Hand in glove


Davide, Karun, Nico, Jerome and Checho feature on feature race day // The early start for the feature race in Monaco always catches out a few people, particularly as it's Friday and most people think there is no racing, but you would think that at least our teams and drivers would be aware of the timings. Which was why we were so surprised when iSport's Davide Valsecchi was late into the paddock this morning, with team boss Paul Jackson arriving even later than his driver.

The early start for the feature race in Monaco always catches out a few people, particularly as it's Friday and most people think there is no racing, but you would think that at least our teams and drivers would be aware of the timings. Which was why we were so surprised when iSport's Davide Valsecchi was late into the paddock this morning, with team boss Paul Jackson arriving even later than his driver.

When a driver is late there is usually a very simple reason: all they ever want to do is to sleep for as long as is humanly possible. But in this case there was a more surprising reason: Davide's car was towed by the police from outside of his hotel after he parked it in the market area. When the team were asked at breakfast if any of them owned an Audi they all said no, with the Italian walking downstairs just in time to see his car disappear around the corner.

Figuring that it probably made more sense for his driver to be at the circuit on time than himself, Jacko offered to bite the bullet and retrieve the car, with Davide finally calming down enough to be bundled into the car with the rest of the team, who are fairly rapidly becoming experts on a wide variety of Italian hand gestures.

We had a few old friends joining us on the grid, with Karun Chandhok walking around modelling the new line of Karun Chandhok shirts and trying not to look embarrassed – to be fair, it would be pretty weird wandering around with your name and face emblazoned across your chest – while he checked out the first few grid spaces. I guess he just wanted to see what they looked like.


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Nico Hülkenberg dropped by too, looking relaxed and wearing another in a long line of sunglasses that are maybe so dorky they are on the cutting edge of fashion, or maybe just so dorky they're dorky. It's impossible to tell with Nico, for two reasons: because he's German, and because he always has a faint smirk on his face which suggests that maybe, just maybe, it's all an elaborate joke which will be revealed in 2015.


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“I really miss it here,” he noted when he walked over to say hello. “It's always nice to be on a grid with no pressure!” He wandered over to say hello to the ART boys, but didn't outstay his welcome: he knows as well as anyone that the teams don't really need any distractions on the grid, even though they can't always be avoided.

The race came and went, with the usual Monaco crashes and spills, with some guys getting away with a kiss of the wall and others being less lucky. One of the unluckiest of all was Giacomo Ricci, who looked to be in a strong position until he finally came in for his stop towards the end of the race: we had assumed that he came in before the safety car, and we'd just missed it. “It was so unlucky for us today,” he sighed afterwards, still looking upbeat despite his dramas, “I saw the crash and I said do I come to the box? I said again and again, but they don't answer until I cross the start line - I think there was a radio problem – and they said box, box! But it was too late.”

The luckless Italian ended the race in last place (until Sam Bird picked up a penalty for cutting the chicane too many times, that is) after looking likely to pick up a top 8 finish once again, but still couldn't resist putting a positive spin on things: “Maybe it will be okay: tomorrow I hope it snows, rains, hails, everything all together in the race!”

Back in the paddock there were a lot of fans hanging around looking for autographs and photos, with one guy in particular turning up, just as he does every year, with reams of photos for the drivers to sign, and Jerome d'Ambrosio was the victim when I walked over. He had Christian Vietoris with him, and was obviously showing him the ropes: “Watch out for this one,” he smirked, pointing his elbow at me, “he's the guy who writes the blog, he will write anything you say.”

I've got no idea where he got that idea.

And finally the winner returned: Sergio Perez arrived back in the paddock to a hero’s welcome, with all of the fans crowding around him for their moment with their brief glimpse of the championship leader. But there was only one thing that I wanted to know when he finally made his way up to the hospitality area: why did he have odd coloured gloves on in the car today?

“I lost one of them in Barcelona,” he laughed, “I looked everywhere but I couldn't find it, and finally I had to get a different one and go. And that was good luck for me, so I thought I should wear them again!” So there you have it: you can have all the skill in the world behind the wheel, but the real way to win races is to accidentally end up with mis-matched clothing.

The GP2 Paddock: breaking the big stories wide open.

Comments

on Friday 14 May 2010 - 21:40 by gabogavi

FELICITACIONES PARA CHECO POE EL TRIUNFO, NO DES TREGUA CHECO SIGUE DE TAL FORMA, PROMETO HACER ALCANCIA PARA VERTE YA EN FORMULA UNO, UN SALUDO. GABRIEL GARCIA. GDL JAL.

on Saturday 15 May 2010 - 06:22 by HUGO PALOMARES HOFMANN

FINALMENTE LLEGO EL TRIUNFO, Y EN MONACO! AUN MEJOR, FELICIDADES SERGIO, HAS TRABAJADO MUY BIEN Y MADURADO MUCHO PARA LOGRARLO Y LO MERECES AMPLIAMENTE PORQUE ERES UN GRAN PILOTO, LA F1 TE LO DEBE RECONOCER SI CONTINUAS ASI, ERES EL MEXICANO MAS ESPERADO EN F1, UN ABRAZO Y MUCHOS TRIUNFOS MAS

on Saturday 15 May 2010 - 08:39 by tomas lopez rocha

querido checo, que orgullo, un triunfo en monaco frente a toda tu familia, aquel niño que no hablaba nada y que pensabamos que eras mudo, hoy un gran piloto maduro e inteligente, un fuerte abrazo. tomas lopez

on Saturday 15 May 2010 - 18:31 by DR. FERNANDO COUTO

UNA GRAN TRIUNFO SERGIO, CONFIRMA TU MADUREZ COMO GRAN PILOTO Y DE AQUI HASTA LAS GRANDES ALTURAS, PERO MANTENIENDO LOS PIES EN EL SUELO.

FELICIDADES Y A CUIDAR EL CAMPEONATO

on Saturday 15 May 2010 - 22:04 by Daniel Garcia

Felicidades sergio tienes el talento para estar en la F1 y hacer grandes cosas sigue manejando asi de inteligente y con el mismo entuciasmo y pronto t podremos ver en F1 ojala tuviera tu talento. Saludos!

on Tuesday 18 May 2010 - 06:09 by Jorge Mendoza

Checo:
eres ya un gran campeon tu paso por diferentes seriales europeos como la BMW Alemana y la F3 Inglesa avalan que vas rumbo a la F1.Tienes un gran talento y despues de los Rodriguez seras el mejor embajador en la maxima categoria!Suerte CAMPEON!

on Thursday 20 May 2010 - 01:08 by A. Pretelin

Checo.....simplemente Genial
orgullo del automovilismo, arriba Mexico desde Reynsa Tam.

on Friday 28 May 2010 - 17:27 by Gonzo

Sergio, estás demostrando una madurez en cada serial que nos da la certeza que te veremos en F1 muy pronto. Me da mucho orgullo ser tu paisano. Un desmañanado seguidor por las transmisiones: Gonzalo García.

on Thursday 3 Jun 2010 - 01:29 by el charro volador

MI checo, no sabes el sentimiento que tuvimos con tu triunfo. Hasta las lagrimas se me andaban saliendo.

¡ Viva México ¡

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