One of the main purposes of this blog is to give you a look at what happens behind the scenes, and today we thought why not do that through the medium of photos? That should work wonderfully, we figured, or crash the site entirely. Either way, our job will be done for the day.
We started off the day with a signing session: for the German fans we brought along Nico Hülkenberg, Andi Zuber, Giedo van der Garde and Romain Grosjean (who can't speak German, but at least he has ginger hair, so he looks the part Alexa says: ''He can speak German. ...). It was a bit of a success:
On the way back we were taken through the arena next to merchandise area, which was being set up for a fight tonight:
Giedo: “Who is fighting tonight?”
Nico: “I heard about this: it should be a good match. There are two Germans fighting tonight.”
Giedo: “Two Germans fighting? It sounds like any Friday night when the pubs close.”
Nico: * Bop *
Giedo: “You kind of just proved my point...”
And before long it was time to go up to the pitlane for the race, which involves hurrying up the hill so we can stand around for a while in a side alley until the F1 boys can be bothered to stop, before rushing in to the pitlane to set everything up and then sit around for ages until the pitlane opens, and then sprinting onto the grid so ... well, you get the picture.
Here is Alastair and a colleague hard at work. This is the reason why all the remainder of the pictures were taken by me. Well, that and the fact that Alexa always forgets to use her camera, and gives it to me instead.
Roberto Chinchero, journalist extraordinaire, finding out the latest gossip. He will then relay it to Italy, where it will be dissected by others and rebroadcast in a stunning different way: this is how we end up with so many strange rumours. Apart from the ones that I start, of course.
Nelson with his old team relaxing before the start, after out-qualifying Fernando. Nice one.
Didier and Alexa chatting on the grid. Didier seems not to have noticed that Roldan was about to collide with his neck: luckily a Bridgestone guy saw it and threw himself in the way to save him. We've got a lot of Bridgestone guys, so that's fine.
Vitaly got lost, again.
Alexa likes to keep the media under control, and sometimes she uses her astounding mental powers: when Radio Europe 1 announcer Julien Febreau asked for one interview too many she made him slap himself using nothing but thought control. We're all a little scared of Alexa.
Here's Richard Selwin at the start of a very long day. Frankly none of us could understand what he was doing wearing that hat to the circuit, so he's go no one to blame but himself.
This guy walks around the grid reporting to his colleague behind me how many tyres each of the drivers have. Some guys have the best jobs.
We tried to lock Alexa in, but obviously her mental powers mean that no cages can contain her. And now our cheeks are sore, too.
Here we are on the Renault pitwall during the race. Luckily we found a moment in the non-stop action today to get the shot.
This button worries us for tomorrow's F1 race: is that how they're going to slow him down? (hint: for anyone wearing an aluminium foil hat, this is a joke...)
Where the magic happens. Alexa is covering the screen with the live comments on it, so we don't spoil the result for you.
Post race scrum in the pitlane. There's a driver in there somewhere: we'll leave it up to you to guess which one.
“I would have beaten Roldan today: I'm going to sit in P2 for the press conference today.” Nico shows his total belief in everything I say.