Business

Wednesday 20 August 2014

F1 star Eddie Irvine's sister Sonia parties on with VIPs

Barbara McCarthy

Published 25/05/2014 | 02:30

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Sonia Irvine. Photo: Barbara McCarthy

FORMULA One racing is providing a lucrative business for one well-connected Irish entrepreneur. Racing ace Eddie Irvine's sister Sonia, is behind the exclusive Amber Lounge, which is the ultimate party spot at this weekend's iconic Monaco F1 Grand Prix.

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Conceived by Sonia, who started her career in Formula One as a physiotherapist for her brother Eddie, it attracts celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Roman Abramovich, Kylie Minogue, Bono, Prince Albert of Monaco, Naomi Campbell and top Formula One drivers.

"We offer post-race parties, dining, music and entertainment. It's also a place where everyone involved in Formula One comes to let their hair down without media intrusion after a tough weekend of work," Ms Irvine told the Sunday Independent last week.

This year's charity auction lots included a brand new yacht worth €3m. Monies raised will go to the Brain and Spine Foundation.

"When I started the business 12 years ago, I started on a promise. I was selling thin air," says Irvine.

"Michael Schumacher allowed his image to be used as part of our branding process, which was hugely beneficial."

Business at Amber Lounge is booming. A table at the charity gala this year cost from €7,200, while the premier VIP package costs €25,000.

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