F1 diary GP Bahrain 2015

F1 diary GP Bahrain 2015
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W Colleague Schmidt is in a hurry in the 3 days between Shanghai and Bahrain preferred to make a stopover in Germany, which I did not understand, this year I traveled to the desert kingdom on my own - and did so directly. But I didn't stay lonely long after my arrival. As soon as I got out of the plane, a whole reception committee greeted me, discreetly maneuvered me past the entry queues and sat in a BMW 7-series limousine in the direction of the hotel without the possibility of much argument.

Bahrain is careful Journalists on

This all-round support for journalists should not only ensure that the reporters feel comfortable. It is also intended to prevent accidentally passing one of the regular demonstrations against those in power. After all, you can't be too careful with this deceitful people of journalists. Of course, I never had in mind to spice up our technology analyzes with criticism of the political situation.

Otherwise, the Bahrainis are actually still considered relatively moderate, cosmopolitan and tolerant among the Arab states. At the weekend, hordes of Saudi sheikhs flock to the peninsula for the wet and happy parties. Alcohol is not forbidden here. Alcohol advertising, on the other hand, does. On Wednesday we caught busy employees in the pit lane quickly replacing the 'Williams Martini Racing' poster above the garage with a defused 'Williams Racing'. They should have exchanged 'Vallteri' Bottas' misspelled nameplate.

For me it was already the sixth Formula 1 visit to Bahrain. I've got used to the peculiarities of the desert state. The fuel costs cheap 24 cents a liter. So 10 euros is enough for a full tank of fuel. Because of the low price, rental cars do not have to be refilled before they are returned. However, it can also happen that you have to go to the gas station with the rental car after picking it up, because there is not a drop of fuel left.

Checkpoint Ali in front of the track

Directly in front of the track, visitors have been expected to undergo an intensive police check for several years - we jokingly speak of' Checkpoint Ali '. Security guards with machine guns, armored vehicles and huge x-ray machines that x-ray the whole car,you don't often see Formula 1 reporters. As stupid as it sounds, you have now got used to this sight.

Bahrain also has its good sides: After the free practice sessions on Friday, a big party was started in the paddock. Teams and journalists - but also fans with tickets for the Paddock Club - were invited to a large buffet under illuminated palm trees. But that had to take place without us. In the evening my colleague Schmidt bombarded me with his extensive training analysis. By the time the extensive long run table was finally online, the voracious F1 crowd had already emptied the buffet.

In terms of sport, too, expectations were not quite met. We were pulled from our seats over the entire distance by the killer duel between Hamilton and Rosberg the year before. This time, Hamilton's victory was hardly in danger. After all, the other podium places were contested. In the final laps, Kimi Raikkonen actually pushed a Ferrari between the Silver Arrows.

Ferrari bans Vettel from speaking

Speaking of Ferrari: On the fringes of the Bahrain weekend there was some trouble with the press department the Scuderia. Colleague Schmidt had already learned on Friday that Raikkonen and Vettel would install the second engine earlier than planned in the fourth race. After the story was out, Italian reporters complained that we got the information first. They suspected that Vettel himself was the informant - which was not true at all.

Nevertheless, Sebastian Vettel was immediately banned from speaking. We were politely informed that the four-time world champion is only available in official press rounds. Fortunately, Vettel was not intimidated by the announcement. It was strange, however, that since then the man from Heppenheim has been repeatedly asked to urgent meetings by eager Ferrari employees if he dared to talk to us without the press police.


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