Living in Shanghai is life in the fast lane. The economy is booming attracting risk-taking entrepreneurs, entertainers and executives who love to play as hard as they work. When the F1 Grand Prix comes to town, all drivers will start their engines out at Shanghai F1 Track on April 14 while partygoers rock out at world-class galas, glamorous clubs and boisterous sports bars.
Celebrating its 10th edition, the race promises tension, thrills and excitement for all attendees. Drivers speed through 56 laps — last year’s winner hit almost 190 miles per hour — which makes the atmosphere electric. Favorites include last year’s winner, Lewis Hamilton, current points leader Sebastien Vettel and Michael Schumacher, who will be hoping to best his astonishing 2004 lap record of 1.32 minutes. Schumacher is also a beloved celebrity to local taxi drivers (after taking the wheel of a taxi so he wouldn’t miss a flight in 2007), so if you’re hoping to speed through traffic just mention his name.
Bar Rouge, located in the city’s most prestigious address along the riverside Bund walkway, will throw a star-studded bash that started on Thursday and keeps the champagne flowing through the wee hours of Monday (April 15) morning. They’ve got various famous DJs from Felix Da Housecat to Aeroplane lined up, and the city’s elite crowd will celebrate on its landmark terrace.
The rest of the F1 crowd will flock to upscale M1NT just down the road. Expect to catch a glimpse of the racers and models galore if you can manage to get in the door — try reserving a table (RMB3,000, about $485, and up) or book a steak dinner and stick around for the party. CODE 20, organizers of Grand Prix parties around the globe, are taking the place over and bringing in Parisian trapeze performer Sofia Tsola.
If you prefer a beer-garden style setting, Sasha’s Restaurant & Bar in the former French Concession will have a packed garden with everyone from racing fans to cocktail connoisseurs. Plan on beer, wine, mojitos and bubbly in copious amounts.
Those seeking a classy place to crash can check into the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star PuLi Hotel and Spa. Expect a contrasting vibe — this place oozes tranquility so you’ll sleep sound after the parties have died down. The downtown location is ideal for partygoers and the Sunday brunch is divine, featuring a selection of fresh seafood, charcuterie, cheese and freshly baked breads and pastries. Other Forbes Travel Guide Star-Rated hotels in Shanghai include the Five-Star Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund and Five-Star The Peninsula Shanghai, which both offer experiences that truly drive home luxury and sophistication for F1 fans.
Photos courtesy of F1Grand Prix, M1NT, The Leading Hotels Of The World LTD and Bar Rouge