From rising stars to retired legends, we were joined by a host of the biggest names in Formula 1 this year, including Charles Leclerc, Esteban Ocon, Robert Kubica and Mark Webber. Read part 1 of this series here: 2018 Highlights – The World Champions
Young French driver Esteban Ocon was our most popular guest of 2018, making six appearances! The likeable 22-year old, who finished 12th in the World Championship this year with Force India, won a lot of new fans with his down-to-earth attitude and cheeky demeanor. In Belgium, we heard about his difficult path to Formula 1, which saw his parents sell their house and live in a caravan to fund his rise through the ranks. At the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi, it was announced that Ocon will be the reserve driver for the title-winning Mercedes team in 2018.
Belgian’s sole representative on the 2018 grid made five appearances for F1 Experiences this year, most recently in Mexico where he finished 8th, his equal best result of a difficult season with McLaren. After failing to secure a Formula 1 drive for 2019, Vandoorne will make his Formula E debut this weekend in Saudi Arabia.
Rising star Charles Leclerc took time out from his meteoric rise through the ranks of Formula 1 to join us on four occasions in 2018. The Monégasque driver, who debuted with Sauber this year and will partner 4-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari next year, made a big impression on our guests! Leclerc was a revelation for Sauber this year, finishing in the points on ten different occasions, including a best result of 6th in the action-packed Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Read our Q&A with Leclerc from the Hungarian Grand Prix: In Conversation with Charles Leclerc.
Robert Kubica made three appearances for F1 Experiences this year ahead of his recently announced comeback to a full-time driving seat with Williams in 2019. The inspirational Polish driver has won fans at home in Poland and around the world with his incredible recovery from life-threatening injuries sustained in a rally crash before the start of the 2011 season. Learn more here: In Conversation with Robert Kubica.
Ex-Red Bull driver and 9-time F1 race winner Mark Webber joined us in the Champions Club on three separate occasions in 2018, including at his home in Australia. As always, the popular Aussie, now a TV pundit for Channel 4, wasn’t shy to give us his opinion on the current state of the sport. Read more here: In Conversation with Mark Webber.
In his fifth season with Sauber, Marcus Ericsson achieved his best ever Championship position, scoring 9 points and finishing 17th. The smiling Swede was a very popular guest at three Paddock Club Receptions this year, including one of the largest at Circuit of The Americas. Next year, Ericsson switches to the IndyCar series in the USA.
Haas driver Romain Grosjean made a lot of local fans happy with a special appearance in the Champions Club at this year’s French Grand Prix. A many of many talents, the Franco-Swiss driver was happy to sign copies of Cuisine et Confidences, a cookbook he authored with his wife last year. After a string of retirements early in the season, Grosjean finished in a season-best fourth place at the Austrian Grand Prix and then followed up with six more points finishes in the second half of the season.
Canada’s only current Formula 1 driver Lance Stroll made a special appearance in the Champions Club at his home race. The 20-year-old, who was born in Montréal but grew up in Switzerland, scored 40 points in his maiden F1 season in 2017, but endured a more difficult time this year with the uncompetitive Williams FW40. His best result of the year was 8th in Azerbaijan, the same race where he scored his maiden podium in Formula 1 last year. For 2019, Stroll switches to the Racing Point team now owned by his father, Lawrence Stroll.
Local hero Sergio “Checo” Pérez put some smiles on the faces of our Mexican guests with a special appearance in the Champions Club at the Mexican Grand Prix. In his 8th Formula 1 season, Pérez was consistently fast for Force India, scoring his second podium on the streets of Baku on the way to 8th place in the drivers’ standings.
Join us in 2019 for your chance to meet a current or legendary F1 driver! Driver meet-and-greets are included with Champions Club, Trophy and Hero Ticket Packages.