Grand Prix Diary Italy 2016

Grand Prix Diary Italy 2016
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D he Formula 1 traditionally said goodbye to the classic in early September in Monza from Europe. It was the last road trip of the year. With a station wagon C-Class it was once across the Alps. Of course, colleague Schmidt once again decided on the route over the spectacular serpentines of the Splügen Pass. This has been a tradition with us for years. Anyone can take the direct route through the tunnel.

F1 technology not just for nerds

When we got to the paddock on Wednesday, the huge motorhomes were set up one last time before they are sent into hibernation for half a year. For us journalists, the temples offer perfect working conditions. In races overseas, where the press conferences are held outdoors or in small pavilions, one often does not understand a word of the protagonists. Except for Mercedes, no team has yet managed to set up a decent mobile audio system.

For technology fans, Monza is like the Ikea ball paradise for children. Every time there are so many great things to discover in the cars that you can't really appreciate minor upgrades. Haas shot the bird this year. A photo of the crazy undulating rear wing has been shared over 150 times on my Twitter account. Someone else said that Formula 1 technology is only for nerds.

Our Italian colleagues, on the other hand, were particularly interested in the future of their home race. Bernie Ecclestone once again showed great timing when he and the Monza organizers held a press conference parallel to free practice on Friday. How can you make a live ticker of the sporting events on the track and at the same time listen to the big F1-Zampano?

auto motor und sport photographer Reinhard puts an end

Not only Ecclestone had News but also our photographer Daniel Reinhard. The Swiss announced his departure from Formula 1 at a pizza dinner that evening after more than 500 races. As a freelance photographer, you just couldn't survive in the premier class, he told us. The agencies are flooding the market with cheap photos. And Formula 1 trips are known to be expensive.

For us, it's not just the great exclusive photos of Dani that are a loss. In human terms, too, we will have to do without a colleague who is valued throughout the paddock in Formula 1 in the future. With his jokes he also has instressful moments are always relaxed. We will miss his broad grin.

In addition to Dani Reinhard, two other - not unimportant - people announced their departure in Monza. Felipe Massa said goodbye on Wednesday. When the Williams press department invited Massa and the team management to a media round in the motorhome, the press representatives already knew what the hour had come. After the emotional farewell words from the Brazilian, everyone present applauded for a great career.

Unworthy Button farewell

It was a little different with Jenson Button. There was no special invitation here. After qualifying, however, I somehow had a premonition that it wasn't going to be a normal media round. On the way to the McLaren Motorhome, a colleague asked me, quite amazed, why I was doing the press conference at all, when Button and Alonso are only in positions 12 and 14. I told him it might be worth it. And it did.

The English colleagues were getting really nervous when Stoffel Vandoorne crept around behind the chairs for the journalists. Ron Dennis was also there, unusually. And when press spokesman Matt Bishop began with the words: “This will not be a normal press round. I'll hand the microphone over to Jenson ”, everyone had already typed the word“ resignation ”into their mobile phones and their fingers on the send button on Facebook and Twitter.

Button caused a bit of confusion when he announced that he wanted to return after a year. But everyone in the hall knew that the chances of this were extremely slim. The stilted handover to Vandoorne and the exuberant words of Ron Dennis after the quasi-expulsion robbed the whole event of the last bit of dignity. People only laughed again when Alonso was asked about the parallels between his first McLaren days and a youngster named Hamilton. “After all, Stoffel is not British,” the Spaniard counterattacked.

Rosberg roars down boos

As expected, McLaren had nothing to report in the race on the power track. In the end, the beaming winner was Nico Rosberg. With a rocket launch, he left Lewis Hamilton behind in the first few meters and then confidently defended the lead. When the trophy was handed over, there were isolated whistles from the huge crowd under the podium. But Rosberg drowned out the boos by roaring the well-known Seven Nation Army melody into the microphone.

The Tifosi could at least be happy about third place from Sebastian Vettel. It was to be the last Ferrari trophy for a longer period of time. But I didn't know that back then when I watched the impressive scenes on the home straight from the press room. Formula 1 said goodbye to Europe with a memorable confetti party. At 11 p.m. we were onSunday finished with the program. We went back to Stuttgart in the Mercedes. But this time the Direttissima.

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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