It’s probably the most sought after ticket in town, an official invite to the Ferrari pits and their hospitality lounge.
You don’t want to go flashing a pass like this around either, some people would do anything to get hold a pass like this.
There’s a host of these lounges but Ferrari is the media queen here and at each and every Formula One race regardless of the location. Always has been, always will be.
If you’ve never attended a Formula One event live, and you’re even the slightest bit into cars, fashion or just star-gazing, then go online now and book a ticket for next year’s event or put in on the ‘bucket list’.
Forget Johnny Travolta, he’s A-List for sure, but I’d rather have a chat with F1 legend Jackie Stewart any time, he draws a bigger crowd at events like this.
And please don’t sit there and tell me, that you can see the race more clearly on your wide screen television.
Because you’re right, but the problem is, you will never be able to describe to your mates, wife or kids, just how fast an F1 car really is, or what it sounds like as it passes you at 300 km/h down the main straight at 18,000 rpm.
That kind of experience will literally blow you away, should you forget to insert the fluoro green earplugs they hand out.
These things are seriously loud, especially when the hydraulic starter fires up Alonso’s ride for the day and the mechanics work the throttle a few times, to test the multitude of on-board systems in the car.
Security is tight. Each pass is checked by three different people, so that any unwanted guests don’t make it through the gauntlet.
The reason for all this heat is simple; you’re directly above the Ferrari pits and all the action and noise is in 3-D just metres below you.
From a spectator’s point of view, this has got to be the best seat in the house, bar none.
And that’s before a couple of Ferrari’s driver’s wandered in for a bit of chat with some of the guests, kids included. It’s very inspiring stuff indeed.
There’s literally a sea of Ferrari uniforms inside here, working every conceivable position (that includes the girls running the Pit tours) and get this, they are all travel as part of the Ferrari team and they all live in and around the legendary town of Maranello.
Time to hit the pits, and another pass is handed out to get just six of us through the pit paddock and into the Holy Grail of motor racing, The Ferrari F1 Pits.
You need to move fast in here, you don’t want to hold the crew up, as every millisecond counts when the cars are being prepped for another practice session.
There are people in my group that have three Ferraris in their garage and still, they are humbled by this experience.
There’s a mechanic in one of the cars running a series of checks, and he’s still smiling despite the pressure these guys are under to deliver a race-winning car.
That’s the thing with Italians, they are truly the world’s most passionate people, who work away at their own tempo amidst the continual stream of Ferrari diehards inside the pits, and it doesn’t worry them in the slightest. In fact, they love the attention!
The level of detail in the front splitter is astonishing, and one small adjustment on any one of the aerofoils could mean the difference of points or no points.
About the only thing on these cars, that even remotely resembles your everyday drive, are the four wheels, and even those are 100 percent composite.
These ground hugging missiles look far more alien than something made on this earth (that includes the ‘War of the Worlds’ style stop/go light), particularly with the various wires, hoses and power cords, which are hooked up to the car while being prepared for the next track session.
These cars are only allowed to weigh a total of 620 kilograms, including all fluids (except fuel) and the driver. Which means, that all of the F1 pilots would seriously need to watch their calorie intake as well as an extreme fitness program otherwise major adjustments to the car would be necessary.
We feel privileged to have gained access to this sacred place they call the Ferrari Pits, and wish to thank Ferrari Team sponsor Etihad Airways for the opportunity.