PaperCity Magazine

December 2018- Dallas

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FAST CARS AND FIERCE STYLE O n the weekend of the Formula One 2018 Pirelli United States G r a n d P r i x , t h e exclusive Rolex suite at the Circuit of Americas Paddock Club is buzzing. It is Sunday morning: race day. Well-dressed and impeccably groomed international types swan about. Sharply tailored linen suits. Many a Ferragamo loafer. Chanel bags aplenty. And no end to big diamonds and fine watches (Rolexes galore). Passersby chat in a spectrum of languages, from Arabic to French, Spanish to Italian. British accents are more prevalent than American. Is this Texas or Monaco. For the untrained eye, it might be hard to tell the difference. But, indeed, we are not seaside on the Côte d'Azur. We're in a field just outside of Austin. Formula One at Circuit of the Americas in Austin may be the most international spectacle our state has ever seen — and one of the most glamorous displays of wealth. A comparable moment would have been when Chanel brought the Métiers d'Art runway show to Dallas for an unforgettable week that drew a stylish, moneyed contingent of global press, clients, and fashion experts. It was hard to believe a to-do of such caliber would ever return to Texas. But it has. In 2012, when Circuit of the Americas made its debut, it became the only circuit in the United States to host an official Formula One championship — an important milestone for a country still learning its way around the culture of F1. There are 21 official F1 championships held annually throughout the year; Austin holds court with Monza, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi as a race destination. The Paddock Club is packed with Formula One's most important sponsors and patrons. This means white-tablecloth service, from lobster Thermidor and champagne at lunch to espresso and sweets served promptly on demand. Billionaires mix with the notable celebrity or two, while legends from F1's nearly 70-year history, weave their way in and out. And, as time is the key factor in Formula One racing, there is nary a spot lacking a Rolex timepiece — with the most important clock positioned just above pit lane. The festivities began on Friday, with drivers making test runs and spectators getting a first look at the championship favorites from Mercedes (Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas) and Ferrari (Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel). Momentum grew Saturday, as drivers suited up for the important qualifying round, which would determine pole position for the next day's race. As a tour behind the scenes — and a closer look at the cars — would reveal, this is a sport of obsessive precision, competitiveness, strategy, and panache. The drivers carry themselves with the perfect amount of ego as they strut from track to garage. The crews responsible for the cars are intently focused, nearly robotic, as they change all four tires of a car within four seconds. As for that championship, it was won by Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari, with a celebration that felt quintessentially Formula One. As the cars flashed by the checkered flag, dozens of handsome Italians flooded pit lane. After several hours of painstaking work, the crew — handsome in their Ferrari-red uniforms; their brown locks slicked back in Italian fashion — now had their chance to cheer. The Italian flag waved. Champagne corks popped. And the "Inno di mameli" was sung as Raikkonen took his spot at the top of the podium. It was a scene that oozed European style — in the middle of Texas. BY CHRISTINA GEYER INSIDE FORMULA ONE'S INTERNATIONAL FORAY INTO AUSTIN. The Formula One 2018 Pirelli United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas, Austin 50

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