Formula 1 travel diary 2010: GP Monaco

Formula 1 travel diary 2010
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D he exhausting Barcelona weekend is behind us. The long drive with a short detour in Andorra also. Before the hustle and bustle of Monaco, there is now one more day off that we want to enjoy in our hotel in the French Mediterranean village of Menton. But unfortunately the weather on the Côte d'Azur leaves us in the lurch. Sunbathing is out of the question. Especially not at Meer-Baden.

On Wednesday we will finally pay our first visit to the Principality. It is always exciting to invade the small state on the Mediterranean Sea over the mountains. Big cars, narrow streets, old houses, many barriers, poorly signposted diversions, wildly gesticulating police officers, wildly arguing locals and somewhere in the middle of it all busy helpers try to set up a paddock.

Ecclestone blocks Mercedes' view

Three days after the dismantling in Spain, the Formula 1 village just 700 kilometers away is slowly taking shape again. In contrast to most of the other team temples, the Mercedes-Motorhome is already completely finished. No wonder: The Silver Arrows did not need to be set up in Barcelona and drove straight to Monte Carlo. The clear view of the silver glass cube is blocked by Bernie Ecclestone's living container.

Once again, Michael Schumacher is at the center of media interest. The Rascasse affair of 2004 still doesn't leave the English colleagues in peace. In the new motorhome, Schumi has to answer one question after the other about the incidents six years ago. At that time he had parked his Ferrari so cleverly on the racing line in qualifying that the competition no longer had a chance of improving the lap time. The crucial word 'sorry' just doesn't want to utter to the annoyance of the Fleet Street press.

Leimer in the bucket

Because the training in Monaco is traditional takes place on Thursday, the Formula 1 drivers have Friday off. But our colleague Roger Benoit from Schweizer Blick is still unusually early on the track. He does not want to miss the GP2 race with compatriot Fabio Leimer. The youngster was surprisingly at the top of the podium in Barcelona. Is that where the next Clay Regazzoni is growing? After a violent start-up crash, the question seems to be answered clearly. The comment 'Leimer im Eimer' slips over my lipsBoulevard colleague steals the headline for his GP2 report.

Since there is not much to report from a German point of view, I use the afternoon for an extended walk in the harbor. 'Take a photo of a few expensive cars, yachts or celebrities,' was the announcement from the editorial team. With my little digicam I go on a photo safari through the glamor paradise. However, it is not difficult to get expensive things in front of your lens in Monaco. Rolls Royce, Maybach and luxury yachts are already sparkling right on the first jetty.

With the 50-plus generation at McDonalds

We have something very special planned for the evening . Instead of enjoying French haute cuisine in the hotel as usual, I was able to persuade my colleagues Benoit and Schmidt to accompany me to McDonalds. I am publicly outing myself as a fast food fan who can gain just as much from a good cheeseburger as from a 40 Euro fillet of beef. My spoiled colleagues like to turn up their noses disparagingly if I prefer to follow the golden 'M' than to stop at the Etepetete-Eating Temple with a lace doilies.

But this evening they actually want to 'sacrifice themselves.' '. To get straight to the point, it wasn't a good idea. Like two aliens, the 50-plus generation comes to the order counter and tries to explain to the unsuspecting McDonalds employee what to put on the tray. Even in Germany, the number would be doomed to fail, in French it's just slapstick.

When my food is almost cold, the proud knights finally come to the table with something to eat. 'Not as cheap as I thought', Schmidt looks at his receipt in disbelief. 'It's no wonder if you order french fries, burgers and drinks individually and not as a menu,' I try to explain. My colleague Benoit has decided on chicken nuggets, but thinks that they somehow taste like 'death'. I get the feeling that the two of them accompanied me to a burger shop for the last time.

Alonso in the center of the action

On Saturday, the focus is again on sport . Fernando Alonso drills his Ferrari into the guardrail so effectively in free practice that he has to spend qualifying in front of the television. Thanks to luck and good strategy, the Spaniard can still move up to sixth in the race.

Alonso also plays an important role in the hectic final phase. Michael Schumacher squeezes past the Spaniard in the last corner, although the safety car has only turned into the pits a few meters earlier. Was the race open now? Was Schumi allowed to overtake here? The pilot himself is already on his way home. In the journalist camp one tries desperately to find the right paragraphs in the rule book. The situation is not clear. Nevertheless, Schumacher is punished and out in the endthrown the points.

Midnight snack in Monte Carlo

It is one o'clock in the morning when we finally leave the track. Since there is nothing more to eat in the hotel at this time, we wander desperately through the principality. But Monaco is not exactly a party stronghold on Sunday night. We have actually already given up, but there is still a small snack to be found. There are burgers for me and steaks for the older generation. And since the owner, a Swedish immigrant, even speaks English, colleagues Schmidt and Benoit quickly placed their order. We will definitely be back next year.

The next day we will go home again. As with the outward journey by car, of course. At 6 p.m. we are finally back in Stuttgart. At the end of the long journey, the speedometer shows a total distance of 3,187 kilometers in two weeks. Average speed 89 km /h. Consumption 8.6 liters per 100 kilometers. For now, I've had enough of traveling and Formula 1. Luckily my colleague Bianca Leppert will be back at the next race in Turkey.


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