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Monaco Grand Prix "Pit-Bits" From Nicholas Frankl On The Scene

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Nicholas Frankl
Senior Editor
The Auto Channel
Formula 1 Racing Desk Monaco May 20, 2015; In spite of the many issues facing the financially struggling teams and the F1 circus as a whole, the driver are all in good form and enjoying their ‘home’ race.

Most of the F1 drivers are Monaco residents, its safe, small, friendly, fun and you don’t pay income tax.

Nico Hulkenberg just got a nice pad near the heliport – he is now neighbors with Massa, whilst Rosberg and Hamilton are on the other side of town near Jimmy’z!

I ran into Nico in his new sleek black 911 turbo convertible in the port, he was clearly enjoying his new Monaco life, “more fun than Switzerland” - then I was down in the local super market Carrefour in the fruit and veggies section and bumped into Red Bulls Daniel Ricardo, flip flops, shorts, usual BIG smile grabbing supplies for this apartment, no one seemed to recognize him.

Last night was the 22nd annual Monaco Stars football – lots of the current and former F1 drivers showed up, many played too. Paris Hilton was there to cheer them on, goodness knows why! But she flew in and out with a heli from Cannes Film Festival and downed 3 glasses of champagne at the bar in as many minutes!


Alonso was there too and we had chance to chat for a few minutes, he’s impressed with the dedication and direction of Honda, there’s no doubt they will succeed was the message, although when I wished him luck for the weekend, he smiled, shook my hand and thanked me – we will need it for sure in Monaco!

Rain is forecast for Thursday, that will play havoc with the turbo’ s and lack of grip on the road course, but I’m sure it won’t dampen the mood on the multi-million dollar yachts!!

About Nicholas Frankl

Nicholas Frankl has attended more than 250 F1 Grand Prix in the past 30+ years (1st race age six weeks). He has been writing for The Auto Channel since it started in 1995/6. He managed the Asprey/Ferrari partnership from 1996-99 working closely with Todt, Irvine, Schumacher and Stefano Dominicalli. Visiting the Ferrari factory annually he has a deep insight into the inner workings of the team. He is also an three time Olympic sportsman, having qualified and driven a two-man & four-man bobsleigh in Lillehammer 1994, Nagano 1998 and Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games. He has raced cars in the UK and USA, competed in the Cannonball, Gumball and Bullrun rallies, is a certified private pilot and member of both The Royal Automobile Club and Automobile Club of Monaco. Throughout his life he has visited the majority of F1 tracks and shared drinks and many fun times with many of yesterday’s legends and todays hero’s.

A Word from Nicholas:

So where does bobsleigh fit into this mix?


Well, that's me. Gilles Villeneuve I may never (unfortunately) be, but the next best thing (I'm told - and in fact can vouch for) is Formula One on ice. 1994 saw me competing as driver of the first Hungarian bob team in the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, and then onto two more Olympic Winter games. Why am I telling you this? Well, if for no other reason than that you'll at least understand how I gain some insight into the sport we love. Strangely enough, the F1 boys have a real respect for their ice cousins; the speed, G' forces and exhilaration are quite similar. This, however, is only my "off season" hobby. The reason for this intro is to allow me to say HI, From here on I hope we’ll become firm friends, as I follow the F1 circus around the world and you get to pick up all the details. Not just the results, but the gossip too and the first-hand natter you just don't get from the usual sources.

Thanks to my father, whose stories you'll also be reading, I've grown up in the world of motor sport and cars - in fact instead of a birth certificate, I think I was born with a pit pass. It's the sort of life that if you enjoy our sport is tough to beat, so I thought this would be a good way of sharing the fun.