Thursday, 16 June 2011
Five hour race!...No Sun in Sunday...
So many firsts for me and indeed the teams, heavy rain was forecast..and as the Montreal folk are obsessed with the weather they dare not give out an incorrect forecast...
The rain stayed away in the morning but with each hour that passed it look ominous, the rain clouds were gathering. The teams hadn't used extreme wets in a race this season, I noticed more activity in the Paddock, more team meetings than usual..all focused on the tyres...Pirelli were at the centre of all this of course.
As were the TV crews all wanting inside information..the paddock is so tiny...chaos ensued for a while!
The rain came down in torrents before the race. As the grid girls were led to their positions, it spitted with rain..enough for them to hold up umbrellas in the beginning.
I was fascinated by the teams driver rain packs!....chamois leathers...dainty little rubber shoes for the drivers as they dismounted keeping their racing shoes dry...lots of towels ..its a military operation keeping everything dry..amazing to watch close hand.
Apparently there were still masses of water on the track..so a rolling start behind the safety car was expected.
Actress Julia Roberts was due to come..I waited to see her on the Grid, but subsequently learnt that a car was waiting outside her hotel but she didn't want to leave as it was raining!.....never rains in Hollywood!
I did see Colin Farrel getting a lot of Attention, I also saw Manchester United footballer Michael Carrick getting No attention....
Just as the National Anthem started and sung by Canadian singer Ima, I quickly moved the the front of the grid to take pics of her singing flanked by 2 beefy Mounties. She would later write a piece in my book for the artwork.
The grid became very busy, but left a little early because I had to go to the Circuit President's suite in the Paddock Club....and wow...they had lined up literally all the important dignitaries to write their pieces for my artwork.... Government minister of Tourism.... Minister of Finance....Mayor of Montreal...President of Canadian Motor Authority..and the Charming Ima, who gave me her new CD.....Big fan now!!!
By this time heavy rain was falling...2 hour delay...so I stayed a while in the suite chatting to the Ministers and their families...giving out posters of my work.
I then donned my Photographers tabard and and took a position at the first chicane....I needed to take some pics of the cars in the rain with the dramatic spray...I wasn't disappointed.
When the rain finally ceased there were many laps with the cars behind the Safety car...much to the annoyance of the crowd...they were getting fairly vocal showing their frustration, feeling the cars should start racing....
An exciting race indeed, although as I've been doing each race, with around 5..6 laps to go queueing up with the snappers for the Podium shots. We were waiting at the gate behind the Podium...I noticed that the German flag had been put in the first place position..already!...so confident they were that Vetell would win...well we know what happened.... then a frantic rush to switch over the Union Flag...very funny!
A tower was erected for the photographers ..so we were all in line with the podium..great shots
Beneath me was Lewis Hamilton watching on....penny for his thoughts!
The race finished at 5 ..so no time to hang around, straight to the Airport.
Valencia next week....Travelling on the F1 Jet...146. Looking forward to that. Leaving from Biggin Hill.