F1 diary GP Mexico 2015

F1 diary GP Mexico 2015
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K can you rename the feeling? You have just completed a strenuous business trip. With stress from morning to night. And with a lot of bad weather. And then you stand at the airport and realize that you could now just fly to the Caribbean beaches of Cancun. Nobody would notice. Just piss off. But then colleague Schmidt comes around the corner and tells you that Mexico City is also really great. He's been there before, after all. Fifty-twelve years ago. When the world was still in order.

So the little devil on the shoulder is silenced. But even on the way from the airport to the hotel, it quickly becomes clear that one should have listened to the devil. In the chaotic after-work traffic jam in the 20 million metropolis, things are only moving at walking pace. Our driver gives everything. But even secret paths through narrow side streets and wild horns only help to a limited extent. We're stuck.

But the situation only gets really uncomfortable when the chauffeur asks us to wind up the side window. We are currently in a not entirely harmless neighborhood, explains the man behind the wheel, twirling his mustache in a bored way. Outside it is also starting to drizzle. The old Volkswagen's wipers squeak across the windshield. Does this nightmare never end?

Across Mexico for 30 cents

See the world the next day a little friendlier. Colleague Schmidt has printed out a subway map of Mexico City on a DIN A4 page and colored the connection from the hotel to the race track with highlighters. This is how you did it in the analog age. We have to change trains twice. Each line has a different color. 'Two return tickets to ciudad deportiva', Schmiddi demands at the ticket office. Only the next day do we notice that it doesn't matter how far you drive and whether you order the return ticket at the same time. A ticket always costs 5 pesos - just under 30 cents.

It's hot and stuffy in the subway, but not as crowded as in the train on the opposite platform. We drive out of the city center in the morning and back to the hotel in the evening after work. The working native population does it the other way around. That is why our tracks are always much more airy. Our colleagues in the press center think we're crazy with thedangerous subway ride. After all, there is also a shuttle bus. It may be a bit safer, but it takes up to 2 hours to get there on weekdays. It's just 35 minutes by subway.

We arrive at the renovated traditional course and experience our first disappointment. In the press center, architect Hermann Tilke apparently forgot to have windows installed. We know from other tracks that the pit lane cannot be seen. But the fact that you can't even tell whether the sun is shining or it's raining outside is a bit depressing.

Mexico grandstands offer a good overview

But the mood is already on the first tour of the route better again. Especially the steep grandstands are amazing. We climb to the last row to get an overview. The view is awesome. But even from the back row we don't notice anything of the thin mountain air. That is almost a bit disappointing. Just like the weather. When it arrives at the target bend, it starts to rain again. We actually had enough of that in Austin.

In the evenings we explore the area around the hotel. We are housed in the so-called 'Zona Rosa'. There is a lot of hustle and bustle in the streets. Because the 'Dia de los Muertes' is celebrated this weekend, many locals meet us with their skulls on. There are many same-sex couples among the 'dead'. It quickly becomes clear to us that we are quartered in the city's gay and lesbian center. It's all a bit bizarre, but somehow also funny and definitely not boring.

The restaurants in the nightlife district are good and cheap. We find an Argentine steak shop just around the corner. The smallest unit is 500 grams of beef, which is first grilled and then pushed into the oven. The nightmare for every vegetarian is served directly on the baking sheet. In addition, a dark beer of the Mexican brewing style. That's exactly to my taste.

Subway drama in Pantitlan

I'm slowly becoming friends still with Mexico City - and get a little cocky. When the route starts on Friday morning, I want to try out an alternative subway route. Instead of the route with two changes, there is also a combination with only one change of train - which is 7 stations longer. I decide to make a direct comparison and send Schmiddi off on the old route.

The new route leads via the Pantitlan station. 3 lines start and end here. It's out on the outskirts. And as soon as the train pulls in, I realize that it wasn't a good idea. Thousands of people squeeze through the corridors on the connecting paths. Sometimes it gets so crowded that the crowds can only be stopped with metal gates. There is a dense crowd in front of the gates. Iget a little panic. But the Mexicans are very calm around me. You obviously already know the game.

Switching alone takes 20 minutes. A sign finally shows my platform. I push myself into a large crowd that boots up a standing escalator to the platform. A woman speaks to me in Spanish. But I have no idea what she wants from me. The platform on the upper floor is completely overcrowded. When the train pulls in, the pack squeezes into the wagon. I stop right at the door because I have to get out after 2 stations. But as soon as the train arrives, I realize that I'm on the wrong side.

My station is coming and I can't move an inch. Only with brute force and swimming movements do I press my way through the tangle of people to the exit. Somehow I manage to break free and squeeze out the door. I thought I would have to keep going forever with the crowd.

At the train station I meet my colleague Christian Menath from Motorsport Magazin, who was on the same route. He asks me if I don't find the special women and men wagons funny too. I look at him asking: Which women and men wagons? And suddenly I realize that in my compartment there were really only female passengers squeezed into me. And now I also know why the lady spoke to me on the way to the platform.

Vettel experiences races to be forgotten

I am extremely embarrassed about the whole act. But the story is just too good to be concealed at this point. The rest of the weekend isn't quite as fun. The grandstands are full, but the race is not a hit. Rosberg wins from pole position. World champion Hamilton celebrated a bit long and finished second.

Sebastian Vettel's going even worse, who first got a flat tire, then turned and then crashed into the gang. After the race, the Heppenheimer doesn't want to give a press round at all. He is only available to answer questions after a slight emphasis. Then the anger with Daniel Ricciardo subsided. After studying the TV pictures, he does not want to repeat the allegations against the old Red Bull team-mate. He fairly admits his mistakes. We like the sovereignty of the four-time world champion.

On Monday I have to convince the little devil on my shoulder not to turn into the Caribbean but to fly to the office in Germany. Colleague Schmidt turns into another terminal. He's flying back to the USA on vacation. Then he goes on to Brasilia, where he spends a few relaxing days with Nelson Piquet. I would have immediately exchanged that for my office in cold Stuttgart.


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