We’ve always been partial to bringing some F1 power to the streets and highways of the USA and over the years we’ve blasted our championship-winning machinery through New York’s Lincoln Tunnel, up the dusty tracks of east Texas, across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and down the Las Vegas Strip. We’ve even done some donuts at the top of the 700-foot high One Thousand Museum condo in Miami.
But despite racing around some of the United States’ most iconic locations, we’ve never taken our cars to the one place an F1 superstar would feel right at home – Hollywood.
That all changed today when Max, Alex and Christian took a detour en route from Mexico to Austin and tore up Tinseltown at the F1 LA Live fan festival.
The boys’ day began early, with Max heading off to appear on the Rich Eisen Show. The hugely popular sports talk show host quizzed Max on his karting days, his rise to the top of the F1 pecking order and also found out the identity of the only three people Max will ride shotgun with in a passenger car (clue – you don’t have to look far from his side garage). Alex, meanwhile, headed to the Red Bull North America headquarters in Santa Monica and on to greet fans at the DITA eyewear store back on Hollywood Boulevard.
By lunchtime both drivers were back at Hollywood Boulevard where they were joined by Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Mercedes Valtteri Bottas for a full-on afternoon of F1 thunder right at the heart of La La Land.
Following a host of media interviews Alex and Max headed across to the site where the show car crew were busy prepping the RB7, and a little after 3pm Max steered the double title-winning machine onto the streets where thousands of fans had gathered for our first run of the day.
The course along Hollywood Boulevard featured a specially constructed donut zone right outside the iconic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and in front of the cameras of the Jimmy Kimmel Show, Max obliged with a tyre-smoking series of spins to send the crowd wild.
Once the smoke had cleared it was Christian’s turn to get top billing as the Team boss took to the main stage for a lively Q&A session.
By this stage Alex was itching to match Max’s efforts and soon after Christian’s interview he got the chance. And despite it being the Thai racer’s first show car run with the Team he made the last-minute decision to make it a ‘donutting’ debut as he threw down a howling sequence of 360s that might even have outdone his teammate in terms of volume and ragged rubber.
Max then closed out a spectacular afternoon with a second run featuring even more burnouts and donuts. His final run also included an amazing triple donut in the company of Ricciardo and Bottas outside the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel.
“It was very special,” said Max afterwards. “To do a show run in LA was already pretty cool, but to do it on Hollywood Boulevard was incredible. It was great, too, that so many people came out to see it.
“I always love coming to the US,” he added. “I even came here for my summer holiday, so it’s always good to be back, and of course coming back in an F1 car makes it even better.”
Alex was equally effusive about the Team’s first Hollywood starring role and his show run debut. “It was very cool. The fans were incredibly loud and passionate and the event went really well,” he said.
“The RB7? It was loud! I’m not used to driving such a loud car and I wish I’d had the chance to drive one of these when they were out on track. It was great fun. It was my first time doing a donut, which was interesting. I was a bit nervous before my first run, but it all went really smoothly.”
And with that the credits rolled on our own Hollywood debut. So it was off into the sunset for Max, Alex and Christian but another nail-biting wild west adventure awaits this weekend – at the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.