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F1 Diary USA 2013: Formula 1 party in Texas style

Red Bull
F1 Diary USA 2013
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D he Vettel title party in India and the desert trip to Abu I had left Dhabi to my colleagues Schmidt and Leppert. In the World Cup, almost everything was decided when I boarded the United plane from Frankfurt to Houston. The Formula 1 year could thus end relaxed. Since the cold season was slowly approaching in Germany, I had nothing against a bit of Texas heat.

But the weather apparently didn't know anything about my plans. When I walked through the paddock with my colleague Michael Schmidt for the first time on the Wednesday before the race, an icy wind was blowing in our faces. In the morning hours the thermometer even showed minus degrees. Many mechanics worked with woolen hats and lined gloves. I hadn't really imagined Austin like that.

Finally back in my favorite travel destination

I admit, that I'm a fan of the USA. Even if that has gone a little out of fashion lately. I like big steaks, huge cars, monstrous shopping malls, 24h supermarkets, cheap gasoline, turning right even at red lights, the vastness of the landscape, the informality of the people and I'm a fan of US sports like football, basketball, and ice hockey Baseball.

The questions and checks on arrival can be so annoying. Obama can let go of the entire NSA on my googlemail account - I will always be happy to take the trip across the pond. (I hope someone has read that so that the visa will work again next time.)

Austin is a special part of the USA and absolutely not typical for the country - and even less typical for Texas. There are tons of young people running around in the 11th largest city in the USA thanks to the local university. The scene is cosmopolitan and rather alternative. Live music is played everywhere in the bars. Cafés are always well staffed. Vegetarians, homosexuals, hippies, Formula 1 fans ... nobody is stupidly looked at here.

Race cannot meet expectations

colleague Schmidt, who is more of the old-school generation, has now come out as an Austin fan. It annoys me a bit when he keeps turning the Classic Rock Radio to maximum volume when Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Ten Years After or Jimi Hendrix boom from the speakers again, butWhen he hears his favorite music, he doesn't always scold the other road users who are constantly standing in the way of the self-confessed high-speed driver.

The race track also regularly generates enthusiasm. The unusual ascent of the home straight and the spectacular S-curve combination in the first sector ensured that the Tilke course was accepted by drivers and experts as one of the best slopes of the year in its second year. The atmosphere is also right. Hollywood celebs cavorted in the paddock all weekend. The grandstands were packed with fans who were put in the mood by cheerleaders and a huge marching band before the start. The temperatures also climbed into much friendlier regions at the weekend.

So all the ingredients fit. Only the race couldn't quite keep up with everything. Sebastian Vettel won again in a rather boring Grand Prix. The non-Vettel fans were slowly getting tired of that, which could be seen in the falling TV ratings and reduced traffic on our website.

Nowitzki signs Vettel fingers

Before the plane Taking off in the direction of Sao Paulo, I treated myself to a special experience. Together with my colleagues from the Bild newspaper, I drove to Dallas in a fully packed car on Monday after the Grand Prix to see Dirk Nowitzki play live for the first time. The previous year, Bild reporter Helmut Uhl took me to the Mavs game, but Nowitzki was injured.

Uhl knows Nowitzki personally from their shared days in Würzburg and, in addition to great seats in the arena, also organized access to the players' dressing room after the final whistle. While walking through the Mavericks fan shop, I saw an oversized hand with an outstretched finger at halftime. The finger was amazingly reminiscent of the well-known winning gesture by Sebastian Vettel. Together with the Bild colleagues, we came up with the idea of ​​having Nowitzki's fan article signed and then handing it over to Vettel in Brazil.

Of course, Nowitzki immediately took part in the campaign. In general, the 2.14 meter tall superstar is a totally sociable guy. During a visit to the cabin, he just came out of the shower with a towel around his waist and gave the first interviews to the US reporters half-naked. Imagine in football or Formula 1 that journalists are allowed into the locker room. There is something like that only with the Americans. You can read what Vettel had to say about the present from Dallas in the last part of our 2013 Formula 1 diary from Sao Paulo.

In our gallery we have a few impressions of what happened behind the scenes at the F1 race collected by Austin.

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