I went for a run in the hope that it would prompt my brain to fire, to make it pull another blog from wherever in the universe they come from, to bring home another story from this circuit about which I’ve written more than any other.
Just out of the pits it came to me: asking fan-turned-journalist Renate Jungert earlier in the day what she’d like to see for the blog, she smiled and noted that she always liked the photo blogs, because it really lets the fans feel that they’re right there with us (note to Renate: I know this didn’t actually happen, but that’s because I forgot to ask you before you left the circuit, but I’m sure you totally would have said that, so I’m calling it poetic licence. You can say it tomorrow morning if that makes it better).
They had to have a little drive too, with Raffaele getting comfortable in the F1 Game Zone on his way to a double win (on the sims, at least):
I got down to the chicane, so peaceful now after so much action.
I thought of him again later, running round Parabolica in the dark: about what a weekend he’s had there. First in qualy, losing the car and beaching it in the gravel after sliding across the new carpark of asphalt laid next to the track there before the weekend opened, losing a possible strong grid position. And second during the race, when he overtook Julian Leal up the inside there, a move I’ve never seen anyone do before. Watching it on the pitwall, I swear I could hear his distinctive laugh, his swearing at the joy he felt in pulling off such an audacious move.
Back at the game zone, the fans were happy to meet their heroes, and the drivers seemed to enjoy it too.
It wasn’t long before it was time for the main event: this afternoon’s feature race.
Marco thought now was not the time to see his engineers Angry Bird score, considering the time:
And then, to work. During the race we noticed a solitary fan sitting on the old banking over the run up to Ascari. Lap after lap I saw him, wondering why no one else had thought to sit there. He was gone when I got there, but the view was still glorious, even in the approaching gloom.
After the race, most of the attention was on the top three, as always. But one team were waiting to hug their driver for a job well done.
“Great drive today,” I said, shaking his hand. “Just incredibly good.”
“Thanks,” he smiled, his face beaming with pride, “it couldn’t have gone better, could it?”
But there were other strong drives too, and brother Charles was on hand to congratulate the creator of one of them.
And time to eat, to write, to remember.
Ciao Monza. Grazie.