As a motor sport enthusiast, the visit of a Formula 1 Grand Prix is an extraordinary experience - especially with the unique opportunity to follow the preparations for the start at close proximity. Experienced in 1991.
Through business relations with a high-level Formula 1 official, I received 2 pit lane tickets for the F1 German Grand Prix - a special occasion! My brother and I started by motorcycle in Switzerland, Saturday morning at 05:00 am, heading towards Hockenheim. We arrived on a bright morning, just in time for a pit walk at 09:00 o'clock: very close to racing teams as McLaren, Williams, Ferrari, Brabham, Benetton!
Keeping an eye on the racing drivers, too: Nigel Mansell, Jean Alesi, Gerhard Berger, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost or Nelson Piquet in preparing for the final qualifying practice session; all of them so close, usually quite far away on television and magazines! As well as the team members, such as the mechanics who make the final modifications and the officials.
Suddenly deafening noise, bringing us back from all that astonishment: the first engine starts, the practice session begins. Again and again the drivers return to the pit for improving car adjustments. In particular interesting is the Japanese engine supplier’s direct computer connection, which should enable to set free some additional horsepowers.
After about an hour the hustle and bustle comes to its end. The monitor shows the achieved times, relevant for the race’s starting grid. Everybody cleans up everything, the tools are moved back in their place. All must be ready for the race.
Finally, some facts: Nigel Mansell, Williams Renault, on the pole position; he also was the victor of Sunday’s Grand Prix, followed by his team mate Riccardo Patrese and Jean Alesi, Ferrari.
That weekend, July, 27 and 28, 1991, went into my personal history - full of emotions and unforgettable impressions!
Many thanks from The Castiron to Peter!
See you next Friday. - God bless you, all the best! The Castiron
PS. Next Formula 1 German Grand Prix (GP): July 22, 2018, Hockenheim