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Formula Unas - The women of F1



Its 4:15pm. I’ve been on my feet for about 8 hours straight, minus the twenty minutes or so where I scoffed down a leafy Salad Roll on an even leafier hill in Melbourne’s Albert Park. I must have walked a good 10 kilometers by now, up and down the entire length of the paddock about a 132 times plus the circumference of the race track, hopping from vantage point to vantage point with a camera and lens package flung over my shoulder that weighed almost as much as an early model Volkswagen Beetle.

It’s the end of qualifying of the Australian Grand Prix, and anyone not on pole who is worth photographing is buried in a laptop somewhere analyzing why they didn’t live up to their press releases; drivers are all locked up with their engineers giving them feedback on the set up of their car, which with a modern day Formula One driver like Lewis Hamilton is much quicker I believe – I think he already has a USB port just behind his ear.

Then all of a sudden, all hell breaks loose. A cluster of snappers in the corner, who up until a minute ago were busy blowing the cobwebs out of their shutter buttons, are now jockeying for position, frantically firing away with furious flashes while demonstrating their incredible talent for running backwards while looking forward through a one inch viewfinder. Kylie and Danni Minogue have just walked in. Former Bond girl, Michelle Yeoh is right behind them. This is the Formula One photographer’s equivalent of farmers celebrating a downpour of rain during a drought. We all rejoice. The women have finally arrived.

The paddock is normally full of them. But they usually skip the boring Thursday/Friday practice sessions, preferring instead to get pole position in a downtown beauty parlor or boutique. As it draws closer to race day though, it slowly becomes ripe with beautiful women, gorgeous grid girls, actresses, singers, models and trophy wives. This is one of the few times a driver can walk the length of the paddock without being noticed. No matter what the people with the big earmuffs and clipboards tell you, the women are the color of every race weekend. And if they’re at all honest with themselves, it’s why most men choose to race to begin with.

“Let’s face it; if there was absolutely no chance of getting laid, not many drivers would still be racing.” One chain smoking team boss tells me during an off-the-record interview in Hockenheim, as he stubs out a half smoked Winfield Blue on his driving shoe and tosses the butt responsibly into a waiting assistant’s hand.

“Yeah, there’s the world championship, the glory, the money, the expensive gifts and shit, but honestly, it all goes back to the women. I’d like to see how good racing would be if drivers were forced to take a vow of celibacy and the prize for winning a Grand Prix was a night with any woman they wanted. Then you would see a real race!” He continues, completely oblivious to the politically incorrect bluntness that just weighed down his ridiculous suggestion.

But ridiculous as it may be, he may have a point buried somewhere underneath that pre-sixties sexist remark. Sigmund Freud would be the first to endorse the idea, especially considering that a Formula One driver would be the living, breathing example of his Eros and Thanatos theory where he believes that humans are driven by two conflicting central desires: the life drive (Eros) (incorporating the sex drive) and the death drive (Thanatos) which compels humans to engage in risky and destructive behaviors that could lead to their own death. Women and danger – nothing new there. Didn’t take a modern day genius to figure that out, surely.

And there is no team on today’s grid that takes this more seriously than the Red Bull team. Known for their young, vibrant image, the team actually goes as far as flying in their own women for each race. There is even a competition held throughout the year where models are chosen to represent the team at various races. Once selected, all they are required to do is look good or at least look good at it. That’s it. Just be beautiful. All expenses are picked up and they can party as hard as they like. And despite the protests from some small circles that call it either exploitation or a waste of money, the women draw in more media attention than any wind tunnel or tire test has ever done.

There are many times where the press are more interested in the drivers girlfriends than the drivers. Fernando Alonso may be a 2 time World Champion, with a strong chance of sealing his third by the time this article sees print, but given a choice, most photographers would swoon over his lovely fiancée, Raquel del Rosario Macías, a Spanish pop star that can melt a set of Bridgestones just by looking at it with her deep brown eyes.

Veteran F1 driver, David Coulthard, has brought the paddock to its’ knees at times with some of the women he has dated in his 14 seasons at the pinnacle of motor racing, before becoming engaged to Karen Minier, a Belgian Formula One correspondent for French TV channel TF1. The British Playboy hotel owner has been associated with a string of women, including supermodel Heidi Klum, (who later had a child to Renault team boss, Flavio Briatore) Lady Victoria Hervey, and models Andrea Murray and Ruth Taylor. He has also been engaged to models Heidi Wichlinski and Simone Abdelnour.

Fellow Brit, and former playboy, Jenson Button was even warned to wean himself off the forbidden fruit if he was to have any success in the sport. Too much of a good thing, so to speak. The young British superstar was catapulted to fame when he was picked up by a top team on his debut year. He had enormous talent but was accused of under-performing after soaking up the lifestyle too much and losing sight of the bouncing ball. There’s even the rumor of him sampling the local nightlife here in Manila during his visit in 2003 and taking home 3 ladies back to his hotel room.

Today’s alfalfa-eating, clean-living Formula One driver is a different animal entirely to those of the hard-drinking, chain-smoking Seventies and eighties types that used to butt out a smoke on the starting grid before putting in a pole position lap. (Alan Jones) Yet despite all the changes in the sport, and the newfound discipline that it demands, it’s hard to imagine a race without women. It would be like Hockey without a fight or soccer without a goal. They are the F in F1, which is why no umbrella has been left unturned in search of the ultimate Formula Unas. Gentlemen, start your drooling.
Martini girls
Martini girls
A neutral fan
A neutral fan
Melbourne, 07
Melbourne, 07
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Brazilian GP
Brazilian GP
Miss Poland, Barbara Tatara
Miss Poland, Barbara Tatara
The prettiest promo girl I saw in the Chinese GP
The prettiest promo girl I saw in the Chinese GP
Racy woman
Racy woman
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Brazilian GP
Brazilian GP
Pete's bar babes
Pete's bar babes
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Formula Una
Formula Una
Formula una
Formula una
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Sepang, Malaysia 08
Sepang, Malaysia 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Brazilian GP
Brazilian GP
Narain's wife, Pavarna
Narain's wife, Pavarna
Brazilian GP
Brazilian GP
Brazilian GP
Brazilian GP
669H4709.jpg
669H4709.jpg
Formula Unas
Formula Unas
IMG_4610.jpg
IMG_4610.jpg
Formula una
Formula una
Hot F1 fan
Hot F1 fan
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Formula unas
Formula unas
Brazilian GP Babe
Brazilian GP Babe
Formula Unas, Brazilian Grand Prix
Formula Unas, Brazilian Grand Prix
Grid girls
Grid girls
Formula Una
Formula Una
Aussie GP, 07
Aussie GP, 07
Red Bull Beauty
Red Bull Beauty
Bella: Formula Una
Bella: Formula Una
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Brazilian GP
Brazilian GP
That ain't face paint, he's just blushing!
That ain't face paint, he's just blushing!
Bella
Bella
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Formula Una
Formula Una
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
The weather was perfect for tight outfits
The weather was perfect for tight outfits
Louise Griffith: Button's ex. She is as lovely as she looks.
Louise Griffith: Button's ex. She is as lovely as she looks.
Danni Minogue
Danni Minogue
Smile
Smile
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Fosters Girl
Fosters Girl
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Formula Una. Melbourne, 07
Formula Una. Melbourne, 07
Fresh face: Brazilian GP
Fresh face: Brazilian GP
Red Bull's Formula One
Red Bull's Formula One
Danni Minogue
Danni Minogue
Williams waitress: Brazilian GP
Williams waitress: Brazilian GP
Cora Schumacher: Ralf is married to Cora, Michael is married to Corina
Cora Schumacher: Ralf is married to Cora, Michael is married to Corina
The ever so lovely, Louise Griffith. Jenson Button's ex.
The ever so lovely, Louise Griffith. Jenson Button's ex.
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Brazilian GP, Karen Minier
Brazilian GP, Karen Minier
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Jessica Alba look alike?
Jessica Alba look alike?
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Fosters Aussie GP '05
David Coulthard's lady is quite chummy with Louise.
David Coulthard's lady is quite chummy with Louise.
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Miss Poland
Miss Poland
Karen Minier, David Coulthard's fiancee
Karen Minier, David Coulthard's fiancee
Mclaren's waitress. I'd leave Williams too
Mclaren's waitress. I'd leave Williams too
Red Bull chargers
Red Bull chargers
Fosters Aussie GP babe '05
Fosters Aussie GP babe '05
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Grid Girl
Grid Girl
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Miss Poland - Barbara Tatara
Miss Poland - Barbara Tatara
Ralf's wife, Cora Schumacher
Ralf's wife, Cora Schumacher
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Red Bull Girls
Red Bull Girls
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
The Red Bull girls
The Red Bull girls
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne, 07
Melbourne, 07
Miss Universe, Jennifer Hawkins
Miss Universe, Jennifer Hawkins
Flavio's flame
Flavio's flame
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
The incredibly gorgeous Karen Minier
The incredibly gorgeous Karen Minier
Monza 06
Monza 06
Fosters Babe
Fosters Babe
Aussie Beauty
Aussie Beauty
Brazilian GP
Brazilian GP
A good looking version of Alanis  Morisette
A good looking version of Alanis Morisette
Simone Abdelnour
Simone Abdelnour
Pete's bar babe
Pete's bar babe
Brazilian GP
Brazilian GP
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Brazilian GP Babe
Brazilian GP Babe
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Brazilian babes
Brazilian babes
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
F1 Babe
F1 Babe
Karen Minier. Ms David Coulthard
Karen Minier. Ms David Coulthard
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Mis Poland, Barbara Tatara
Mis Poland, Barbara Tatara
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Red Bull Beauty
Red Bull Beauty
Megan Gale
Megan Gale
u45%2fcmanaginged%2fsmall%2f34609970.IMG_3220Large.jpg Fosters Aussie GP '05
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Formula Una. Melbourne, 07
Formula Una. Melbourne, 07
Brazilian Babe
Brazilian Babe
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Fosters Aussie GP '05
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Denso Babes
Denso Babes
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Formula Unas! Melbourne, 07
Formula Unas! Melbourne, 07
Alonso's girlfriend: Raquel del Rosario Mac�as
Alonso's girlfriend: Raquel del Rosario Mac�as
Ms David Coulthard to be, Karen Minier
Ms David Coulthard to be, Karen Minier
Raquel del Rosario Mac�as
Raquel del Rosario Mac�as
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Melbourne 08
Risky Business. Melbourne, 08
Risky Business. Melbourne, 08