Yeah, so getting up at 6am and getting the 0715 train was definitely going to happen, until I hit the snooze button on my phone, which meant it definitely wouldn’t happen. I’d decided to sleep on for another half hour or so therefore getting the 0815 train. This also meant I could get breakfast, or line my stomach, if you will.
After a bit of belly aching we got the metro to Garbidaldi, tickets bought (with a scaredy cat return) and sat in the train with barely any time to spare. The train pulled away and I started to get excited. I quietly started to chant “Let’s goooo, Alonsoooo” but got told off by Leona.
As we were going straight to Biassono Lesmo, all we had to do was fall out of the train and we’d end up at the circuit. Granted, I wanted to be at Parabolica, which was at the opposite end of the track, but a walk is better than sitting in a sauna bus in the middle of a traffic jam!
We arrived at the circuit at around nine, just as the GP3 cars had started their qualifying session. We walked under the track at Lesmo and then walked along the inside of the track from Lesmo 2 until Ascari. Again we were shockingly close to the cars despite being a few feet higher. When we got to Ascari our path was blocked by one of those pesky grandstands, so we were forced to detour further into the infield.
Up until now, Leona was telling me to walk on and she’d catch up, which is most unusual as, due to my long legs, I’m usually told to wait. But once we got as far as the Fangio statue, she said she had ‘to use the facilities’, and told me to just head on and find a space.
So I walked to the bleacher, sat down, observed my surroundings, texted Leona to find me by some Finnish flags then reached into the cooler bag and had a beer. As it was just after nine am the guy sat beside me looked with a degree of disapproval. Either that or he thought I was badass!
Leona arrived soon after wearing a shiny new Vettel hat, and she also bought me a shiny new Ferrari hat. She said she didn’t realise it was a Massa hat until after she bought it (though I think Massa is cool!). She then informed me that there were loads of Finnish flags and that was why it took her longer to find me, but noted, when she was looking for me, that there were some better viewing points that weren’t as busy.
|If the hat fits.. or not..
I suggested that I stay where I was and she goes to find somewhere else, i.e. if everywhere had filled up, we would still have a place. As Leona scouted for somewhere I tried on my new hat. Sadly it wouldn’t fit on my giant head. Leona texted me details of a new location, with decent view and big screen adjacent. So I went to meet her. When I found her I told her about my hat dilemma. She was annoyed that the present wouldn’t fit me but also laughed… because I apparently have an oversized head.
We were now situated at the exit of Parabolica on the top of one of the bleachers. It was a great view. I had a few more beers/cheap wine, tried to put up some flags and waited for FP3.
I continued to enjoy my beers, and even some wine, and got chatting to a guy from outside Milan. He was talking about how he comes every year for the practices and the qualifying, but not the race. Apparently it’s too busy or something and he prefers to watch it on TV, though he said the atmosphere is great. He was a Ferrari fan and asked who my favourite ‘pilots’ were (I love how some people say that instead of driver!) He asked where I was from and automatically associated it with Eddie Irvine, though his first point of reference was Jaguar and not Ferrari, even though he, oh so, nearly won the title with them.
Anyway, my chum left after practice to find a fresh viewing point.
I continued to drink.
|Probably my best attempt
In my increasing drunken state my “lets go Alonsoooo” chant got more frequent and louder. At one point, when Leona had left me unattended for a few moments, I could be found at the top of the bleacher, taking in my surroundings, whilst saying to myself (but very loudly): “This. Is. Fucking. AWESOME!”
|Continental breakfast /Liquid Lunch
|Drank some more and had lunch too. Watched a bit of the Porsche’s too.
After the Porsche Supercup qualifying I went to the toilet. On the way back I helped someone out of a tree (!). Went back to the bleacher where the alcohol and midday heat took it’s toll and I dozed off for a nap.
I woke up in time for F1 qualifying.
The only issue with were I was sitting was that I had to quickly run towards the pit entry to have a look at the screen to see the standings/who go eliminated (my eyesight is shocking so I had to get closer).
I did this for each session and was happy enough that Alonso was near the top after the first two sessions. After the third session I read that he was 10th. I assumed that I misread it, as I had to run down and just caught it quickly. Checked Twitter (I used a lot of roaming 3G that weekend) and it confirmed it. Booo!
After qualifying there was a break until the first GP2 race. We used this to have a sit in the shade and as the F1 was over we would have no worries not finding another spot. We sat under some trees, behind the bleacher beside the pit entry.
As I already had a nap, Leona stated it was her turn. Fair enough. She advised that I needed to stay awake to look after our stuff and made the order, under no circumstances, not to go to asleep. Fair enough.
I was awoken by the start of the GP2 race.
I woke up again about a minute and a half later for the next lap. This happened for a few laps until I gave up trying to sleep through a motor race.
Thankfully no one robbed us or I’d have never heard the end of it.
|*THE* Parc Fermé
We went up to the pit entry and watched the GP2 cars for a bit, but the heat, tiredness and sobering up weren’t putting us in the mood so we made headed back to the train station.
The train was packed and I managed to get one of those single fold down seats. Leona sat on my knee. I held a bar for support and had my third nap of the day.
The sound of cheering woke me up about half an hour later, we were near Milan and I didn’t realise I had slept. I looked around me groggy and confused. I heard an American woman say something ending with “too much to drink”. I thought she was talking to me so I said “Pardon?”.
She seemed taking aback but she said it was referring to the people cheering. Apparently they were singing to a baby earlier. Though I reckon she was talking about me too and didn’t realise I spoke English!
From what I remember I went back to the hostel to shower and coffee.
Later on we went down Corso Buenos Ares an
d had dinner at a place called Cin Cin bar (I think) when I had my first pizza of the holiday. Leona had risotto. It was a really nice pizza! Also had a few beers… hair of the dog and all that…
Leona was facing the road and noted a few Infinity cars and a Force India labelled car driving passed. She wondered who could have been in them. It was probably no one interesting, but we still had a wonder.
We had an early-ish night. The plan was get the 815 train to Lesmo like we did that morning. Everything was sure to go to plan…