Grand Prix for the Seoul

With a lack of accommodation near the track this year, those Formula 1 team personnel and media who were not lucky to get themselves a room in the one proper hotel near the track had to stay in the much talked about ‘love hotels’ for the weekend.

The experience was certainly unique – with the rooms that are commonly used by Korean couples not the sort of thing that is normally experienced at other F1 venues.

Each of these rooms was fairly similar – with mirrors on the ceilings and walls; baths for two people, perfume, ointments and other lotions on the desks, vending machines selling items you would not normally find outside an adult store – plus some fairly nifty bed clothing.

Stories emerged over the weekend of some less-than-scrupulous hotel owners sub-letting rooms out during the day to couples while F1 people were at the track – and a number of journalists were paranoid that had happened when they found opened cigarette packets on their bedside cabinets one evening. It was only when the hotel owners had had 20 angry complaints that a big sign was put up explaining that this has been a cigarette promotion, and not evidence of him trying to make a quick buck.

And although the hotels were a bit of a culture shock at first – especially for the team member who asked for a different room only to get one without a bed – by the end of the weekend the novelty had had actually been quite enjoyable.

Although The Times’ F1 correspondent Kevin Eason may not quite agree – having slipped in his love hotel bathroom one night. He dislocated his thumb and has suspected broken bones in his hand. Not many other people in the world will be able to boast of having a ‘love hotel’ injury.

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone remains as sharp-witted and busy as ever – even though later this week he will celebrate his 80th birthday.
Although Ecclestone joked with a few journalists on Saturday that the only birthday present he wanted was ‘just getting there’, Red Bull Racing made sure to give him something a bit extra special on race morning.

After turning up in the Red Bull garage, Ecclestone was presented with his very own unique walking frame – just in case he ever needed any help in getting around.

The frame featured a Red Bull Racing front wing, some cans of the energy drink and a very special steering wheel that featured buttons for: Viagra, power, nurse, lawyer, accountant and his assistant Pasquale Lattuneddu.

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner and driver Sebastian Vettel were on hand to give Ecclestone his gift – which he took in good humour.

pardon my thieving from


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