Les récits de GillGalad

Les récits de GillGalad

Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix 2012 - Part 2

Part 1

Part 3



 7 a.m. Time to wake up. Half the city was already wide awake, as I found out later at the train station. I had planned to take the 7.55 train and I would almost have failed. A huge banner set the limits of the waiting line and fortunately I arrived early enough to skip most of it and get in the train.


You could feel the general euphoria in the train. People were dressed with heavy-duty racing gear like Red Bull Racing T-shirts, Ferrari caps, Lotus socks and McLaren underwear. No, just kidding. Maybe someone had one of these, but I wasn’t really looking for it.





I thought only guys like me with cheap-ish tickets would be crazy enough to head for Monaco at 8 in the morning, but it turns out even the highest bidders were eager to meet their seats. They probably couldn’t sleep, or they were afraid they would miss the race if they arrived too much on time. Either way, I would have done the same, because the Monaco GP is one of those events you want to be a part of from beginning to end.



Once I got off the train, I quickly marched towards the Rocher, hoping to catch up and overtake as many people as possible. When I reached the entrance and saw the already jam-packed hills, I realized how naïve I had been to think there wouldn’t be many folks around at this time of the day. Every single potential seating spot was taken, leaving only the narrow alleys open for standing. A first row of F1 fans stood behind the railing and I congratulated myself for being tall as I chose my spot in second row.

An hour and a half afterwards, the four commentators introduced themselves. We would be granted live comments in four languages, French, English, German and Italian. What a treat! I wondered how they would manage their urge to talk at the same time during highlights and it seems they’ve done it pretty well. What’s more, they all chose different points to discuss while describing a certain scene or presenting a pilot.




At around 10, we started hearing loud engine noises coming from underneath the city. Then, all 911 GT3s racing the Porsche Cup emerged from a tunnel just beside the Rocher, warming their tyres and drawing little black curves on the tarmac. They drove a lap like civilized people, lined up for the start and dashed away. Seeing touring cars accelerating at this pace makes you understand the difference between a dog and another dog. All share the same basic characteristics like the number of paws, a tendency to drool and a boundless love for bones, but some are bred for racing, making them pure performance machines. Racing cars are those dogs; mortals’ cars are just mere moving objects.


By the way, some bloke called Sean Edwards won the race.




Formula 3 is known for revealing talented drivers and giving them away to Formula 1, so I believed it would be less entertaining than its counterpart. Actually, it was less entertaining, but mostly because I didn’t know any of the pilots and because there wasn’t so much at stake. The race itself showed very similar traits to GPs and I see why they all ineluctably move up to first class category. There is a difference of roughly 500 hp between an F3 and an F1 car, the engine only reaches 7000 rpm, and F1 single-seaters just look much better.


Sam Bird crossed the line first, making him the second Englishman of the day on top of the podium. At that point, I prayed Vettel would balance the scoreboard.






By 1 pm, the drivers had completed the “lap of fame”, as I call it, where they all stand together at the back of a convertible truck, wave to the delighted fans and express their hopes to camera crews. I can now proudly say I have seen them with my own eyes. I have to admit it’s annoying to have a camera because you feel obliged to film everything and while you do that, it’s hard to look at the screen and the scene at the same time. But then, I’d rather have the event immortalized on a chip, and seeing it over and over again is the best way to fully benefit from your ticket investment, especially in high definition.




Excitement arose as the pilots suited up, entered their cars and made final checks with their engineers. Then, the thundering tone of the engines resounded across the city and filled every street corner and every alleyway with an intense drone. Just before it started to hurt, I put on the ear-protecting headset I brought with me and a world of peace opened itself to me. I still heard the cars as well as everything the commentators said, but in a silent, almost comfortable way.




Now they were ready, the spectators all silent and steady. The game was on.



To be continued...

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