The Formula One U.S. Grand Prix—where some of the world's fastest and most expensive cars will compete—kicks off tomorrow in Austin, Texas. People travel from all over the world to attend.
On the eve of the second-to-last race of the season, we thought we’d check in with Nicholas Frankl, die-hard F1 fan, founder of My Yacht Group, Olympian bobsledder (who has a friendly but competitive bobsledding rivalry with HSH Prince Albert of Monaco), and collector of many things—yachts, cars, and, yes, even refrigerator magnets.
This Los Angeles- and London-based serial entrepreneur, hospitality guru, and tastemaker has collected over 100 magnets from his jet-setting travels around the globe, everywhere from Christmas Island to Monaco, where he attended his first Grand Prix when he was six years old—and where he first got the idea for My Yacht Group, eight years ago.
“I saw an opportunity to create a unique hospitality experience to cater to the high net-worth and discerning guests who are looking to have ‘game,’ as well as provide a showcase for luxury brands [to] be part of one of the most glamorous events on the annual social calendar,” says Frankl.
We asked Frankl a few questions as he was finalizing details on his F1 events at the Circuit of the Americas.
Q: What’s your favorite race to watch?
A: Monaco, hands down. It’s historic (2014 is the 72nd), iconic (every driver wants to win at Monaco), and glamorous (Royalty, rock stars, A-list, global elite!). I’ve been attending for the past 20 years and hosting super yacht events on board My Yacht Monaco for the past 8 years; it’s simply the most incredible experience someone—F1 fan or not—can have.
Q: What’s your favorite car to drive?
A: McLaren F1 Why? Still the ultimate expression of formula one meets road car with zero driver aids. For guys who know how to drive!
Q: Tell us about your magnet collection.
A: Monaco (top): I have a very special relationship with this unique principality. Lots of friends, many years of visiting for holidays and family celebrations, including my father's remarriage 17 years ago and my 40th birthday in 2011, plus the flagship event for My Yacht Group during the iconic Monaco Grand Prix. I haven't missed a Grand Prix there in 20+ years, and long may the tradition continue!
Christmas Island, Kiribati (middle): Possibly the farthest flung destination I've ever visited. The magnet is as simple as the island. Basic accommodation, food caught fresh daily, epic waves, campfire stories, and the most incredible night skies I've ever seen.
Salt Lake City (bottom): This was my third time as an Olympian, driving Bobsled for Hungary—and SLC will always be my favorite games. Amazing atmosphere, great organization, plus a bleacher full of friends, it was our best ever finish. I return often to ski at Park City and Deer Valley, sometimes re-visiting the bob track, and it brings back the most special memories.
Q: Top spots to feel like a local in LA and London?
A: A mix of members clubs and iconic restaurants: Soho House, Nobu Malibu, Chateau Marmont; RAC Club on Pall Mall, Boodles, Annabel’s, 5 Hertford
Q: What’s your best travel secret?
A: Hand luggage only, no alcohol, and a swim upon arrival whenever possible.
Adrien Glover is Deputy Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure.