At around 10am, I get a text from the track, “I’m not feeling so good this morning”. That’s no surprise after last night but the text wakes me up, and probably saves me from missing the race. I delicately sit up and the room is a little blurry, but the bright sunshine streaming through the window puts a smile on my face, will we have a dry race?!
My phone bleeps again, it’s Sarah at home, “so I hear the rain has finally arrived with you?” Erm, it’s glorious here? But apparently the track is wet. Better pack my poncho then, this could be an exciting race!
Breakfast – damn, what’s the time? I need food. So with five minutes to spare I slide into the restaurant sideways and manage to get my order in. Then back upstairs to slap on the sunscreen, F1 stash, shades etc and off we go.
Strangely enough, the metro and bus seem no busier than yesterday (race day is usually far busier)? The bus drops us off at Mogyorod, about a mile from the track, so it’s another long hot walk ahead. En route, I get chatting to an Aussie called Daniel. He’s on a tour over her (his fifth time!) but he’s interestingly doing a kind of Eastern European / Baltic tour: he’s been to St Petersburg, Vilnius, Oslo… and flew here from the Ukraine on Thursday, to catch the GP before heading back to Sydney.
It’s a fair old trek up to gate 2, and by the time we get there I must’ve worked off breakfast. It’s the hottest part of the day and I’m sweating buckets. So glad I brought my face wipes… is that a bit sensible? Or am I just getting old?! But with an hour to go before lights out, and knowing my seat is in direct sunshine (ie I’ll bake out there), I grab some shade whilst I can, in the only place covered – the beer tent – oh go on then, mine’s a pint…
The perfect start
… just not for Schumi! According to Will Buxton on Twitter, he switched his engine off!! Classic!! Erm Michael, how long have you been driving in F1? It made perfect entertainment for us though, seeing Lewis lead the pack round the circuit, followed by Jenson, Ferraris, Red Bulls, Lotuses (Loti?), a lonely German Mercedes, Force Indians, Saubers, Caterhams, Torro Rossos, HRTs, Maurissians… and bringing up the rear, a good 5 seconds after all other cars, Schumi toddles round to a standing ovation, clapping and cheering (laughing) from the stands at turn 6 (and right round the track apparently!)
The perfect finish
So Lewis leading from qually to podium, enabling the national anthem to ring out, for a Brit on the top step, on the London Olympic opening weekend was awesome. Michael just added the cherry to the bakewell! Can’t wait to hear what excuse he gives Lee McKenzie et al afterwards…
Schumi’s subsequent retirement also meant he got the F1 equivalent of an early bath – fast track to Parc Ferme – meaning the team finish pack-up earlier than the usual 11pm.
That said, the crew are somewhat jaded tonight: Orsi rain checks, so Anna comes out on her own. Papa Pirelli seems quiet, no sign of Junior. Tom & Kevin seem ok, although they didn’t get up until 2pm. Mr Petronas was late to work (waking up 5 minutes before his lift to the track was setting off) and no idea what Mr Mobil’s day was like?! Ah well, it’s a 4am start for me tomorrow heading back to Stansted, so a quiet pint and pizza suits me fine!
Great day Lewis, Rule Britannia!