Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Final Race Day....

A great finale!...The Sun shone throughout with just a tiny smattering of rain...him upstairs must
drink Red Bull!
Such a unique atmosphere arriving to the track...chaos..hardly any security, although I was
asked to open my briefcase which included two daily newspapers for a friend at the track...
was told I couldn't bring newspapers or magazines into the circuit!...local police law I was told....in case I start a fire!...crazy....just in front were people selling programs...guess what they are made from!
All part of eccentric...curious circuit that is Interlagos.

10am and the grandstands were filling fast, I went to the FOM office in the paddock and was told I could go up in a helicopter at 12-30 to take pictures of the track....fantastic!
I was so pleased..really wanted to at some point this season and thought my chance had gone.
15 Min's up there circling the circuit and vicinity...the track looked so tiny...toy town...what a treat.
I was able to see the and appreciate the sheer size of the city and all the suburbs..
Still on a high after that I ran to the pitlane to wait for the grid walk...no grid girls, not sure why.
I arrived very early just as the teams were pushing and wheeling their gear up the incline to the starting positions...quite an incline too.
The crowd by this time were very excitable ..singing and clapping waiting for the Brazilian drivers especially Bruno Senna.
Earlier I was introduced to Viviane Senna (Ayrton's sister, and Bianca Senna her daughter and Bruno's sister).   So lovely to meet them, they are Royalty in Brazil..worshipped. Bianco wanted to chat after the race , to look for her.
The grid swelled very quickly, so aware that this was my last grid..so I wanted to absorb the wonderful atmosphere..It seemed to pass very quickly...I stayed around the senna car...lots of attention as he waved to his adoring fans..good to see.
I was told to go to the promoters office with 5 laps remaining to meet the City Mayor, State Governor and CEO of sponsor Petrobas.
Knowing that it would be very tight ..not much time to get to the Podium with the snappers, I arrived to the office with 7 laps to go.
Met Tommas the promoter, he explained to the dignitaries and they duly penned their piece...the track officials were getting nervous waiting for them to finish because they were presenting the trophies...........the last lap they finished!...I knew it would be too late for me to make the podium...I rushed to he gate but the photographers were already in position...gate closed!
The only podium I missed...spectacular one too with ticker tape raining down on the drivers.
It was more important to get the writings, I spoke to Keith Sutton- photographer if he would kindly send me some podium pics.

Straight after I went to the Lotus Renault garage to find Bianca Senna, waited a little while and spoke again with Viviane Senna, and said that I would love to give a painting to the Senna Foundation for then to Auction. Said the same to Bianca, she was delighted.

The Paddock was full  busy with goodbyes from various team members...although the break is so short these days...next race is mid march..but all will meet during testing early Feb.
I had a transfer to the hotel with some other people , some beers at the hotel then to the airport...all very odd
King is dead long live the king!!
It seems that the new season has already started in people minds....bizarre!
Saw Mark Webber queueing in front of me for boarding...no after race end of season drinks for him...it seemed people just wanted to head home.

So there we are.....One full season on the F1 merry-go-round!.....quite a ride it was..
So many great memories to reflect upon..the next 6 weeks I will be locked in my studio working on the paintings..its good that I will have a long run and momentum working  but will feel odd not readying myself for another race as I have done 18 times since the end of March!

I will post one more time with my considered reflections of the year...
I will post the final paintings too....watch this space!

There are more blogs to follow next year when the box set of prints taken from the paintings will be distributed by myself......

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