Grapevine: Paddock Life - Monaco edition

Christian Horner is a man of his words. Before the weekend, the young team principal had vowed to jump in the Red Bull Energy Station pool - naked - if his team could score a podium in Monaco

Grapevine: Paddock Life - Monaco edition

He probably thought he was safe from it coming true, even when David Coulthard managed to qualify his Red Bull in seventh.

By the closing stages of the race, however, as cars near the front hit trouble, the way was left open for Coulthard to grab the team's maiden podium finish. And poor Horner probably did not know whether to laugh or cry.

In the FIA press conference autosport.com innocently asked DC whether he would make sure Horner went through with his pledge.

"My advise was to give his 'wally' a good rub before he does it because if you are going to get photographed naked you want to look as favourable as possible," smiled the Scotsman.

We can't confirm that he did indeed rub anything before making the leap, but he did stay true to his word - naked, except for the red Superman cape that Coulthard wore on the podium!

Red Bull's energy station once again proved a big talking point in the Monaco Grand Prix paddock - in part thanks to the 'Superman Returns' movie tie-in that autosport.com had exclusively revealed a few weeks ago.

Once again the energy drinks giant quite literally pushed the boat out with its 'motorhome'. With the lack of paddock space at the Principality, the team had to float their Energy Station in the harbour like they did last year.

In an operation that took six months to plan, the Energy Station was constructed on a barge in the harbour at Beaulieu sur Mer, eight miles down the coast. It was then floated into the Monaco harbour into position just outside the main paddock area. The voyage took four hours.

Red Bull were not the only ones admiring their wares in the Monaco harbour, though. Juan Pablo Montoya took delivery of his new yacht in perfect time for it to be shown off through the weekend.

The new 27-metre yacht, an Azimut 86S, has been called 'Monty' and was chosen by the Colombian as a congratulatory prize for winning last year's Italian Grand Prix. He is hoping to take it for a short cruise immediately after the weekend.

Montoya's teammate Kimi Raikkonen lived up to his nickname of 'Ice Man' in the Monaco paddock on Wednesday when he was presented with a McLaren made out of ice.

The two-tonne sculpture was unveiled to mark McLaren's 40th anniversary, which the team are celebrating this weekend.

Special steering wheels customised with diamonds from sponsor Steinmetz were commissioned for Raikkonen and Montoya this weekend. Last year the drivers had diamonds encrusted into their crash helmets.

McLaren have put out some random statistics for its anniversary weekend.

When Bruce McLaren gave his team their Grand Prix debut at Monaco in 1966, Manfred Mann was top of the UK pop charts with 'Pretty Flamingo', the Rolling Stones were at number one in the album charts with 'Aftermath', and the Beach Boys had just released their defining work, 'Pet Sounds'.

Back on a racing note, the team have competed in 602 GPs and won 148 of them, their 42 drivers employed in that time winning 11 drivers world championships and eight constructors titles.

There was also a new helmet out on the track in Monaco this weekend - and it wasn't one that many people had been expecting.

Rubens Barrichello had decided to swap lids with close friend Tony Kanaan for this weekend - with Kanaan's helmet racing in Monaco and Barrichello's in turn competing at Sunday night's Indianapolis 500.

Speaking about the idea, Barrichello said: "At the beginning of the year, I asked Tony where he would like to race in F1 and he told me Monaco.

"This is just because Monaco is so special, and I think Indianapolis is special."

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Series Formula 1
Author Damien Smith
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