Drive-in Saturday

Breath in and breath out...

Some days, you feel like you got up from the wrong side of the bed. Today felt just like that. It started with me leaving my room without my phone. “It’s not like you need it in your job!” joked Technical Director Didier Perrin. Very true! The morning continued to prove to be a bumpy one with me tripping over my own crutch as I tried to sit at my table in the hospitality. After that, I decided I just had to concentrate mainly on surviving the day.

While I was fighting back the tears from the pain and the embarrassment, I watched with high interest the GP3 Series qualifying session hoping that whoever finished on the top 3 would be boys whose name I can pronounce during the press conference. And I got lucky with Valtteri Bottas, James Calado and Mitch Evans because I’m pretty comfortable saying their names. “You’ll see. Valtteri gives pretty short answers usually” Amanda told me as I was making my way to the press conference room. Turns out, it was not true this time. The young Finn was pretty chatty, as were both of his rivals. Piece of cake!

Next on the day’s agenda was a teammate interview at iSport. The story behind choosing this pair was that following Monaco’s infamous incident between Marcus and Sam, together with David we thought there was no way we could do the teammate interview with them. But last week in Germany, Marcus stopped us:

“When is it going to be our turn?”

“Oh we thought you might not get along too well with Sam”

“No I do. We want to do the interview!”

As we are ones to please, I put it on the agenda. I dragged Alastair over to the iSport garage at 11am. When we entered the truck, we found Paul Jackson and Sam Bird sat on what I can only describe as camping chairs, big ones, and very comfy. I saw a small TV screen behind Sam. “What are you watching?”

“It’s a fishing programme”

How very fitting. They immediately offered for me to sit down with them while Sam’s manager James Olivier proposed to fetch me a cup of coffee. They know how to spoil a girl!

“Where is Marcus?”

“He is not there yet. You’re early. You said the interview was at 11:30”

Just waiting for the day to end...

Marcus eventually arrived before 11:30, as Paul, Sam and I chatted (“I don’t want to talk too much to you because you will put it in the blog.” Yes, Sam, I will). Alastair took them outside for their quick photo shoot while I found a very dodgy picture of the Swede.

I will not disclose what has been said during the interview and will let you discover it all when I eventually publish it on the blog, but I can promise you, it will be worth reading. All I can reveal for now is that both of them have tremendous respect for each other.

By the time we had to go to the pitlane for the race, I had managed to stay out of trouble. I sat at Force India pitwall with Ocean Racing Technology and watched everyone make their way to the grid while I was firing up the computer to be ready to type in Live Comments to bring you the action. It all went down smoothly as was the start of the race bar for Johnny Cecotto and Fairuz Fauzy who collided at Turn 2. But since today was clearly an off day, of course my 3G key started acting out and completely stopped just as most of the cars were coming back to the pits for fresh rubbers. Typical! However, I was not the most frustrated person in the pitlane. Although Ericsson had brilliantly stolen the lead from Razia at the start, an unsafe release in the pits meant that the talented Swede was handed a drive through. Romain Grosjean was free to pocket a fifth win this season ahead of Charles Pic and Luiz Razia. The lift back to the paddock on iSport’s trolley was a very quiet one to say the least. I saw Marcus later, still managing to smile.

“I am so very sorry”

“I am very sorry too” he replied quietly.

I barely had the time to finish writing the report while the GP3 race was going on and I had to rush to the press conference. I got there a bit out of breath to find a broadly smiling Romain and Luiz sporting some very funky shorts.

“Aren’t you cold?”

“No. I pretend that I’m already on holiday at the beach. You like?”

When Charles turned up, it was time to start the conference.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to GP2 Series qualifying press conference”

Cue the laughing… Some days are definitely harder than most!


on Sunday 31 Jul 2011 - 23:03 by GH

Nice blogging Alexa. Hope the leg's getting better!

on Monday 1 Aug 2011 - 12:00 by Bowe Bevonius

Great blogging Alexa! Did you ever find out who customized the autograph card... :) "Sam, let me see your fingers... They're black!". Looking forward to the team mate interview. See you at Monza or if things work out well even at Spa.

/Bowe Bevonius

on Thursday 4 Aug 2011 - 21:17 by nathalie

I like too when Alexa tellling :-)

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