A celebration of British motor racing took place last night at the Grand Prix Ball to welcome F1's return to the country in style ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend – the ninth round on the F1 2011 World Championship calendar.
The star-studded ball – held at The Hurlingham Club in London – was transformed into a glamorous display of F1 cars and live entertainment in order to raise money for CLIC Sargent, the UK's leading children's cancer charity.
The event also marked just over 60 years of F1 with a unique display of classic grand prix machinery including a special Force India 'art' car, alongside a Lotus-Renault and the 1995 Williams-Renault of Damon Hill.
After witnessing the spectacular arrival of ever-colourful and flamboyant BBC F1
pundit Eddie Jordan – who landed in a magnificent Oryx helicopter – guests were treated to a MUMM champagne reception and a scrumptious three-course meal.
Electric violin duo FUSE were first to take to the stage as they performed a number of classical songs with an electronic twist, on diamond-encrusted violins rumored to have cost over £1 million each.
Rebecca Ferguson, who looked stunning in a floor-length yellow dress, absolutely wowed the London crowd as she opened her set with an acoustic version of 'Amazing Grace'. The X-Factor runner-up went on to cover a number of songs made famous by her idol, Aretha Franklin, before finishing with a fantastic cover of Adele's hit, 'Make you feel my love'.
Eddie Jordan and the Robbers followed Rebecca's show-stopping performance with a selection of covers and original tracks ranging from 'Let's stick together' to 'Pump it up'. The four-piece band got the cheering crowd rocking as Eddie joined them on stage for an extra-special rendition of U2's 'With or without you'.
As Rick Parfitt Jnr took to the decks, society's finest, including Damon Hill, Elen Rivas and Caprice enjoyed whisky cocktails from the Johnnie Walker bar and danced into the early hours – and following a successful evening of live entertainment, a unique display of F1 cars and more than £40,000 raised for charity, guests are now already looking forward to next year's event.