10 July 2010 // 22:45
By David Cameron - one comment
I don't want to belabour the point, but maybe the Europeans are right. I was certainly starting to think so this morning after the GP3 qualifying session, when the second and third placed guys (Rio Haryanto and Nico Mueller) turned up for the press conference but the poleman didn't, leaving the rest of us all standing around and waiting to see what would happen.
The ART guys were in a panic trying to find their driver, to no avail: a collection of scooters were pressed into action as they tried to find their errant driver, but ultimately we ran out of time and had to have the press conference without the main guy.
It was only as we were having a coffee afterwards when the phone rang to ask where we were: 30 seconds later Estaban Gutierrez, for it was he, came rushing in, apologising profusely for going missing, as a meeting with his sponsors kept him out of the paddock.
And no sponsors, no racing: it's motor racing law number one. But next time, I'm levying a fine: an extra dessert after dinner, perhaps. This is the sort of tough treatment that means all of the drivers are secretly afraid of me, just between you and me.
Because of the overrun we had to run straight down to Rapax for the latest of the teammate interviews, this time with Pastor Maldonado and Luiz Razia. It was pretty funny – the guys never stop joking around with each other, and are always laughing together – but no matter how well they get on, I always enjoy watching teammates try to out do each other, no matter what they're doing.
So when one driver suggests another one is gay, for example, and that driver then decides to say yes just to out do his teammate, forcing the other one to then suggest that he is too: from there it is a race to see who can be the gayest driver ever. And that can only end well, for anyone watching.
And I can also report that Pastor is probably the most superstitious driver we've ever had in the series: name a superstition, and he's got it. So if the Venezuelan suddenly has a bad weekend, I'm going to immediately assume that Luiz has hidden one of his teammate's shoes. It would only take one to destroy his day.
Lunch time gave me the opportunity to sit down with Adrian Zaugg, who for one reason or another I don't seem to get many chances to chat with. The South African is a lovely guy, albeit a bit sad whenever anyone else talks about their national football team, and he's certainly had a lot of bad luck this season as he seems to have been knocked out of more races than he's finished.
But this week the team have come up with an ingenious solution to his woes: written across the back of the rear wing, as well as on both mirrors, is the instruction “Keep Your Distance”, an echo of the famous message on the back of Juan Pablo Montoya's Williams a few years ago after he lost a win when Jos Verstappen drove over him in Brazil.
“Yeah, that's exactly where they got it,” Adrian smiled when I mentioned it, “but to be honest I'm not sure it will help much today: there's not many guys behind me on the grid!”
It turns out that Charles Pic could have used the sign too: the Frenchman's strong qualifying performance was thrown out the window when Sergio Perez tapped him into a spin on the second lap, nullifying any hopes of a points finish at his team's home circuit. To his credit the Mexican went straight over to apologise after the race, and given his luck of late Sergio clearly knows how his rival felt.
Other than that the race will probably not go onto our classics list, but Adrian seemed fine with that: “It was a boring race, but I don't mind at all: that's a step forward for me!”
And the rest of my day went to plan too, other than a slight delay in getting to the GP3 race press conference. Inevitably Estaban was sitting there smirking, and pulled out his phone to make a point. “Look, you are one minute late! I've been waiting for one whole minute!” “Thanks Estaban, I'll take it off your tab: you only owe me 29 minutes now...”