Latest / Feature

Postcard from Monaco - Star Wars crashes Monte Carlo’s street party

28 May 2017

Storm Troopers and R2D2 were among the more unexpected sights in the Monte Carlo paddock on Sunday as teams, drivers and fans alike prepared with anticipation for the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2017.

The famous Star Wars characters, along with director George Lucas, were there to share in 40th anniversary celebrations with Renault – the former marking four decades since the release of the movie franchise’s original film, Star Wars: A New Hope, the latter 40 years since their first F1 entry at the 1977 British Grand Prix.


Former drivers Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Alain Prost rekindled fond memories as they got back behind the wheel of some historic Renault machinery earlier in the week, while other notable Monaco guests included Sir Jackie Stewart, Jacques Villeneuve, Carlos Sainz Snr and Jorge Lorenzo.

Among other fellow racers present were Pedro de la Rosa, Mika Salo, Derek Warwick, Pastor Maldonado, Riccardo Patrese, Eddie Irvine, Hans Stuck, Teddy Pilette, Esteban Gutierrez, Jean Ragnotti and Francois Mazet. Then there were the engineers and managers, such as Bernard Dudot and Christian Contzen of Renault, and Formula E boss Alessandro Agag.

Stars from other sports enjoying the Monaco atmosphere included tennis legend Serena Williams, US Alpine Ski champion Lyndsay Vonn, five-time Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx, footballers Robert Lewandowski and Jerome Boateng, and Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.

From the world of entertainment came Lindsay Lohan, Ant & Dec, Rush star Chris Hemsworth and fellow actors James Marsden, Pamela Anderson, Liam Cunningham, Matt Damon and Kate Upton. Super model Winnie Harlow was Lewis Hamilton’s guest, while fellow models Brittny Ward and Adriana Lima were with Jenson Button and Mercedes respectively.
 


There were several tributes to Ayrton Senna, in honour of the first of his six triumphs here 30 years ago. They began on Wednesday with the unveiling of a statue of him at the Fairmont Hotel, which also opened a customized suite. This featured some treasures from his career and was inaugurated by his niece Bianca, Bruno’s sister, who is a director of the Instituto Ayrton Senna.

Senna’s original Lotus helmet - still with dents and scratch marks - and the Lotus 99T steering wheel, were the exhibit’s main attractions, while the Yacht Club de Monaco displayed special items related to his 1987 win for Lotus.

Meanwhile, one of Senna’s greatest admirers, Lewis Hamilton, gave Whole Foods owner Ron Burkle two laps of the track in the Mercedes safety car, after he bid $60,000 for charity.