Formula 1 travel diary 2010: GP Bahrain

Formula 1 travel diary 2010
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A n March 9th, the Formula 1 winter season ended. After the Lufthansa jumbo spat me out at Dubai airport in the middle of the night after a six-hour flight, I wait in some external terminal building for my Emirates plane to Bahrain. Judging by the high density of robes and the oriental smell in the stuffy air, there are only short-haul flights to the neighboring Arab countries from this remote part of the airport.

Full plane to Bahrain

The fact that one of the sheikhs has also sat down in my window seat is only worth a brief discussion for me. With a short wave of the hand I send the stewardess away again, who was just about to help me in the fight against the wildly gesticulating but little English-speaking beard bearer.

Bahrain creates Formula 1 atmosphere

When I finally arrived in Bahrain, my colleague Michael Schmidt is waiting for me. The German Formula 1 authority in the service of auto motor und sport has been participating in Grand Prix races since 1977 and also seems to have a better nose for travel agencies. In any case, after his flight he looked much less wrinkled than the author of these lines.

While my colleague Schmidt is still clearing the rental car, I have a Formula 1 fever for the first time. As every year, the Arabs had lavishly decorated their little island kingdom for the Grand Prix with posters and black and white checkered flags. 'Race Number One' is written in large letters above the arrival hall. Now I am finally aware: the madness has started again.

Finally a red passport

After a restful night, it can finally start on Wednesday morning. First official act: collect accreditations. After I had to get a new pass for each of the 17 races in my first Formula 1 season in 2009, I finally got one of the coveted red permanent passes that are valid for every race as a reward in the second year.

With the new card it goes straight to theRoute. The course has been extended by 900 meters compared to the previous year, which of course requires a close inspection by the auto motor und sport reporter. If the outside temperature is 33 ° C, the plan to walk a whole lap is quickly canceled. Since even the driving Formula 1 staff does not want to be seen on this day, the end of the working day will be heralded a little earlier that day.

Schumi breakfast in the Mercedes dealership

Thursday starts at nine thirty in a Mercedes dealership somewhere in Bahrain. The colleagues from the Bild newspaper, who at this point of the season don't know any more important topic than Michael Schumacher, kindly chauffeured me to the presentation of the record champion. On the other hand, colleague Schmidt waived the mandatory appointment for German journalists. Later it turns out that it was probably the better idea to go to the track to talk to Sebastian Vettel.

The Mercedes event is supposed to start at 9.30 a.m. When the Silver Arrow stars finally step onto the podium, the small hand on the clock is already pointing directly to the eleven. After a 30-minute round of questions - in which Rosberg doesn't feel like having a say - the show is over again.

Vettel not invited to the press conference

Finally back at the The first press laps have long since begun. Part two of the Schumacher show will follow in the afternoon. The FIA ​​has invited the record champion, who unusually appears in racing overalls at Question Time, along with Hamilton, Button, Alonso and Massa. By the way, the future world champion is not present.

Despite Schumi, my big highlight of the weekend will not follow until Sunday. With the red pass around my neck, unlike last season, nobody can stop me on the way to the starting grid. The hustle and bustle, the celebrities, the heat of the engines, the flight over the Gulf Air jet and of course the grid girls - the experience is just overwhelming. Like a Japanese tourist in Neuschwanstein Castle, I take photos of everything that comes in front of my lens.

Boredom at the start of the season

Unfortunately, the eagerly awaited season opener can't keep up with any sport. Sebastian Vettel secured pole position, but in the end had to be content with fourth place after a spark plug said goodbye. In the end, Fernando Alonso wins the otherwise uneventful race. Bahrain was followed by a lot of discussions about the lack of action in Formula 1. Back then, nobody knew that the best season of all time was coming.


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