Formula 1 and million dollar deals go hand in hand. Whether it is for driver contracts, sponsorship payments or the fees required by a country to host a grand prix - the money is always flowing. And where there is money, there is excess, luxury and bling, lots of bling. Here are a few examples.
We’re used to seeing photos and videos or Formula 1 drivers surrounded by luxury and glamour. It comes with the sport. But that wasn’t always the case. The humble beginnings of F1 resembled more of a picnic with the family than a supermodel orgy. Things started to change in the ’70s though, and many hold Hesketh Racing responsible for the start of the F1 ‘elite’. The eccentric and extremely wealthy Lord Alexander Fermor-Hesketh decided to kit his team out a little better than the rest. From 1973-78 his team spent their evenings in 5-star hotels, dining on lobster dinners and caviar as well Champagne excess on a daily basis.
Massive parties, where It girls, B-list celebs and businessmen rub shoulders with their Formula 1 idols continues to be a major F1 side event. Luxurious, spectacular parties need to take place in luxurious and spectacular places: Yachts in Monaco and Singapore for example, skyscrapers in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi or the best 5-star hotels around the world. All of these locations have to share one thing in common – exclusivity. Want to get on the guest list? Then you are going to have to fork out anything between $50 and $35,000. That eye-watering sum will get you a table for eight at one of the Amber Lounge’s luxury parties, and the chance to stand next to Bono, Heidi Klum or Kim Kardashian. Champagne is included of course.
Always wanted to have your own piece of Formula 1 memorabilia without having to dig through car boot sales on a wet Sunday morning? Then Renault has the solution for you. The French manufacturer recently released an exclusive chess set, which will cost you a hefty $42,000 to get your hands on. Why so much we here you ask. Well, because every piece has been made out of parts from a real Formula 1 car. Not just any old car either. The parts were taken from Fernando Alonso’s championship winner. The perfect collectors item, and a great way to recycle unwanted cars!
Get in driving shape
The millions don’t just get invested in the cars. The fitness, conditioning and health of their drivers are just as important. Drivers lose over 3 kilos during a race, so companies like Technogym have developed equipment that can simulate these conditions and identify possible problems that may occur during a race. And as a healthy body also needs a healthy mind, teams like McLaren have been investing in a system called The Orrb. The capsule, which looks like it came straight out of a Star Trek film, helps encourage relaxation and mood. The cheaper option is a power nap in a hammock.
You can’t race in one of the richest sports in the world without the appropriate bling. Diamonds have played a major part in Formula 1 history. Diamond producer Steinmetz for example, created controversy when they put $300,000 worth of the little gems on Mark Webber and Christian Klien’s cars. One of most expensive pieces of motor decoration didn’t last long though, as the Austrian driver crashed in the very first lap of the Monaco Grand Prix. Steinmetz have learned from their mistake since then, and only decorate pieces which are less likely end up on the scrap heap – like driver’s helmets for example. Lewis Hamilton is a big fan.