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F1 launches Formula 1 Pirelli Hot Laps programme

NEWS STORY
14/02/2018

Formula 1 has announced the Formula 1 Pirelli Hot Laps programme, whereby "spectators, celebrities and guests attending a Grand Prix" will have the opportunity of being driven in a supercar by a professional racing driver on the same circuits where their F1 heroes "battle it out".

The first event will be the Bahrain Grand Prix, followed by nine others to be announced soon.

Pirelli will present the programme and provide all the tyres from a bespoke Pirelli garage in the Formula 1 paddock, where the supercars will be on display throughout the race weekend.

Aston Martin and McLaren are the first two manufacturers to confirm their participation in ten events, with more leading automotive brands due to be announced in the coming weeks.

Aston Martin, whose Aston Martin Valkyrie has been designed in cooperation with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey, will be primarily using the new 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged, V8-powered Vantage. Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's official drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, will be among the drivers at the wheel of these supercars.

McLaren will give participants the chance to experience the exhilarating McLaren 720S supercar, the latest in McLaren Automotive's Super Series, with the possibility of being driven by Lando Norris, McLaren's reserve and test driver, Mika Hakkinen or Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.

Special promotions and competitions to gain access will be arranged during the season by Formula 1 and partners of the Formula 1 Pirelli Hot Laps programme.

"The Formula 1 Pirelli Hot Laps programme represents a new opportunity to allow Formula 1 fans to get closer to a real track experience," said Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1. "The once in a lifetime experience of being driven at speed by a racing driver at iconic race circuits in dream cars is truly unique. We are seeking to be fan first and this is yet another example of our efforts to that end. This also is a demonstration of our capabilities to provide more value to valued partners like Pirelli and the Formula 1 teams."

"Pirelli is proud and delighted to be exclusive partner of the F1 Hot Laps 2018 programme: the first ongoing experience designed specifically for fans to sample the speed and emotion of on-the-limit driving from the inside, on actual circuits used during each grand prix weekend," added Mario Isola, Head of Car Racing at Pirelli. "Now in the eighth year of its latest Formula 1 era, Pirelli will showcase the performance and technology of its renowned P Zero road car tyre range on the world's most sophisticated sportscars and supercars. This family of tyres benefits of course from all the know-how and experience gained on the race track: Pirelli's premier research and development laboratory."

"We're excited to be one of the leading car companies in F1 to engage in the Pirelli Hot Laps programme," said Simon Sproule, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Aston Martin Lagonda. "We welcome the opportunity to bring a new dimension to the F1 experience for our fans and customers."

"McLaren is proud to support this initiative to bring people closer to the sport," said John Allert, Chief Marketing Officer, McLaren Technology Group, "our team and our special sportscars and supercars, providing people with a unique and unprecedented experience in a McLaren they will remember forever."

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1. Posted by Spindoctor, 17/02/2018 8:27

"And the bad ideas just keep on coming!
One suspects that Liberty, like Sky, made\makes a fortune out of doing an easy sell with Sports people want enough to pay rip-off prices. The only marketing skill required to flog Footy to the masses is to point them at the "pay here" box on the website, and the dosh just rolls in. Formula One, despite the glitz, is a much harder sell. This sort of non-idea won't do anything to sell it.

Whenever I see a TV programme which is sold on the basis of some random 'celeb' going somewhere interesting and\or doing something exciting I'm tempted to throw something at the TV in disgust.
Why should we find (say) snorkelling in the Seychelles more interesting becuase some actor is doing it than when Attenborough highlighted it on Blue Planet. Viewing figures show categorically that most people prefer Attenborough's version.

The current paucity of anything even vaguely interesting (let alone helpful) coming from Liberty & Co. merely emphasises that it's not necesary to be all that smart or inventive to get stinking rich in today's world ("Lucky" helps).
I'd suggest that the current custodians of F1 look up Hubris on Wikipedia.

"

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2. Posted by Amspeed, 15/02/2018 12:34

"@Max Noble Sorry Max. After thirty-two years in the USA my 'Americanisms' are hard to overcome. 'Program' or 'Programme' this Program/me still sucks! Perhaps Susie could be recruited by Liberty to come up with some more original ideas because the brainboxes currently in charge are clearly overheating in their own efforts. And, yes, let's give those Grid Girls who just lost their jobs something else to do. Waiting to see what the next great 'fan-friendly' idea will be is becoming more entertaining than the sport itself! Please excuse me. This Single Cell Organism needs a drink..... "

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3. Posted by Chris Balfe (editor), 15/02/2018 11:04

"And it will be a street track... though not Monaco"

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4. Posted by Max Noble, 15/02/2018 11:00

"LOL! Ah Chris... you cynic....! Oh wait.... but it’s true! :-)"

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5. Posted by Chris Balfe (editor), 15/02/2018 8:24

"Let's face it, while the guests and 'celebs' get whizzed around Sakhir, Monza and Spa by the likes of Hamilton, Verstappen and Ricciardo, that sole ordinary race fan that somehow gets the opportunity will be sat in a Panther 6 alongside Marco Apicella or Chanoch Nissany."

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6. Posted by Max Noble, 15/02/2018 7:16

"...well at least liberty spelt it “Programme” so I guess they’ve invested in an English spell checker... :-)

On the one hand making the event special for more folk is a great positive. On the other hand if they either do not care, or are already highly privileged (... couldn’t pick my favourite Aston, so I purchased one of each...) then not much gained. We will have to wait and see.

As a percentage of the lost free to air audience the number of people you’re going to place in a car and fling around the track is going to be statistically insignificant.

...and on a personal note... I’m far happier driving myself than being driven...

Why not have Susie Wolfe as a driver... at least then we’ve a lady driving a current F1 track... or maybe one of those recently sacked Grid Girls... I’d love to see one of them lap faster than Chase in an Aston. I’d pay to see that... (they might pay to run over Chase in an Aston....).

So many exciting possibilities!

...as an aside what do Pirelli put on their calendar these days? Single cell organisms on holiday....?"

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7. Posted by Amspeed, 15/02/2018 3:28

"Yet another misguided and flawed initiative from those two 'experts' who are now running the sport into the ground. As if the 'Guests' and 'Celebrities' aren't already favored enough through their privileged admittance to the paddock and grid. Those who can be dragged away from their champagne and caviar generally have no interest in the sport, in any case. Ideas like this are a smack in the face to regular fans who, nowadays, at best, are stuck in a grandstand or if they're lucky enough get to do a pit-road walkabout. How many people really want to sit and watch Joe Celeb be driven around in a McLaren - and what, in fact, is Mr. Celeb going to do for Pirelli?
Messrs. Bratches and Carey clearly have not done their homework on this. Passenger rides with professional drivers have been going on for years. In addition, there's clearly a strict limit on the number of people who can be offered this 'once in a lifetime experience' on a race weekend. What we need is a program that will reach a broader number of 'regular' fans, not more pandering to the elite. I thought we were trying to get away from the Bernie era. This is one idea that should be dropped in order to save face before it even starts.
"

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8. Posted by Jezzer, 14/02/2018 18:21

"What a good idea to finally come from the F1 "circus" but why o why are they including celebrities in this. Aren't those free loaders getting enough already......surely the long suffering and financially penalised fans/spectators should be the sole beneficiaries of this once in a lifetime experience. Good idea.....flawed. 5/10 for effort but could do better.....much better."

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