Getting access to the Paddock Club is a matter of a few lakhs. But getting inside the team paddock and meeting Formula One drivers is a money-can’t-buy experience.
That’s why this week’s Brunch cover story, which promised me access to both, was special. Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One management and the Vienna-based hospitality group Do & Co go the extra yard to make guests feel special. But a greater high than copious quantities of Mumm champagne was getting to interact with Lewis Hamilton. Simply put, the former boyfriend of the one-time Pussycat Dolls singer and present-day X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger is F1’s equivalent of Eminem.
The only Black F1 world champion didn’t turn coy when asked whether racism was an issue in racing. And Hamilton confessed he still listens to several of Nicole’s unrecorded songs on loop. Hugging the curves is second nature to him. And the racy lyrics of Jai Ho (the Nicole Scherzinger version, not the popular Rahman composition) are inspired by the racer. Whatever he does, he stays interesting. This is one lap Seb Vettel can’t beat him to.
From HT Brunch, November 10
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