Posted by: Sam Olsen | September 26, 2011

Very Grand Prix

What a good weekend. Many good things to remember, but the F1 has to be up there. Aggie had decided she didn’t like car racing so had taken Lawrence back to Hong Kong, leaving me with a free pass for the Grand Prix. And very grateful I was.

My old Army buddy @Oli_Anderson was kind enough to invite me and two other pals, John and Beatrice backstage at the race to have a look round the Renault garage, and what a place it is. Being able to have a look at the cars just before the race was pretty amazing

Bruno's car and me

but the whole atmosphere was something else. Anypne that says engineering is boring has not seen F1 teams in action. Every single piece of data – from the oil composition to the tyre temperatures – is recorded and analysed. As Oli said, a few years ago each race would provide 15 megabytes of data to be sifted through after the race; now it is 15 megabytes per car per lap. There are something like 70 sensors on each car which record the minutist details, and we watched the ‘geeks’ sitting behind their screens getting ready to receive all the information as the race progressed. If only I had seen this then I might have listened more to Dad and worked harder at maths and physics at school. Mind you, they need a fan or two in the garage because to say it was warm would be like wearing a parka in the Sahara. An utter privilege to see it all.

After the grand tour, J, B and I went to have a few beers whilst watching Rick Astley on the Grand Prix entertainemnt stage (yes, you did read that tight). He did all his hits, all two of them, before launching into a bizarre cover of Somebody Told Me by The Killers, which had to be heard to be believed. If only we had been that avant garde for Al’s wedding the other month.

The draw back of watching F1 live is that a) you only see a bit of the track, and b) the noise is incredible, painful almost. Most people were wearing ear plugs, but Lawrence has eaten mine so this was not an option. So we all retired to an office overlooking the track to get a better view, whilst sipping wine and enjoying a delicious cold spread. Really, life at that moment would have been hard to beat.

Here are some photos of the day. Happy memories indeed.

The Red Bull garage. Rather successfulThe pits from the Renault garageOur kind F1 host Oli pretending to be busyView, what view?

Posted in Hong Kong expat | Tags: , , , , , ,


  1. Looks awesome. Glad you all had a great time. Looking forward to hearing about it from Oli on Thursday.

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