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Hamilton vs Verstappen – It’s going to the wire

FORMULA1 BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2021

The 2021 Formula 1 championship so far has been one of the most exciting, turbulent and nail-biting to date. Mercedes have dominated the Drivers and Constructors Championship for many years, but can a fully motivated Red Bull team finally take back the coveted crown of World Champions?

 

Bottas dominates in Turkey

Valtteri Bottas claimed a wire-to-wire victory, described by himself as one of his best ever as he dominated the field in tricky conditions in Istanbul. The ever-changing drivers championship outlook took another turn as Verstappen claimed 2nd position and jumped ahead of Hamilton once more, who could only manage 5th after starting from the 11th with an engine penalty.

 

Slippery Sochi

Proceedings were looking great after qualifying for the British drivers. A rare pole for McLaren’s Lando Norris, a surprising Q3 for Williams’ star man George Russell and Hamilton cementing a disappointing 4th place qualification. Things were not looking so great for Red Bull’s title charge with Sergio Perez’s’ 9th place start, but most of all Max Verstappen who started at the very back of the grid due to exceeding his quota of power unit components. Would this be the race that Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton sped away from Red Bull and Verstappen in the title challenge?

The lights went out in a wet Sochi and away they went. The two McLaren’s got off to an electric start around the first few corners, many were thinking, could they replicate their famous one two which they achieved in Monza earlier in the season? Norris led the majority of the Grand Prix, and many believed he was on his way to his first ever winner’s podium. The rain started to lash down at the Sochi Autodrom. Teams warned their drivers to come into the pits to change their tires to suit the slippery conditions. With Lando leading the race he was adamant that he wanted to stay on the track and get the race wrapped up and who could blame the relatively inexperienced driver with four laps to go? Verstappen however took full advantage, picking off drivers and making his way through the pack. The stage was set for an enticing last four laps.

The inevitable then happened, the slippery surface and unsuitable tires sent Norris skidding off the track. Hamilton surged past into pole position with a determined Max Verstappen behind him, making his way from the back of the grid. Lando and McLaren will be ruing this decision which will have surely seen him take the top spot in Sochi.

 

A New Champion?

Arriving in Formula 1 as the youngest competitor, Max Verstappen started his career at what was known as Toro Rosso at the time and since then grabbed the bull by the horns and got his move to Red Bull. Max became the youngest race winner at the age of only 18 years and 228 days old. He won the Barcelona Grand Prix in 2016 with a confident but controlled drive. Since then, Max has gone on to claim 53 podiums with 17 of those being in 1st position.

With Red Bulls last driver and constructer titles coming in 2013, they are desperate to reclaim the title and with Max at the helm, they strongly believe they can do this. As it stands, Hamilton leads the way with only two points separating the pair. With seven races to go many believe it is going to go right down to the wire. The last man to lift the driver’s championship for Red Bull was Sebastian Vettel. Christian Horner, the Red Bull principal will be hoping Max can replicate this come the end of the season.

One race that sticks in the memory of Red Bull was the famous Monaco Grand Prix. This was a pivotal race, and one in which excelled Verstappen to the top of the driver’s championship for the first time in his career.

The Monaco Grand Prix is the race that F1 fans all over the world look forward to. It has a unique combination of tradition, ambiance and historical value. In my opinion no other race compares to Monaco, wedged between the natural beauty of the Mediterranean Sea and the Maritime Alps it could not be in a better location. The streets of Monaco are filled with eager spectators and many watching from state-of-the-art yachts.

 

The Future of F1

The future of Formula 1 is in safe hands, especially from a British point of view. Two drivers who have majorly impressed over the last couple of seasons are Lando Norris and George Russell. Lando has consistently provided points for McLaren and Russell is dubbed to be the new poster boy for Mercedes when he makes the move from Williams at the end of the season. With Lando currently sitting in fourth position in the championships, it shows he has the potential to be at the top with the right car under him. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr in the famous Ferraris are also showing very competitive form and will be hoping that their package in 2022 will spark more podiums and race wins.

 

2022 British Grand Prix

One of the biggest events of the yearly calendar is Silverstone and you can be there with Engage. We have a number of packages available including the following Silverstone Live hospitality:

  • Exclusive suite inside the track
  • Trackside terrace
  • Ticket including inner track access and Woodcote terraces
  • Premium grandstand seating
  • Breakfast on arrival
  • Gourmet lunch grazing menu
  • Afternoon tea
  • Complimentary premium bar
  • Official programme
  • VIP hostess service
  • Guest speakers from the motorsport world
  • Super Screen viewing
  • Personal Silverstone radio
  • Reserved hospitality parking
  • Close to the FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 Support Paddocks
  • Prize draw for signed memorabilia

Register your interest for the 2022 British Grand Prix Today

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The Autumn Internationals are back!

2021 Autumn Internationals

A New Era Emerging

Saturday November 6th is when the gates of Twickenham will open for England’s opening Autumn International against Tonga. The Autumn Nations Cup covered the difficult 2020, pandemic struck season but we are back to the original format that we all know and love. The last meeting between England and Tonga was in a pool match in the 2019 World Cup, ending up in a mauling of Tonga, as England overcame them with a 35-3 win. The two sides have only met 3 times with England maintaining a 100% record against Tonga.

With the Autumn internationals at Twickenham approaching, there will be many rugby fans who feel a new era of players need to be introduced. With Australia and South Africa proving significantly difficult challenges, it will be an ideal scenario to test some of the emerging England players.

One of the players who has been knocking on the door for England, is Harlequins Number 8 Alex Dombrandt. Dombrandt forced his way into England’s training squad for the 2019 World Cup but narrowly missed out on a spot in the final squad. Eddie Jones believes we haven’t seen the best of Alex yet. He stated, there is no limit on where he can go as a player because he’s got some special skills. (https://www.planetrugby.com/no-limit-to-number-eight-alex-dombrandt-potential-says-england-head-coach-eddie-jones-ahead-of-international-rugby-test-against-canada/)

 

2019 Rugby World Cup Reminder

The 2019 Rugby World Cup final was a game that many Rugby fans across the globe were anticipating. England’s last hurdle to becoming World Champions was to overcome the challenge of the Springboks. With an encouraging triumph over the All blacks in the semi-final, England went into the final with the belief they could get past a tricky South Africa side and lift the World Cup trophy come the end of a gruelling 80 minutes.

Owen Farrell led out a particularly relaxed England side under the lights at a full Nissan stadium in Yokohama, Japan. National anthems sung, nicety’s out the way, it was time for these two teams to go to war. South Africa got proceedings under way with a huge kick from Handre Pollard. It took South Africa 10 minutes to get their first points on the board. A sloppy penalty given away by England allowed South Africa a kick at goal, which a sharp shooting Pollard took professionally. After England taking a battering in the first 20 minutes, nerves were settled as Farrell converted a much-needed penalty. After a back and forth of penalty conversions, something had to give. The score was 12-6 in the favor of the Springboks going into half time.

Eddie Jones needed to rally his England troops and give them the belief and desire that they could overcome the well-organized South African’s. As the clock hit 60 minutes South Africa led 18-12, then came the decisive moment. A string of clever passes led to pacey winger Makazole Mapimpi breaking the England line and scoring the first try of the final. It was always going to be an uphill battle for England from here. To pour salt into England wound’s, South Africa yet again broke past a helpless England line to glide over the try line making it 32-12. South Africa had made it their third Rugby World Cup win. England will look to avenge their loss to South Africa on 20th November as they take them on in their last Autumn International of 2021.

The question since then is how will England bounce back from this and who do we look to now?

 

Six Nations Reminder

Since 1882 the Six nations as we know it today originally started out as ‘The home nations’. France joined England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland in 1910 to make it the 5 nations, with Italy completing the 6 nations in 200.

The Six Nations is a staple in the sporting calendar and continues to produce excitement, unpredictability and quality Rugby, year after year. England’s Six Nations campaign kicks off at Murrayfield where they face an ever-improving Scotland side. It’s not till February 26th that England play their first match at Twickenham. The roar around an expected sell-out crowd at the home of Rugby will hopefully give England that extra push to get over the line against current holders Wales.

Last year’s Six Nations was nothing short of disappointing from an England perspective. After 2020’s first placed finish, England plummeted to finishing 5th in 2021. England started their campaign by losing narrowly to an ever-improving Scotland side at Twickenham. Win’s came against Italy and France, with loses to the other two nations.

The expectation going into the 2022 Six Nations is much greater, with new talent emerging, dead wood offloaded and a confident Eddie Jones, who knows the heights England can reach.

Never miss a moment at Twickenham this Autumn. Availability for hospitality at Twickenham is always limited, but please enquire below for the possibility of attending the much-anticipated England fixtures.

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Fail to prepare, prepare to fail: All eyes on Qatar 2022

With Qatar getting closer, we look back at the euro’s and how you can be at England’s last remaining qualifiers at Wembley.

The Summer of 21

The Summer of 2021 galvanized the entire nation as England reached their first major finals in 55 years. An unbeaten run in the group stages sparked hopes of England fans up and down the country. However, these hopes were somewhat in doubt with the three lions facing Germany in the round of 16. After a tense first half neither side managed to break the dead lock. It was a similar story throughout the second half, with both teams failing to convert golden opportunities and penalties were looming.

After the heartbreak of Euro 96, which Southgate can only know too well, penalties were not an option for his side. A rampant England were knocking on the German’s door. This pressure paid off as a cool, calm and collected Raheem Sterling slotted in a goal that would send the country into pandemonium. After a quiet domestic season with Manchester City, Raheem silenced his critics. Shortly after, Harry Kane put the final nail in the coffin by firing home for England’s second. Wembley was rocking like never before, after this emphatic win the nation started to believe. With the thrashing of Sweden and a nervy win over a disciplined Denmark, the stage was set for England to battle it out for European supremacy against Italy. Once again, our old foe penalties came back to haunt us in the final, but what a journey it was. With a strong squad, young players emerging and players battling on the pitch for each other, this is only the beginning of something special.

Qatar 2022 World cup qualifying campaign

When you think of the World cup, many imagine watching football in the blistering heat at the height of summer. This will not be the case for the 2022 World Cup, instead we will be watching in the bitter winter weather. Commencing on the November 21st and coming to a climax on December 18th, will we be in for an early Christmas present? Our qualifiers got off to an explosive start in March, before the Euros with wins over San Marino, Albania and Poland. With a newfound belief after the Euros, England were adamant to put their defeat in the final to Italy behind them and qualify strongly for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

September swiftly rolled around, the stage was set in a packed out Puskas Arena in Budapest for England to take on Hungary. After a tame first half, England approached the second half in bullish form and dispatched Hungary, beating them 4-0. This score line was mirrored only 3 days later at the home of football, Wembley as England got the better of Andorra. To end September’s round of fixtures was a tough game in Warsaw against an unpredictable Poland side. The game started slowly with all the action to come late on. Harry Kane opened the scoring with a marvellous strike, swerving past a helpless Szczesny in the Poland goal. Much to England’s surprise, Poland struck a late equalizer in the dying seconds of the game. Despite this result, England remain top of the group.

England have four World cup qualifier fixtures left. The two that stick out are their games at Wembley. England face Hungary on October 12th and then after that play Albania on November 12th. Currently, England are top of the group with Albania behind them in second, this is fixture that many will not want to miss.

England Looking to the future in more ways than one

England will obviously be looking to progress to the World Cup, in which I believe they comfortably will, but England are also looking to the future with a variety of youngsters bursting onto the international scene as well as being vital assets to their clubs. It is many teenagers dream to be able to play professional football for club and country. This dream came true for England and Dortmund rising star, Jude Bellingham. Having caught the eye at Birmingham City, he got his move to the Bundesliga where he is currently thriving. With the move to the German side, it enhanced his chances of playing for the national team. Jude has now become the youngest ever player to appear at a European championship as he came on in the 82nd minute in England’s 1-0 victory over Croatia.

Another young player, who seems like he’s been around for ages is Manchester City starlet Phil Foden. After being in the squad for the Euros, Foden is most definitely going to be on the plane to Qatar in 2022. His pace, trickery and footballing brain make him look like he’s a veteran of the game but only being 21, his best years are ahead of him for sure. As we turn our attention to the red side of Manchester, there is a young man who has already proven he could be one of the sharpest shooters in the Premier League, he goes by the name of Mason Greenwood. Greenwood has conjured up 20 goals in 70 appearances for Manchester United, not bad for a 19-year-old, right? Mason unfortunately had to withdraw from the Euros squad but I’m sure he will be in Southgate’s plans come the World Cup.

No Place like home

The first Wembley Stadium was opened in 1923, with the new Wembley built in 2007. To this day the stadium still holds a special feeling for everyone that plays, spectates or even passes by there. Some massive fixtures are played there, season after season such as the FA cup Final, Carabao Cup Final and it will play host to the Champions League final in 2024. As Wembley is a multi-purpose venue, we are looking forward to putting on concerts there.

Availability for hospitality for concerts at Wembley is extremely difficult to find, but please enquire below for the possibility of Attending a concert at Wembley.

Ed Sheeran | Wembley | 1st July

Westlife | Wembley | 6th August