W he the GP Belgium two weeks we can travel to Compete in Monza with your own car. The trip over the Alps is always a highlight. Colleague Michael Schmidt, who can drive all alpine passes blindfolded, prefers the trip over the Splügen pass to the direct route through the tunnel this year.
Cows stand in the way
It is also best for the passenger to take a few nice photos of the car in front of the picturesque mountain panorama. Our Mercedes C-Class station wagon comes from the auto motor und sport long-term test fleet and should be staged accordingly for the final report. After all, the reader should also see that the car wasn't just in the garage.
But unfortunately the weather doesn't quite play along. On the serpentine road up to the pass I jump out of the car when it is pouring rain and try to get somehow sharp pictures with my digital cameras. Since nobody else is on this godforsaken slope, I have enough time for the photo session in the great outdoors. As we descend the pass on the other side, the road is suddenly not quite as free. A herd of cows crosses the path and gets in the way of our star. When the rain subsides, I take the opportunity to take some extraordinary pictures.
Ferrari is confident
The sky opened up the next day. When the sun shines, it goes through the Royal Park to Monza towards the route. Hosts of Formula 1 fans are already walking the paths to the paddock entrance on Thursday. Fernando Alonso is the focus of interest. Since his accident at Spa, the world championship train for the Ferrari driver seems to have left. In the official FIA press conference, the Spaniard is confident.
Six podium places should be enough for the title, calculates the two-time champion. The assembled journal is grinning its sleeve. In the previous 13 races, Alonso had only finished on the podium five times. And now six times in a row? Very funny. But at the final in Abu Dhabi nobody laughed anymore. Alonso almost made his promise. But just in the last race, the series that he would actually have driven to the championship as announced broke.
Fruit cake is the highlight
Although there are tons of exciting stories to research on the track during the day gives, one is happyin Monza has always been on the evening program with its extraordinary culinary delights. Above all, the dessert is celebrated in our small hotel like in a five-star hotel. The waiter always comes with a food trolley that holds one sweet sin after another on two floors. The highlight is the fruit cake every time. If you come back too late from the route, it is usually already gone. I have made up my mind to ask the head baker for the recipe in the coming year. If the hotel offered the cake by mail order, one could certainly earn millions.
The reception at Bridgestone can't keep up with the food in our hotel. The Japanese tire manufacturer said goodbye to the teams at the last European race in a small celebration. Many big names in the sport come to the upscale Paddock Club, including numerous drivers and team bosses. Since I unfortunately still have a lot of work ahead of me and, as I said, the cake doesn't wait forever in the evening, there is unfortunately no time to watch the spectacle until the end.
Ferrari victory at home
The weekend also has a lot to offer in terms of sport - especially for Italians. Fernando Alonso grabbed the race win after the pole position and made the whole of Monza cheer. Sebastian Vettel is also experiencing an exciting race. Starting from sixth place, he suddenly slows down in the first half of the race and has to let Mark Webber pass. Was that a team order? Or an engine failure? Only long after the finish line does the team present the resolution. The brake shoes had not loosened and caused limited forward thrust on the straight.
Vettel can still cope with the technical failure. With a risky tactic, he moved up to fourth place in the end. Vettel only pits on the very last lap for the mandatory tire change. Nico Hülkenberg also makes headlines by keeping Mark Webber in check for a long time. With the two Mercedes even two more German drivers get into the points.
Heidfeld is to replace de la Rosa
After the race, colleague Roger Benoit suddenly tells us from the Swiss view that Nick Heidfeld will replace the hapless Pedro de la Rosa from the upcoming race in Singapore. Unfortunately, all those responsible at Sauber cannot be reached on the way home or by phone.
We have just decided to publish the story on Monday at the same time that the Blick is released. But then suddenly the first rumors are circulating on the Internet. We have to put the story on the internet right away. There is no doubt about the reliability of the information: Already at Silverstone there were internal considerations to engage Heidfeld. In the end, it is almost 11 p.m. when we finally leave the Monza paddock and say goodbye to the European seasoncan.