2002 Grand Prix Party

Last night at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in aid of Professor Sid Watkins' Brain and Spine Foundation, the 2002 Grand Prix Party was attended by some of the famous names in Formula One. F1 pundit Tony Jardine and television presenter Carol ...

Last night at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in aid of Professor Sid Watkins' Brain and Spine Foundation, the 2002 Grand Prix Party was attended by some of the famous names in Formula One.

F1 pundit Tony Jardine and television presenter Carol Vorderman were the hosts and were joined by Jean Alesi, Alex Yoong and Damon Hill along with team bosses Ron Dennis (McLaren), Paul Stoddart (Minardi), Eddie Jordan (Jordan) and David Richards (BAR). Other leading lights of the sport present included Ferrari Technical Director Ross Brawn and McLaren's Adrian Newey.

Music was provided by a variety of stars; Jools Holland oversaw the entertainment with guests Marc Almond, Atomic Kitten, Rolling Stones' guitarist Ronnie Wood and Mick Hucknall, plus an appearance by Damon Hill and his band.

"That was fantastic, the crowd were very good to us. We rocked Old Albert tonight!” Said Hill. Eddie Jordan also took to the stage with his band V10 and showed off his drumming skills.

Formula One's answer to the Oscars, the Bernie's, were presented for achievements in 2001. Kimi Raikkonen won Rookie of the Year, which was accepted for him by new boss Ron Dennis, while Oustanding Contribution in 2001 went to European Minardi boss Paul Stoddart.

Jean Alesi also landed an award for his contributions to F1 and was pleased to attend the party. “ All the years I've been in F1 Professor Watkins has looked after us so to speak. This is the first opportunity I've had to attend the event and I'm delighted to be here this evening.” he said.

Ferrari's Ross Brawn won the award for Technical Excellence and, unsurprisingly, Driver of the Year was Michael Schumacher. The Lifetime Achievement award went to Sir Frank Williams. Murray Walker, OBE, took to the stage to an emotional standing ovation from the crowd. He shared some of his favourite memories whilst bidding farewell after 52 years in the business.

An auction of F1 memorabilia also took place to raise more funds for the Brain and Spine Foundation.

“ The aims of the foundation are educational, scientific and supportive,” said Professor Sid Watkins of his charity.“ Last year the money we raised went towards fulfilling those aims and we're very grateful for all the support we have had again this year from the Formula One fraternity and the celebrities that have joined us tonight. It's also been great fun!”

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Jean Alesi , Kimi Raikkonen , Eddie Jordan , Alex Yoong , Ross Brawn , Damon Hill , Paul Stoddart , Tony Jardine , Frank Williams , David Richards , Adrian Newey
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan