There was a party in Montreal on Sunday night, and quite a party it was too. Not held in honour of Lewis Hamilton’s 5th win in Canada, nor to celebrate a first podium of the season for Williams and Valteri Bottas. Not even to acknowledge Sebastian Vettel’s wildlife welfare moment at the first turn when he managed to avoid what quite frankly were the bravest paid of Seagulls ever seen at a racetrack. Seriously, those bad boys didn’t even flutter a feather as the Ferrari hurtled towards them, front brakes locking at 100mph.
No, the party, which seemed to be attended by about three quarters of the F1 Paddock, including many of the drivers, was to celebrate Formula 1’s latest big name sponsorship. A sponsorship that was announced in the freezing cold of the F1 Paddock Club on Thursday lunchtime.
Bernie Ecclestone was there to start the press conference, joking that if anyone thought they were coming along to hear him announce he was retiring, they were wrong. With a grin on his face he followed that line up by suggesting that any retirement announcement could be saved for the funeral parlour.
Bernie then welcomed Heineken to the stage. The brewing company whose founder was friends with Sir Jackie Stewart as they partied back in the day, had now stopped ‘flirting with Formula 1’ as they put it, and dived head first into the sport for a serious full time relationship, which begins in earnest in Monza and will run for many years to come.