Grand Prix Diary GP Mexico 2016
Grand Prix Diary Mexico 2016
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V on Houston to Mexico City is it luckily just a little hop. The approach to the mega-metropolis across the city offers fascinating views again and again. The plane hovers over houses for minutes. Everything is built in as far as the eye can see. And on the horizon, where the houses will eventually stop, huge volcanoes tower well over 5,000 meters into the sky.

You actually don't want to land. What awaits you on the ground is anything but worth seeing. The streets are chronically congested. It's noisy. It stinks. And crime is high. The taxi ride from the airport to the hotel led over potholes and past demolished facades. A real contrast to the Formula 1 high-tech glitter world.

Hotel without connection

After paying almost 200 euros for a room in a mid-range hotel in 2015, we were able to do this this year thanks to good Timing when booking for 60 euros per night in an Ibis. But a note in the elevator didn’t bode well: There were problems with the wifi that are not in the hands of the hotel, it said. Try to fix the error as soon as possible.

The question at the reception, how long the internet outage was going to last, was answered with a shrug. 'Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week ”, so the unsatisfactory statement. Of course the problem was not resolved in the 6 days of our stay. So if you want to go to Mexico City - don't book the Ibis Styles Hotel in the Zona Rosa!

As in the previous year, we took the subway to get there. Since we were traveling anti-cyclically - out of town in the morning, inward in the evening - the crowd was limited. On the other hand, on the neighboring track in the opposite direction, there was always a sardine feeling in the completely overcrowded wagons. After all, the subway is reliable and cheap. For the half-hour drive you had to shell out the equivalent of 23 cents.

Show fights in the paddock

A surprise awaited us on the track on Wednesday. The organizers had set up a wrestling ring in front of the press center. Here, the Mexican show fight stars swirled back and forth between the ropes on Thursday. It was fascinating to watch from a few meters away how the colorfully disguised athletes let themselves flip from the corner of the ring onto the floor. Even if most of it is just for show - it doessurely it hurts anyway.

The Mexicans did their best to make us journalists feel good. The internet in the - unfortunately still windowless - press room is free. A warm buffet is set up in the foyer every day. And in the fridges you can get soft drinks. So you don't have to “steal” from the teams as usual if you feel like a Coke.

The working conditions in the pit lane were also good. Technology upgrades could be seen on many cars at first glance. Red Bull was pushing its racer for technical inspection. When the mechanics saw me with the camera, they just grinned: “There's nothing new. Except maybe the bonnet. ”

Because of the thin air, many teams had taken measures for extra cooling. So at least we had an interesting story for the technology fans among our readers. Because of the upcoming reform of the regulations in 2017, they were unfortunately not spoiled in the last races of the year. Hardly any team brought new products in the final sprint.

Red Bull is uncool

With the exception of a few additional openings on the bonnet, everything stayed the same at Red Bull. It was therefore incomprehensible why the chief mechanic tried to block my view during pit stop training - as he had done for the whole season. I asked him, of course, how childish his behavior is. But he just grinned stupidly.

By the way, no other team in Formula 1 reacts as uncool as Red Bull. Apparently the mechanics actually think that I am a Mercedes spy with my 400 euro digital camera am And the professional photographers with their sinfully expensive professional cameras remain undisturbed. It is they who deliver their razor-sharp pictures to the competition and not publish them in low resolution on our website as I do.

Red Bull made headlines after the race as well. Max Verstappen first collided with Nico Rosberg in Turn 1. Later he shortened the first corner in a duel with Sebastian Vettel. I had just finished the race report when the message flashed on the monitor that the Dutchman had slipped from third to fifth because of a 5-second penalty. So write again.

Vettel taciturn after transferring punishment

But it didn't stop there. 3 hours after crossing the finish line I had to change the race report and the tables again. Vettel was also not allowed to keep the trophy for third place. He was punished for the duel with Daniel Ricciardo, which pushed the Australian onto the podium. When it was already dark outside, Ricciardo actually climbed onto the podium in the empty stadium. The only thing missing would have been for him to take a sip of champagne from his shoe.

After the race, it wasn't the actions on the track but Vettel's outbursts on the radio that made the biggest headlines. TheHeppenheimer had not only messed with Verstappen but also with race director Charlie Whiting. As a journalist, that was a stupid situation for me. Of course, such behavior is not entirely correct, but as a fan and as a reporter you want to see emotions. Therefore, our criticism was limited.

When Vettel received the news of his downgrading, he let himself be driven out of the paddock in a golf cart. The pilot apparently did not want to answer any more questions from the press. But there was already enough to report. So it was another long Sunday night in the press room. Because of the internet failure in the hotel, I also had to prepare some picture galleries for Monday. In the end, at 11.30 p.m., colleague Schmidt and I were actually the last journalists to leave the media center.

When the organizers' press lady heard that we were still riding the subway at that late hour with our computers in our luggage she strongly advised us not to do so due to safety concerns. Instead, a shuttle bus was organized just for the two of us auto motor und sport reporters. You really can't complain about that.

We didn't arrive at the hotel until after midnight. Most of the restaurants were closed by then. And so we just threw ourselves a few filled tacos from the snack bar. I was really happy when I finally went home the next day. 14 days of Formula 1 in a row are enough. I missed my bed. And a working WiFi.

In the gallery you will find some personal impressions of the auto motor und sport reporters of the events behind the scenes.


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