There's nothing much you can do about the heat in Istanbul, but everyone tries to escape it anyway, knowing it's a doomed effort before it even begins. “Do we have to go back there to do it?” Lucas di Grassi asked, with his teammate Dani Clos looking on in hope, when we explained that we needed them both to leave the air conditioned comfort of the hospitality area for listless heat of their pit. “We need photos,” I began, as enthusiastic about going there as they were, “and we need the Racing Engineering logo in the background. You know that.”
“Yeah sure, but can't we do the photos later? Like, this evening?”
“There's this little thing called light...”
I could only sympathise: I didn't want to go either, but features don't write themselves. Which explains a lot about this blog, sadly. And yet, once we got there the guys posed like professionals for Aaistair (pretending to be chatting while I stood around the corner, their entire conversation consisted of, and this is an exact quote: “Blah?” “Blah blah.” “Blah blah blah?” “Blah! Blah blah...”), and then enjoyed themselves trying not to say anything too bad about each other for a forthcoming feature (wherein Lucas revealed exclusively that he would cook Pot Noodles for Dani if he popped around for dinner, while the Spaniard made a mental note to never put that to the test).
Edoardo Mortara and Sergio Perez were happy to sit in the truck for their interview, until they discovered that the air conditioning wasn't working: repeated stabbing the remote control button in vain, Edo was looking increasingly distressed until Sergio shyly asked: “Do you think you will be finished taking photos soon?” Alastair noted that he was just taking photos for the sake of it by now and put down his camera, with the boys immediately striping the top half of their race suits off and sighing in unison.
Both interviews were part of a forthcoming repeat feature to be run between race weekends: we will have teammates interviewing each other, and if the rest of them go as well as the ones we had today then I can't wait for them. Edo and Sergio in particular were in great form, bouncing off each other like the most amusingly passive double comedy act ever: “Who is the shyest? I think that's me, probably.”
“Actually, I think it's probably me: I'm really shy.”
“Really? Okay, maybe it is you.”
“No, no, I'm sure it can be you: maybe I'm not that shy...”
I'm looking forward too enormously to the Dams special, although a few recent comments by Jérôme d'Ambrosio to Alexa makes me wonder whether we'll get anything out of him at all. “Who do I talk to about something on the website?”
“What is the problem?”
“I want to complain about ... the blog?”
“No, not the blog: actually, I mean the press conference quotes. They seem ... strange?”
“Strange how? We quote you exactly.”
“Really? Maybe that's the problem: it makes me sound stupid! Maybe I have to change how I talk there: I might have to say 'It was a good day, comma, and the car was really strong.'”
“You could do that, but we'll just quote you saying comma...”
Luca Filippi and Vitaly Petrov may not be teammates, so unfortunately we won't be doing a feature of them interviewing each other any time soon, but clearly they don't share Jerome's qualms about being quoted in the press conference. Sharing a magazine and giggling while waiting for the journalists to arrive, the pair were clearly and enthusiastically enjoying the, ahem, ample charms of the cover model despite me starting the press conference with a welcome to everyone.
Vitaly was so engrossed that he didn't even notice, until Luca snatched the magazine and hurled it across the room, beaming with joy as Vitaly expressed his displeasure in the firmest of terms. Cue a constant stream of pokes, prods, nudges, giggles, etc to put each other off as they answered their questions in turn.
They are grown men, despite all appearances to the contrary.
Although the comments between them while Davide Valsecchi spoke, all picked up by my dictaphone on the table between them, should probably remain unnoted, for the betterment of all concerned, yourself included.
I can only blame the heat.