Sunday- Race Day
The peoples republc of Suzuka!
The day for me was all about the fans...so many, patiently queuing in line.
So colourful and the sheer exuberance and excitment of the fans was something to behold.
They like being photographed too wearing their creatively designed outfits....the best fan zone
by far!....so much for them to do at the circuit....the entrance to the paddock was 10 deep with fans..amazing.
I had receiced a note from the General Mangaer to meet him during the race at 3-45 to take me
to the backstage podium room, to meet the Mayor of Susuka and the Chairman.
They were presenting the trophies...I waited some time ..not many laps to go..knowing that I had to
get to the Pit lane and wait to photograph the podium....I finally saw them with 5 laps to go..
They wrote their pieces in the small room that you see on TV....infact I had to move the watches and water and the winners cap ...I hope Alex didn't mind..he's the guy you see giving the watches and caps to the drivers..water and towels.
I thought only two would write a piece but there were 5 dignitries in their and they all wrote!..
Minister of Tourism ..president of the Automobile Assiciation..I had half an eye on the TV...
2 laps to go!...
They had written heart-felt thankyou to the world for helping Japan...these pieces are real gems..very moving!
I never rushed so fast to get to the queue of photographers....but they had already been given the nod to get into position...I manged to get past a steward...following Jake Humphrey...just as the Drivers took to the Podium...Good shots of Christian Horner balancing precariously on the pit wall.
As Button walked onto the Podium the crowd went wild!...they love him here..maybe something to do with his girlfriend!
A really good day...And a very enjoyable evening in the hotel restaurant, invited to Join friend from Allsport , with Alex and Bert Myander the Saftey car driver...lovely evening with them.
Also at the table was a charming Japenese girl there on business with Allsport .she very kindly offered to take me around Kyoto the following day, knowing that I was going there...so kind of her to do that...it really is so special having a local showing one around...beautiful ancient temples...One of them// ..the Golden Temple....covered in gold leaf....in the centre of a giant lake..with water lilies all around and trees changing into Autumn colours....beautiful!!!
Kyoto is a delightful old city and come alive at night with the glowing lanterns, found a great authentic restaurant on the river with Ayako..Japenese tapas! What is it with the wine prices here.....£40 for a bottle of white..decent bottle around £20 anywhere else..the circuit hotel was like that too...evening capped off with me introducing Ayako to a glass of Guinness.....odd...
I'm in Seoul, just checked into hotel.spending a day and night here..staying at the curiously named Hotel Dodo...I go down to the circuit tomorrow afternoon after being told by many people in the paddock to stay in seoul as long as you can..as the track is very remote...built on reclaimed marshland...4 hours from the city...should be an adventure...
One other oddity I found yesterday...I checked out a big Paper shop in Kyoto...lovely traditional hand-made papers..so many...but I see the same in london but far cheaper!...I sort of expected it to be cheaper here where it's produced!..but had to buy something!
Flew into Kimpo airport seoul , had a brief chat with Herbie Blash from FIA...talking about his love for Japan,,I can see why...lovely people , very fiendly.