The thing I love the most about Thursdays is sitting in the office next to the document every driver has to sign before 4pm. That way, I get to see each of them without moving a muscle! However, our office seems to be a bit difficult to find here in Imola in the race control tower, which explains why a woman from the circuit came to me and said: “There are two drivers looking for you. Can they come in?” And sure enough, in entered Johnny Cecotto and Patrick Moore, Super Nova’s Team Manager. “The lady thought you were a driver Patrick”, “Well, I do drive the rental car” he replied as Johnny was trying his best at not laughing mockingly. Luiz Razia was next to come in with Team AirAsia’s Team Manager Phill Spencer. “Where is Davide?” asked Marco, knowing that the Italian racer is famous for being a tiny bit late for his signing duties. “He is coming, don’t worry” replied Phill. “Remind him about the press conference later please”, I added. “What press conference?” asked Luiz. So I told him that we had organised a small press conference with local media. “So it’s only Davide?” Luiz asked again feeling a bit left out of the fun. “It’s with the Italian media. Don’t worry, when we race in Brazil, you will be invited to the press conference” joked Marco. “I’m the only Brazilian driver left in the paddock,” noted Luiz sadly. “But I will make Brazil proud this weekend. I usually finish on podiums when we race in Italy.”
As much as I like to stay behind my desk, there is one thing I am always happy to get up for: coffee! That’s how I spotted in the middle of the paddock Amanda’s and mine beloved Pirelli’s hospitality truck aka Pirelli Café where espressos are the best (and usually served with a side of liquorice. Yum!). Romain Grosjean stopped me in my tracks: “I have just gone around the track. Wow... That’s one great circuit. It takes a real man to drive on that track!”
“Oh my God! It’s Sam Bird!” I said chirpily when I got back to my office and saw the aforementioned Brit busy signing the sheet. “What’s wrong with you?” he asked. “I found this blog a fan made about you. The address is http://omgsambird.tumblr.com. It’s really something!” I rapidly typed the address in my browser and as Sam was stumbling on words to express how much he likes the blog, Marcus Ericsson came in with Paul Jackson in tow. “What are you looking out? Porn?” asked the Swede. “How? Just tell me how you can be thinking that we are currently looking at that?” I said. “That’s what I was asking myself” said Fabio Leimer who I had not seen coming. “But the question was so weird, I just pretended that I had not heard” said the Swiss, laughing.
“I am so happy to be back!” Luca Filippi informed me with a huge smile on his face. “When I saw that GP2 Asia was going to be in Imola I thought: I just have to be there! I never thought I could be back in GP2 this year and now I have the opportunity and Imola is just great. It’s fantastic!” The Italian’s delight was matched by Dani Clos’ joy after he saw his picture had been chosen for the promotional poster of this week’s event: “I was driving yesterday and then I saw this big, big poster with my picture on it! I almost lost control of the car!” he joked before asking me whether I could sneak one of them and give it to him. “I came here driving so if you can get me the big, big one, I will put it in my car!” “Only if you win here. Deal?” “Oh yes. Don’t worry”, he said. “I will do the job. Abu Dhabi is behind us. A new leaf.”
A new leaf indeed. Imola, get ready: GP2 Asia is in the house!