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GP Week : Issue 131
F1 NEWS >> For your daily dose of Formula 1 news ... Petra Ecclestone’s big day IT was the Formula One wedding of the year. It might well have been the only Formula One wedding of the year, but that’s splitting hairs. When Petra Ecclestone, daughter of F1 ringmaster Bernie, tied the knot this weekend, her father ensured she had a day to remember – at a reported total cost of £5,430,200 (approx US$8.8m). For a man who’s more accustomed to making money at the weekends than spending it, it was an impressive bill. But if anyone’s bank account can take the heat, it’s Ecclestone’s. Petra married James Stunt in a multi-day Italian extravaganza with guests ranging from Paris Hilton to minor members of the British royal family, all of whom gathered at Odescalchi Castle near Rome (previously road tested by Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, for their nuptials). The bride – wearing an £80,000 Vera Wang dress – was driven to the ceremony by Jean Alesi, and the celebrity involvement did not stop there. Eric Clapton serenaded the couple during their first dance, and later in the evening the 250 guests were treated to private performances from the Black Eyed Peas and DJ David Guetta, both acts who have appeared at F1 Rocks this season. Guests arrived to the sounds of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – playing live, naturally, at an estimated cost of £250,000 – before feasting on food cooked by Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse. The meal was washed down with an estimated £800,000 of vintage wine, including Chateau Petrus at £4,000 a bottle. The celebrations ended with two fireworks displays, believed to cost a combined £100,000. The next day, Bernie flew to Spa – giving a lift to Clapton and his guitar case. 13