It was a pleasure to work again with a man who respectfully is a winner of 13 Grand Prix in a career spanning 15 seasons. This time David Coulthard the F1 driver and I met in Northern Ireland where Red Bull “City Limits” brought the thrill of F1 to the streets of capital city Belfast.
Once the sun went down on Belfast City, a very special event took place. Red Bull City Limits brought the excitement of F1 to the motorsports mad city.
At 8pm, David Coulthard fired up the Red Bull Racing F1 car and wowed the crowds with a breathtaking display of driving, spins and doughnuts.
There may not be a Formula One track in Belfast but this was the next best thing! 18,000 people lined the streets at City Hall to witness the power of a Red Bull Racing Formula 1 car.
And they weren’t to be disappointed! The 13-time Grand Prix victor reached speeds of up to 170mph as he put the car through its paces for an unforgettable display of speed, power and control.
Afterwards, David addressed the crowds and clearly enjoyed the experience: “There’s an amazing atmosphere out here. This is the first time we’ve done a night run in a city and to come here to Belfast with its great tradition of motorsports has been really enjoyable for me. The enthusiasm of the people was just unbelievable”.
The sun shone on Belfast throughout the day as Formula 1 fans came from all over the country to see the garage and speak with the ten-strong team of Red Bull Racing technicians and engineers.
Commenting on the event, Belfast’s Lord Mayor Cllr Naomi Long MLA stated: “What a spectacle for Belfast and what an event to have in the heart of the city! I’m sure that the city’s citizens and visitors will have left with amazing memories and images of not only the Red Bull F1 car but of their night out in Belfast city centre. A big thank you goes to Red Bull for bringing this event to our city and to all the organizations that pulled this together – truly an unforgettable evening for Belfast!”
The Irish team would like to thank Red Bull Racing’s Anthony Ward, Tony Burrows and the rest of the crew for their huge help in making this such a fantastic event.
BELFAST / NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast (from the Irish: Béal Feirste meaning “mouth of the sandbars”) is the capital of and the largest city in Northern Ireland, a constituent country of the United Kingdom. It is the seat of devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly. It is the largest urban area in the province of Ulster, the second largest city on the island of Ireland and the 15th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city of Belfast has a population of 267,500 and lies at the heart of the Belfast urban area, which has a population of 483,418. The Belfast metropolitan area has a total population of 579,276. Belfast was granted city status in 1888.
Historically, Belfast has been a centre for the Irish linen industry (earning the nickname “Linenopolis”), tobacco production, rope-making and shipbuilding: the city’s main shipbuilders, Harland and Wolff, which built the ill-fated RMS Titanic, propelled Belfast onto the global stage in the early 20th century as the largest and most productive shipyard in the world. Belfast played a key role in the Industrial Revolution, establishing its place as a global industrial centre until the latter half of the 20th century.
Today, Belfast remains a centre for industry, as well as the arts, higher education and business, a legal centre, and is the economic engine of Northern Ireland. The city suffered greatly during the period of disruption, conflict, and destruction called the Troubles, but latterly has undergone a sustained period of calm, free from the intense political violence of former years, and substantial economic and commercial growth. Belfast city centre has undergone considerable expansion and regeneration in recent years, notably around Victoria Square.
Belfast is a constituent city of the Dublin-Belfast corridor with a population of 3 million, comprising of half the total population of the island of Ireland. Belfast’s population is evenly split between its Protestant and Catholic residents. These two distinct cultural communities have both contributed significantly to the city’s culture.
Belfast is situated on Ireland’s eastern coast at 54°35’49”N 05°55’45”W. The city is flanked to the northwest by a series of hills, including Cavehill. Belfast is located at the western end of Belfast Lough and at the mouth of the River Lagan making it an ideal location for the shipbuilding industry that once made it famous. When the Titanic was built in Belfast in 1911/1912, Harland and Wolff had the largest shipyard in the world. Belfast is situated on Northern Ireland’s eastern coast. A consequence of this northern latitude is that it both endures short winter days and enjoys long summer evenings. During the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, local sunset is before 16:00 while sunrise is around 08:45. This is balanced by the summer solstice in June, when the sun sets after 22:00 and rises before 05:00.
Watching and playing sports is an important part of Belfast culture. Almost six out of ten (59%) of the adult population in Northern Ireland regularly participate in one or more sports. Belfast has several notable sports teams playing a diverse variety of sports including association football, rugby, Cricket, Gaelic games, and ice hockey as well as many urban sports like skateboarding, bmx and parkour/freerunning. Frommer’s, the American travel guidebook series, listed Belfast as the only United Kingdom destination in its Top 12 Destinations to Visit in 2009. The other listed destinations were Istanbul, Berlin, Cape Town, Saqqara, Washington DC, Cambodia, Waiheke Island, Cartagena, Waterton Lakes National Park, the Selma To Montgomery National Historic Trail, Alabama and the Lassen Volcanic National Park.