The European part of the Formula 1 season sees both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso setting up their headquarters in Red Bull’s own Energy Station, which welcomes F1 businesspeople, celebrities and other enthusiasts to enjoy some high-end racing. This spectacular structure is not only home to the race teams, drivers and offices but it is also a fantastic location to enjoy a drink, perhaps a bite to eat and watch the on-track action from the comfort of the bars or sun terrace. We take a moment to sit down with Georgina Russell, who is the Hospitality Manager at Red Bull Racing.
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What is most important in your work today?
My most important objective when planning the hospitality programme from race to race is to make sure that each guest – whether they are a team partner or a general guest – gets full access to the team and feels like he or she is being completely immersed in the Formula 1 experience. Additionally, we want to make sure that we do it in our very own Red Bull way, which probably one of the most important tasks that I have. It’s about delivering unique and memorable moments and something they pass on to other clients and friends. That experience stays with them.
Tell us about the fun factor in your work.
There are lots of fun parts to my job. It’s great to meet lots of different people from very different walks of life, whether we’re looking after a charity or competition winner or entertaining partners and Red Bull athletes from around the world. We get to meet lots of interesting people. We work hard to bring in the wider world of Red Bull and share that with our guests, be it an up and coming DJ playing on the Energy Station or being able to mix with athletes from other sports that Red Bull embraces.
Is it hard to introduce innovation or creativity in your line of work?
At Red Bull, we’re always trying to push the boundaries and make things different and in our own way. The Energy Station itself is the prime example of that. It’s a stunning structure, allowing us to provide a relaxed but buzzing environment and bring visitors closer to the world of Red Bull whether we are in Barcelona, Monaco or Budapest, to name a few Formula 1 venues. It’s a great platform where we not only host both teams, provide hospitality and fine dining for our guests but most importantly, our Energy Station doors are open to anyone in the paddock to come on board.
You go to any basketball or football game, and unless you are extremely lucky, you don’t get to meet the players and get to go on to the pitch.
What changes in the motorsport hospitality sector have you noticed during recent years?
I think in the last couple of years there has been a greater opportunity for the general public to get closer to the sport. It’s great that in Formula 1 teams have got the opportunity to give a broader experience to the fans through their hospitality. At Red Bull Racing we aim to be as inclusive as possible in our hospitality, conceiving unique experiences and creating an atmosphere and culture that every one of our guests feels part of the team for the day.
Do you maybe see what Formula 1 could learn from other sports in terms of hospitality?
Yes, I believe you can always learn from other sports. I’ve attended quite a few big sporting events around the world, visiting different arenas and stadiums, but I do think that Formula 1 is very unique in what it brings to the guest. You go to any basketball or football game, and unless you are extremely lucky, you don’t get to meet the players and get to go on to the pitch. You’re at quite a far distance from where all of the action is happening, whereas in Formula 1 we at Red Bull can guarantee that you’ll meet our drivers and that you’ll go inside our garage and meet the team, watch them at work during a race, and get a real ‘insider’ experience. And all of our team make that possible. Having said that, there are definitely elements that can be learned from other sporting events whether it’s logistics or the practicality to get of getting in and out and the ticketing processes. Things can always be looked at and improved, and that’s the challenge we always set ourselves.