M a second Formula 1 adventure took me to Turkey . And again I got pitying looks when I said with a big grin that I was looking forward to this Grand Prix. 'Wait a minute, the traffic is hell. You will always be stuck in traffic jams and the paddock is also boring,' was the unanimous opinion. At first I couldn't share this pessimism.
Turkish tea as a bedtime treat
Except for the traffic. But not only because of the many traffic jams, but above all because of the, let's say, aggressive driving style of colleague Schmidt. As soon as we got closer to a car, I automatically stepped on the imaginary brake pedal on the passenger side with my right foot. But the patron saint of the co-drivers meant well to me that day. Well protected, we reached our hotel on the famous Taksim Square.
As a little shopaholic, this location naturally suited me. I immediately rushed into the shopping street and explored the market halls and their huge mountains of spices. The evening of the day of arrival ended with our small tour group consisting of me and my colleagues Schmidt and Benoit with a Turkish tea. It was supposed to be a traditional bedtime treat for the remaining days as well.
Bad atmosphere in the paddock
On Thursday I finally found out what the aversion to the spacious paddock was all about. Similar to the Chinese GP, I felt more like a one-make cup race, where the trucks were given a growth drink, than in the glamorous Formula 1 world. There was still no trace of fans on Thursday and by and large that should stay that way. Rather, the entire population cavorted on the highway, of all places, which was supposed to lead us back from the Asian side to the city center of Istanbul, around 45 kilometers away, on the European continent in the evening not like the teams in the pampas near the track, but to live in the middle of Istanbul. First of all, I was driven across the Bosporus every morning and evening by Chauffeur Schmidt with a great view. Second, in the evening we savored the culinary skills of the surrounding restaurants. But these were by no means Turkish specialty restaurants. Rather, Messrs. Schmidt and Benoit preferred the Chinese around the corner. Why eat Turkish in Turkey when you can eat delicious Chinesecan dine. Actually only logical if, as before in China, you only relied on German food. In any case, the dumplings were heavenly.
Unintentional TV appearance on RTL
Another cultural highlight awaited us on Saturday evening. Together with colleagues from the Bild newspaper, we watched the actual Grand Prix on the hotel terrace - the Grand Prix d 'Eurovision. Since the singing skills of the participants didn't exactly knock us off our feet and we couldn't develop any patriotism for Germany, we bet on the Grand Prix winner. In the end, however, all came out empty-handed. Nobody had expected Lena.
Nobody had expected Roger Benoit and me in the RTL TV picture either. When we were doing a lap through the paddock before the race, my Swiss colleague really wanted to introduce me to Sebastian Vettel. After all, my outrage that I didn't really get to know the German at my second Formula 1 race had already earned me the nickname Motzi. But the lightning-fast contact went in the pants. In the heat of the moment, Benoit chatted the young German from the side and at the same time called me with the nickname Motzi. However, we both seemed to have missed the fact that Mr. Vettel was on the way to the boxes in the middle of a live interview with RTL. An apology to the RTL colleagues at least partially saved us from the embarrassing situation.
Vettel vs. Webber
After the race, Vettel was much more in demand than before. Because it came to the big Red Bull scandal. There was constant speculation as to which driver pairing would be the first to crash. Massa vs. Alonso, Schumi vs. Rosberg, Button vs. Hamilton? The Red Bull boys hadn't been on their radar until now. The excitement after the race was all the greater. From then on, there was an ice age between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, and the peace photo from Red Bull after the Grand Prix couldn't change that. We were all the happier to get our hands on something edible when we returned to Istanbul. After my insistence in Istanbul you should have eaten a kebab, we ended up at the Turkish snack bar. I literally longed for the juicy meat with good sauce in the rolling pin. What I was served, however, did not meet European standards for a long time. Sauce? Nothing. Only strange tasting meat and a few pieces of tomato adorned the supposed delicacy.
The kebab turns into cat food
A large part of it ended up in the stomach of a starving street cat, which we lovingly named Brendon, because it kind of reminded us of Red Bull test driver Brendon Hartley. Unfortunately, it is not known whether she survived this festival for cats. colleagueIn any case, Schmidts and my stomach rebelled violently the next day. The info from a friend that the doner kebab might be a specialty with sheep intestines still stokes my disgust at the sight of kebab.