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The most exclusive dinner in Formula 1: Vettel could only be amazed

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The most exclusive dinner in Formula 1
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A Every fan would have loved to sit at this table. The Formula 1 elite met two days before the Austrian GP for an exclusive dinner. Bernie Ecclestone invited the superstars from yesterday and today to the Hotel Steirerschlössl. And everyone came. A total of 18 world championship titles gathered at one table, which made the problems of the premier class forget for one evening. And you asked yourself: Why can't it always be so easy?

The list of guests read like a who's who in GP history. First the legends who drove the turbo cars of the past at the Austrian GP. Niki Lauda, ​​Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet, Gerhard Berger, Riccardo Patrese, Jean Alesi, Christian Danner and Pierluigi Martini. In addition the three multiple world champions of the present: Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.

Was that really all true?

It was an enjoyable evening among like-minded people, if you can believe those involved. The current drivers listened enthusiastically to the stories of their predecessors, and they were amazed at how easily the heroes of the past took it. Vettel asked Piquet in astonishment: 'Is that all true?' The Brazilian replied dryly: 'I only told you one percent of what really went.'

It was a carefree time, and some contemporary riders may have wondered why is no longer possible today. The answer is simple. Because the teams require them to be streamlined. Heroes only exist if the drivers are also allowed to be heroes. Politically correct does not sell.

Piquet and the pit stop for the gallery

Vettel was amazed to learn from Piquet that he was the father of twins. From two different mothers. The children were born at the same time. Gerhard Berger noted with amusement: 'It took a while for everyone to understand what Nelson meant by this.' The Brazilian was in top form that evening. He told how he once braked himself for a pit stop at Hockenheim, the Brabham mechanics changed four tires in record time and then watched in amazement as Piquet suddenly got out of the car. With a smile on his face: 'Sorry guys. It was a great pit stop, but the gearbox is broken.'

Alain Prost brought up the old story that Brabham-BMW was turbo for the first time in 1983. Became world champion becauseWintershall had mixed a special fuel for BMW. According to Renault, illegal. Bernie Ecclestone said mischievously: 'Sorry Alain, we had no idea about it. The gasoline didn't come from us.'

Berger blamed it at Estoril crash too

Everyone at the table got their fat off. Jean Alesi brought his own wine. Gerhard Berger reminded his friend the day after: 'We all have a headache today because of you. Was there antifreeze in there?' Riccardo Patrese again brought up the accident at the GP Portugal 1992 with Berger. The Williams driver got on the rear wheel of the McLaren and flew 300 meters through the air.

Patrese was unharmed. He blamed Berger back then. Officially, the Italian was given responsibility. Berger admitted to Patrese 23 years after the incident: 'Ricciardo, I take the blame on myself. But it has now expired.' Finally, Piquet had an anecdote ready. It shows how wonderfully imperfect the first turbo era was. 'During the winter tests before the 1982 season, we drove in Donington. The car and engine ran perfectly. The BMW turbo had more power than ever before, and the response was like a naturally aspirated engine. I told the guys: We'll win them WM 1982 with left hand. That's exactly how I want the engine. Then someone from Bosch connected the control unit with the wrong voltage and deleted all data. We didn't have a copy and only found our way back to Donington's status in the middle of the season. '

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