Formula 1

Somebody found my blog the other day by googling “Housework fairy Stella”. Who knew she had a name? Or maybe it isn’t a name… perhaps there’s some connection to the beverage producer. Lager, Cidre (it’s NOT cider… apparantly) and housework fairies. The possibilities are endless! But anyway… now to return to today’s scheduled programming…

So, let us go back in time to the weekend of 20-22 July 2012. We had tickets for the Formula 1 weekend at the Hockenheim Ring. Not because I’m a particular fan of fast cars driving around in circles (ok, funny shaped circles then), but because it turne out to be a good way to get my sister to actually visit me! We decided not to go on the Friday – even Ms. hardcore Formula 1 fan herself (the sister) didn’t think there was a huge amount of point in watching the practice – but we decided to go along on the Saturday, watch the qualifying, check out our seats and find out what (if anything) you were allowed to take in with you. We took a bottle of water and made sandwiches and it was no problem whatsoever. Suck on THAT football stadiums who refust to let me bring in my bottle of tap water, but also refuse to sell me any that isn’t carbonated. Yuk!

First impression of Formula 1: It is LOUD!! If you ever find yourself attending a race, take their warnings about ear protection seriously! We were very glad of ours. There was actually a running commentary being played via the loudspekaers the entire time we were at the qualiying, but we didn’t figure that out until the break between rounds one and two. All you can hear is Vrrrroooooooom, Vrrooooooooom, Vvvrrrrrrroomm… and that’s with earplugs in! It was also incredibly difficult to follow what was actually going on. Well, for Jan and I especially seeing as we didn’t even know who was who. Although I was aware that Sebastian Vettel was driving one of the cars with a Red Bullo logo on the side… because you can’t live in Germany and not know that Vettel drives for Red Bull!! I have to admit though, I had no idea who Schumacher was driving for… luckily my sister’s official programme was able to help with that. The atmospher was great though, and a good time was had by all (despite a good soaking about halfway through!).

The next day we went back again… much earlier this time! For the qualifying we had left the house at about 10:30 a.m. For the actual race we were out of here by 9! And before that there were four people to get breakfasted and showered. It was an early start! This time we took some cans of beer with us – there were signs all over saying no glass bottles, and although nobody was actually checking we decided not to take advantage of their leniency (I just had to look up the spelling of that and it still seems weird to me!). Let me tell you, finding cans of beer in Germany is not that easy! REAL had a choice of about 5 different types! This time we knew exactly where to go for our seats and were settled fairly quickly. Oh, and one interesting thing: this is the only event I’ve ever been to where there was a queue for the men’s toilets! Us girlies were able to walk straight in. It shouldn’t be surprising really considering what sport we were there to watch, but somehow it still was. I was able to follow things a little better than the day before (would still have been completely lost without the screens though.. and even my sister got confused at one point!) and knowing which cars to look out for meant I was able to at least try to get photos of specific drivers. I was aiming for at least one each of Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schuhmacher, maybe one of of Nico Rosberg (since he’s German too and unfortunately overlooked due to being on a team with the way more famous Schumi) and also a couple of the Vodafone McClaren Mercedes drivers for my sister, who loves Hamiltobn for his driving skills but wants to marry Button – apparantly. All in all it was quite an interesting experience, although not one I necessarily need to repeat (especially not at that price!!).

Here are a few of the photos I managed to get.

Qualifying 1 (you can tell it’s the first qualifying cos it hasn’t started raining yet!)
NOW the rain has started!
Race day! – The drivers greet the crowd
Caterham Formula 1 Team of Malaysia

Vettel! The Hockenheim Ring is his home track.
Lewis Hamilton. He actually did pretty badly on the day (failed to finish, in fact), but I thought it would be nice to end with an English driver and I gave you a photo of Button in a previous post.