Grand Prix Diary 2011 Part 5: Spain

Grand Prix-Diary 2011 Part 5: Spain
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N after the start in Melbourne there was first three races broadcast break for me. The anger about it was limited for me. China and Turkey are not exactly favorite Grand Prix races. With Barcelona there wasn't exactly a highlight on the program. There were two long weeks of testing here in February and March. And now I was already on the way to my regular seat in the rather unadorned press center.

As Ecclestone traditionally spans Barcelona and Monaco in a double pack, I drove almost 1,300 kilometers in the car with my colleague Michael Schmidt long distance from Stuttgart to Catalonia. With an Audi Q5 TSI, we had the ideal vehicle for the Trans-European stage - at least in the opinion of the many petrol station owners along the way. The Turbo-Suff's first fuel stop was already on the agenda on the A5 just before Freiburg.

With Pink Floyd and cruise control to Barcelona

Hardly over the French border the cruise control did most of the work. With luck and GPS help, we circumnavigated the rush hour in Lyon. My colleague Schmidt, who is usually cursing on foreign slopes, was unusually relaxed. Was it the good weather? Or rather the music of his favorite band Pink Floyd, which I had previously put on my iPod. Only when crossing the countless toll booths was there an occasional grumble from the left, when the wallet had to be pulled out again.

After almost twelve hours, the increasing palm density announced the destination. While many colleagues live in the middle of Barcelona, ​​we traditionally stay in accommodation in the satellite town of Granollers. Little charm, little space and little expensive. But close to the route and - very important - with free internet.

Glass attack remains mysterious

The first trip on Thursday morning led directly to the Force India Motorhome. The glass attack by Adrian Sutil on Renault co-owner Eric Lux was the topic in the days before. Now it was time to find out what really happened in the Shanghai nightclub. Understandably, the pilot himself did not want to comment. Renault also made it unmistakably clear that no comments were made.

At least Sutil manager Manfred Zimmermann could help a little. At least about what had happened in the days since the incident. Like Sutil with a champagne glasshad managed to inflict a five centimeter long wound on his opponent's neck, but the advisor could not explain exactly. The video from the disco night had not yet found its way to Europe. And the accused pilot himself did not remember exactly. Very unsatisfactory from a journalistic point of view.

Vettel wins again

The sporting events on the track were just as unsatisfactory. Sebastian Vettel was not allowed to start from the front of the grid for the first time, but he still won the race. Lewis Hamilton was hot on his heels but just couldn't get past. Local hero Fernando Alonso was also only able to cause a brief excitement with his quick start in first place. The Ferrari went down on the harder mixture. In the end, the maximum penalty was lapped.

The highlight of the weekend was the German media evening in the McLaren Motorhome. As a starter - as is the tradition in the pubs on the island - there was a tricky quiz that, unlike last year, could not be solved using the iPhone Internet help. With my 30 years of age, I couldn't score particularly well on the history-heavy questions. At least I recognized a stretch of road from Zandvoort from a bird's eye view. But there was no room for our table more than a place in the front midfield. If you want to take part in the puzzle, just take a look at the picture gallery!

A little detour via Andorra

Without one of the whiskey bottles that were available for the winners we made our way to Monaco on Monday. But before that we made a small 200 kilometer detour to Andorra. The tax haven in the Pyrenees especially attracted our good friends Roger Benoit vom Schweizer Blick and Karlheinz Zimmermann, Bernie Ecclestone's motorhome restaurateur.

As passionate cigar smokers, they took us to the local tobacco club. The atmosphere, the huge humidor over two floors and the antique cigar roller board signed by Fidel Castro could impress even me as a non-smoker. After a fantastic meal in an old farmhouse parlor - snails, giant steaks and coarse sausages - the stressful Monaco week was well strengthened. But that's another story ...


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