Monday, March 29, 2010

And that was just on the way to the tram stop!

People are actually more interesting than race cars..


Webber Snr. Had his chin up, all things considered...

"That's Sir Jackie to you, laddie"
(Just kidding. ....
He would never call me "laddie")

Yep. He's large.

Stoddy. Wonder what budget airline he owns now?

So how is test driving working out for you Fisi?

Marcos, who unlike me was unburdened by the responsibility of having to go to work on Monday, did even more flesh-pressing at Crown.

SURE it was a mechanical failure, Sebastian!

Yes Lewis, it is a bloody nanny state. Four million Victorians will hardly disagree.

Brazilian, you say? You got a sister??


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Grand Prix gets slightly more interesting

My marshalling post was about as exciting as watching Save Albert Park protesters complain. And that was with the near-priceless Ascari having it's right rear corner ripped off by an equally near-priceless Porsche GT3 and another Porsche catching fire in front of us.

And that was after I had to drive from Wartook in the morning to get there (check it on a map). I parked at the Exhibition Centre, found out the trams weren't stopping out the front, had to sprint up the road to Spencer St, stopping briefly to chat with Jenson Button's dad. He wished me a "quiet day". I wished him and his boy luck. I now wish I hadn't. I finally got to my post, already quite stuffed.

But it did get more interesting after the race. Thanks to an old GP friend Marcos Linhares, a bubbly Brazilian and former accredited journalist who is used to getting into places, and still does, now without accreditation. The magic he can weave merely with my CAMS Guest pass is amazing. Every time Marcos is around, things always get interesting.

Here's some pics to prove it.

That would be Marcos

Corinne Schumacher talks to hubby "Nein, leibster, don't come out yet...there are too many of ze fan people outside" (I seriously think that's what she was saying from what I overheard!)

Vijay Mallya, owner of the very handy if not slightly dorkily named Force India

A blurry and not at all well-looking Eddie Jordan, drummer and former team owner

Vitantantontonio Liuzzi

"It's only Vitantantontantonio Liuzzi, Marcos, let's find someone more interesting..."

"Lauda"!! No...."Lauda!! ", you've heard that one before... a few million times...okay...

Martin Brundle, the best driver to come out of the UK in the 80's and 90's, period.

He is also an uber-gentleman. He remembered Marcos from having met the evening before and asked after some things they had talked about.

Josef Leberer was once Ayrton Senna's physical therapist, now working for Red Bull, and an extremely charming man.

Paul Stodddart, the man who gave Webber a break, trying to hide the fact that he's holding a fag

Our family fave, Rubinho, let me pretend to be his minder for a few paces. "Move aside folks, Rubes has a plane to catch". If I really want to be a hardball minder, perhaps I should stop grinning like a goof.

German Timo Glock whose name in Irish is pronounced "Tim O'GLock". Driving for Richard Branson's new super team, which designed it's F1 car with a fuel tank too small. Fly Virgin, they're safe. No, really...

Coming soon, pics of Jackie Stewart, Ian Thorpe and Mark Webber's Dad, Allan!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Australian Grand Prix- now with extra wedding!

To cut a long story short:

A close friend who lives 3 hours drive from Melbourne decided to (finally) get married. This was good.

She scheduled the wedding date the same weekend as the Grand Prix. That bit was bad. Because when I try to have my cake and etc.... things invariably become hyper complicated. To keep it simple, I am driving a great distance in a very short time, and for once I'm thankful Bernie Moneybags demanded that the GP starts at 5pm on Sunday. It means I have a chance of getting back in time for the race, and not displeasing the motorsport powers-what-be to the point of getting kicked out of the marshalling team.

I've been conscripted into the communications team these days. That means I listen to the race control loop all day and occasionally call in with something really, really trivial just to remind them that I still exist. To top things off, I am posted on the the most boring section of track, ever.

Still, things started swimmingly enough. Of all the boring of boringest posts on the track, Bruno Senna had to walk past mine, on Thursday morning. With my meagre Portuguese I gave him a hearty greeting, and he gave me a hearty response.

That pretty much had my weekend made. Now here's some pics, hot off the press, of some people you probably don't know and shiny expensive things.

Nick Heidfeld, who I mistook for Nico Rosberg, (who really should grow a beard as he is often mistaken for a woman) but I don't think he noticed. Don't mention the w....



Friday, March 12, 2010

Passover, Easter and the Grand Prix

Yep, it's a big time of year for religious festivals.

Let's cast a little look back to the same time of year in 2006.

The reason for that particular nostalgia trip was because, at the end, I blogged about a young Brazilian up-and-comer. Name of Bruno.

Bruno Senna. Nephew of a chap named Ayrton.

I watched him drive a F3 car like his uncle did- decimate his opposition on cold tyres on lap 1, effectively ending the race for everyone. Senna first. Daylight second. And goosebumps from me.

Well now the lad is in F1, driving for one of the dubious first-time teams of 2010. I had hoped, back then in 2006, that he wouldn't rush it. He hasn't, but the Hispania Race Team has no design or manufacturer background which fills me with confidence. They only tested the car a week before the opening race in Bahrain (this weekend). A rubbish car and team can be a real career killer, even if you have the talent of Senna and Schumacher combined.

Mind you, back in in 1984 his uncle drove for the little known minions Toleman and almost won a race, before scoring multiple points.

I hope I'm wrong, and I hope he can carry them. In the meantime, let's see how Bruno goes just having fun...


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Remember the "Studio" ?

Our renovation projects tend to pop up in four yearly cycles. They stay unfinished until the cycle returns.

Don't look down. It's even more upsetting.

Well, the Studio is back on. I'll post some "during" pics. My utopia awaits.