24th May 2017: In an act of nostalgia, iconic Italian brand MARTINI, is celebrating its return to the Monaco Grand Prix by bringing back a famous trackside billboard that had to be taken down during the 2009 race because the model’s beauty reportedly drove drivers to distraction.
The ad, featuring model Jessiqa Pace as a female race-car driver, became a part of racing history when it caused mayhem during qualifying in 2009. It was reported at the time that British race ace Lewis Hamilton spun out just metres from the board, which was located close to the tricky Loews hairpin of the classic street circuit.
Williams Martini Racing driver Felipe Massa, remembering the billboard, said, “Every time you passed into that corner you had this woman looking at you. It was just a picture, but it was impossible not to look.”
Media articles at the time sported headlines such as ‘Poster puts F1 drivers in a spin’ and ‘MARTINI girl messes up F1 racers in Monaco’, but one driver that managed to keep his cool was 2009 Grand Prix winner Jenson Button. The Brit, who is making a one-race return to Monaco this weekend, was reported saying, “Every time you passed her, it was as though she was looking right at you.”
This weekend all images of model Jessiqa Pace will be kept safely out of the eye-line of F1 drivers. Instead MARTINI will delight race fans flying in via helicopter, as her face graces the busiest heliport in Monaco.
A Web Video of the exclusive interview with Jessiqa Pace, Felipe Massa and Mark Webber telling the story behind the billboard will be available free of charge and free of copyright restrictions through www.digitalnewsagency.com