My Race Day: Jonny Dodge

jonny dodge

Professional adventure seeker and the man behind GP Management, mister Jonny Dodge, gives us his usual Formula 1 race week schedule and calls it “My Monegasque Race Week”.

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Monday 9am – arrival into Monaco. For our biggest and most hectic events of the year like Monaco, Silverstone and Abu Dhabi, I always try to arrive on the Monday of the race week. We spend months planning and building up to the event from our offices in London on the phone and emails, but nothing beats being on the ground. Meeting clients and partners face to face is always crucial when things change so my team and I work hard to arrange as many meetings early in the week as possible.

Monday 7pm – dinner with contacts. Before the whole F1 circus arrives in town it’s a great chance to catch up with key paddock personnel ahead of the core European races to plan out how we can improve their partner programmes and come up with activation ideas for sponsors. It was exactly one of these dinners in Monaco last year that we thought up our iconic Lap of London!

Tuesday 11am – GP Management team meeting. I set aside team early in the Monaco week to have a sit down with all of our team on the ground in the harbour to run through everything from arrival times of key guests to a dry-run walkthrough of the directions to the tender speedboat transfer to make sure everything is a well-oiled machine and guests are looked after from the moment they step into the Principality. We’ve been doing yacht hospitality in Monaco for years now, but it pays to be well-rehearsed every time.

Tuesday 4pm – more meetings! As more key personnel from behind the scenes in F1 arrive into town it’s important to catch up with them all, even briefly for a coffee. It’s a hectic race for everyone involved but the F1 paddock in Monaco is one of the few places each year I know that everyone we have great relations with will be, and a few prospective ones too!

Wednesday 10am – overseeing on-board operations. By this point in the week, we will usually have everything on-board our superyacht to get set-up ready for guests to arrive tomorrow. I’ll head down to the yacht early in the day to make sure all our deliveries, supplies and set-up are on schedule and ready to entertain.

Thursday 7am – the first day of guests! We operate a range of different hospitality packages in Monaco; some VIP guests arrive today who will stay in the luxury cabins on-board throughout, some will leave London very early to just fly in for the day today! It’s a real mix of guests and always a great opportunity to network and show off what we do best.

Friday 8pm – client dinner on-board. Chartering our own yacht means we’re able to offer clients unique opportunities outside of the racing schedule and standard hospitality. For example, we’ll host a private dinner on deck for a client. It’s like owning your own superyacht and crew for the evening and you avoid jostling for restaurant tables in Monaco!

Saturday 8am – ready for guests again. We have a lot of weekend guests arrive today so it’s important the team is as fresh and welcoming as they were to the guys on board the previous two days. Our team members love what they do and our service is what keeps guests coming back time and time again or put their order in for Abu Dhabi!

Saturday 10pm – the infamous GP Lounge. Saturday night is a real party atmosphere in the harbour in Monaco and nowhere more so than on our superyacht as we host the infamous GP Lounge party right through till the early hours. Live music and entertainment and an open bar see people dancing through until the sun comes up, such a highlight of the weekend every year.

Sunday 2pm – lights out! Despite all the on-track action from Thursday to Saturday and perhaps a few chicane mishaps, nothing quite beats the moment when the lights go out for the first lap on Sunday. The atmosphere onboard is always electric as everyone heads to the sun deck and the back of the yacht to watch nervously as the cars squeeze down the road just yards in front of us! As the winner is crowned and we wind down an incredible week, I take time to make sure our guests have had an unbeatable experience, our clients are well looked after and our partners have seen first-hand what we’re so good at!

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