It’s the Italian Formula One Grand Prix this weekend and we’ve been reminiscing about our trip three years ago where I fulfilled a long-time goal of seeing a F1 race.
This was one stop on a month-long visit to Europe. I want to revisit the trip for this blog (original posts are on a private orphaned blog and I would like to rescue and consolidate the content over here) in more structured fashion, but I will dip into it now with this segment.
I started following F1 in about 1990 though drifted away a bit with the death of my favourite driver, Ayrton Senna, in 1994. Nevertheless, it was still an ambition to get to a grand prix. I was excited when our planning showed the Italian GP would work in with our rough timing and itinerary, as Monza is one of the most historic F1 venues. We were online as soon as the tickets went on sale, bleeding a little at the cost but this wasn’t a time to go ‘budget’.
Milan isn’t far away so that’s where we stayed, navigating our way to the track on both Saturday and Sunday.
The old disused circuit was another massive drawcard for me as I love ruinous and abandoned structures. I couldn’t wait to see the old banking up close.
When the F1s came out in dribs and drabs for a practice session it was one of those surreal moments to finally see them and hear them in their ear piercing glory (at the same time noting that I needed to find better ear plugs for Sunday).
After some pretty heinous accidents, use of the banked oval ceased in the 1960s.
On Sunday the trains deposited us at one end of the track rather than the station, so we didn’t have to faff around with an additional bus but still had a lengthy walk to get to our seats. It was another glorious day though, any fears of our expensive tickets being a wash out long since gone.
By early afternoon Sunday the build up to the main event was underway. From our blessedly shaded seats we had excellent views over the start grid and the thronging crowds of race teams, drivers, media, marching bands, the very-well-looked-after punters up in the Paddock Club, and… am I missing anyone?… oh yes, the grid girls. Heaven forbid there should be a race meeting without them.
Formalities over, it was race time, and time finally to hear all the F1s together at full noise. Amazing. (And those new earplugs did the trick!)
It was an efficient race with no incidents so it finished well within the two hours scheduled. Ferrari did the ultimate and won at home, all the more significant as they hadn’t done too well in recent times. That was quite something to witness.
We stayed up in the stands for the podium presentation watching the spectacle of the crowd invasion, the Tifosi unfurling a massive Ferrari flag and dancing and chanting under the podium. After a while we became invaders ourselves and spent a memorable hour or so walking around the track.
My F1 initiation was complete.
Very cool! An F1 race is on our list too, and initial research shows a new definition of the word “budget”. I’m sure it will be worth it though. Great shots!
Thanks 🙂 … Yes it will be worth the dent in your visa! Where are you thinking of going?
We’re going to try for Monaco. We were watching this year how quickly tickets went, so it looks like we need to buy tickets a year in advance and go in 2015. I’m used to making plans years in advance.
Yep, ditto. That one would be a goodie, though you possibly picked one of the hardest-to-get-tickets-for events! Got a while to practice your online click reflexes at least.
I had no idea that those tracks were SO steep! Great post Hayley, really interesting to hear about your time there. Looked like you both had a lot of fun 🙂
Thanks very much Lottie. I possibly could have scrambled to the top but I’m a big girl’s blouse when it comes to heights/steepness. Not to mention that being a very unforgiving surface. Our whole trip was fantastic and I’m looking forward to revisiting it here. Though maybe I should complete our photo albums first – 3 years and they’re still not finished, how slack is that!
I’m a big girl’s blouse with heights/steepness too! Totally with you on the photo albums! I’m just the same. I’ve got 100’s of photographs from our trip to Kenya 3 years ago and I still haven’t sorted them out Must be a 3 year thing!!
Cool! Great shot of a beast between the poles! Obviously though, red is not green…
It could be that I’m being a bit vacant but you’ve gone over my head with that one fgm!
“It took a zillion goes to get a reasonable shot of a car down the front straight, between the fence posts no less” AKA Great shot of a beast between the poles.
Pics are predominantly Ferrari-Red; not exactly environment-green (hey, with all my off-spring, I’m a bit of a petrol-head myself … so, just sayin’…!)
Right – I was wondering where the green came into it. I’m not yet 100% after a spot of unwellness at the end of the week so you had me questioning my soundness of mind there for a while!
I bet the atmosphere was fantastic
It was great, and full of chitter chatter that we couldn’t understand 🙂
Thank You for this interesting post. I am “crazy” about car and one of my dream is to visit F1. A couple of years we made a road trip in Germany and I wanted to “test” my car in Nürburgring. All went very well when driving to there, but it was closed! We arrived on Monday and there had been driving on Saturday, so they cleaned the track free from rubber. My old car had 280 horses, not a sport car, but anyway not a turtle.
Oh no! I’m hoping to get to Nurburgring on a trip to Eastern Europe in 2015. Fingers crossed! Speaking of which, I highly, highly recommend the new movie called Rush if you’ve not yet seen it and have the opportunity to.
This looks like 2010?
Was there that year with Porsche Supercup and what and event it was!
I remember walking into the paddock and Michael Schumacher was walking along side me and thought that was pretty cool, then within 10 seconds about 8 photographers were around him and it was back off to walking on my own for me.
Lordy is it almost five years ago… yes, 2010. After a quick bit of research I see it was Jono Lester’s first race in that series – which I don’t think we knew at the time – so yeah I imagine it was a doubly big weekend! Pretty awesome to have had that fleeting experience with M.Schumacher given what’s happened since.