, graced Amber Lounge Fashion’s poolside catwalk dressed in resort and evening couture pieces by Odabash & Macdonald and Vionnet, at a star-studded event attended by the likes of Victoria’s Secret supermodel Selita Ebanks, Game of Thrones star Liam Cunningham, Tamara Ecclestone and Victoria Silvstedt, footballer stars Louis Saha and Dragan Dzajic, and F1’s Niki Lauda, Toto Wolff and Eddie Irvine as soul-pop superstar John Newman gave a live performance.

A live Charity Auction in benefit of Autism Rocks raised more than 260,000 euros at the show.

In the paddock, other famous faces included model Cara Delevingne, footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, and King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden - supporting Marcus Ericsson at Sauber.

Familiar racing names included Jackie Stewart, Jacques Laffite, Keke Rosberg, Aguri Suzuki, David Hobbs, 1996 winner Olivier Panis, Jean Alesi, Bertrand Gachot, Mika Hakkinen, Giancarlo Fisichella, John Macdonald, Carlos Slim Jnr and Piero Lardi Ferrari.

The brace of GP2 races produced a third straight Feature win for points leader Stoffel Vandoorne of ART who led home Racing Engineering’s Alex Rossi and MP Motorsport’s Sergio Canamasas, and a maiden victory in the Sprint event for Status’s Richie Stanaway, who outpaced Trident’s Raffaele Marciello and Rapax’s Sergey Sirotkin.