#JOINTHEPACT: An Afternoon With Mika Hakkinen

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As my teenaged cousin died in a car accident involving a drunk driver, the issue of responsible drinking is close to my heart. Despite the strict laws, Delhi’s prevalent drinking culture never deters people from driving under the influence. To counter this, the team at Johnnie Walker  is spreading the message of responsible drinking.

Johnnie Walker took this unique initiative 9 years ago. The biggest whiskey brand in the world certainly has access to the largest audience. #JOINTHEPACT is a global program aimed at making people commit to never drinking and driving. The company has joined hands with mobile taxi services, like Uber and Ola, to spread the message.


Arjun and I have joined the pact

Their online pledging campaign covers over 40 countries, and hopes to collect 5 million commitments by 2018. To raise awareness in Delhi, they collaborated with youth media company, Homegrown, for a glitzy event last Sunday. Mika Hakkinen, two-time World Formula One Champion was invited to drive the Caparo T1, the world’s fastest supercar; for the first time in India. The event took place at Ambience Island, Gurugram. I was invited by Homegrown to experience an evening of fast cars, good food, and more; all while watching Hakkinen drive a lucky few in the 2-seater supercar.


Formula One World Champion Mika Hakkinen

I was sent an All Access pass for the General Area. My knowledge of Formula One being deficient, I roped in an interested friend to accompany me. Arjun and I arrived earlier than the stipulated time and hung out at Ambience Mall. To reach the venue from there, we took an exorbitant local taxi that mistakenly deposited us at the VIP Area entrance. Upset at being so blatantly fleeced, I inquired how we could reach the General Area without resorting to another expensive cab. Fortunately, the Homegrown team asked us to join the VIP enclosure.


At the VIP enclosure

The VIP enclosure was an experience in itself. There was a lavish spread by Smoke House Deli (for more on them click here); a fantastic DJ belting out foot-tapping beats; a fully-stocked bar; and front-row access to Mika Hakkinen and the sleek Caparo T1. The crowd watched as Hakkinen drove selected people with him down the stretch of demarcated road. Despite the deafening noise, everyone recorded all the action! As pointed out by the emcee for the evening, Rannvijay Singh- the aim of the event was to raise awareness by sharing on social media with the hashtag JOIN THE PACT.


Hakkinen and Singh in conversation

A few superbikes were driven as an interlude between Hakkinen’s rides. However, the star of the show was the Caparo T 1, with its sleek design and crazy speed. Hakkinen had an endearing exchange with Singh about his trip to India, Formula One and the pact. With the exception of the slight delay in the event, and the cluelessness of some pursers; there wasn’t much to fault with the event’s organization.


The sleek Caparo T1

Overall, with the fast car, world champion, good food and important message; it was an afternoon well-spent.

Sign up for the Pact to NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE here.

Check out the folks at homegrown.co.in here.

Event Rating: 4.5/5

*I was invited by Homegrown for the event but this post is NOT SPONSORED. This is an honest account of my experience.

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