We got up early enough so we could get to the track early! As Leona got ready I ran to a shop around the corner and got some stuff for lunch (bread, cheese … and cookies!). On the way back to the hotel I bumped into our Swedish taxi chums. There were off to the bar for a few beers.. at 8.30am! I knew they were not going until later but said if they wanted to share a taxi back, after the race, to meet in the same place as the day before.
Once back at the hotel and suitably breakfasted, we booked a taxi at the front desk. When it arrived we asked the taxi man, in an attempt to avoid a long ass walk, if he could leave us at the gate nearest our seats. He thought about it, we told him it was near the aquapark, had a look at the map at the back of our ticket, asked if it’s near a lake and then thought he actually could and went for it! It was another classic (scary) Budapest taxi ride, but to his credit he left us to the gate! He got told off by the cops for his troubles but it was early enough for him not to get a fine!
We arrived during the GP3 race. I noticed that the gravel trap in front of our seat so I asked the French lad beside me if there was an accident. In a stereotypical French accent he said “yes, at the start” and slapped his hands together to motion an accident.
I noticed our hotel buddies, Jenzer, were running together and finished in 7th, 8th and 9th – go on the lads! The race was won by an Italian and they played the Italian anthem!
Can’t remember much from the GP2 race, but it was won by a Japanese lad, and therefore play the Japanese anthem too. I’d never heard it before, and the first few bars were really bassy and heavy! Bonkers! But I enjoyed it!
Porsche Supercup was up next and was good fun! Plenty of action in the corner in front of me. Sadly an Irish lad (Ryan Cullen) was taken out, but he did favourite one of my tweets a few days later, which was weird! Race was won by a German lad.
Up next was the drivers parade with the “stick them on the back of a truck approach”. The truck passed us, we cheered and waved, they waved. It was all good. After the drivers parade Nelson Piquet drove Bernie Ecclestone around the track for no reason what so ever. I tried to boo Bernie as he passed but no one joined me.
We waited for the race to start as the grandstands started to fill up. Due to the difference of opinion between the back of the ticket and the signs beside the grandstand on of what what the grandstands were actually called there were a lot of people turning up to the wrong stand. The mustached man from Friday turned up and got angry. I asked to see his ticket, yep, wrong grandstand and he instantly cheered up, said sorry and left. But this happened so many times!
Sunday was a lot cooler than the previous days. It after 12 at this point and still very overcast – even a few rumours of rain – which after Thursday didn’t hope would happen as we weren’t covered! I felt wick wearing my sunglasses but I didn’t bring my normal ones so had to wear them!
I wasn’t looking forward to the next bit. Jules Bianchi had died the week before when we were in Paris. It was announced that week there would be a minute silence before the start of the race. It was soon approaching and we could see the drivers getting together on the big screen. It was then announced and everyone was silent, all that could be heard was the helicopter flying in the distance. One the screen there was an aerial shot of the drivers, shoulder to shoulder surrounding their helmets with Bianchi – well that nearly set me off.
Normally, at football matches and the like, the end of the silence would be formally announced and applause, but there was silence then the Hungarian National anthem started playing. At the time I thought this was odd and I assume alot of other people did as during the first few bars the crowd around me started applauding and cheering for Jules. Since watching the race back, and with hindsight, I felt the anthem might of added something to the emotion of the occasion – it’s not very well known and was very sombre and subdued. At the end of the anthem the crowd applauded and cheered again and the big screen there was a lingering shot of Bianchi’s helmet sitting alone one the track – well that was me gone, I kept my sunglasses on and stayed quiet for a few minutes. Even looking back it gets me. It was a surreal experience to be part of F1 history.
A family had arrived just before the start of the race, there were loads of them and had a big flag! It was annoying! The formation lap started and the cars went passed and the ones in front started standing, waving their flag and some stood on their seats! The French lad beside me was getting visibly annoyed (in a French way! – he actually gave off to them after a few laps of these shenanigans! Fair play to him!).
The cars made it to the grid.. and the start was aborted! They came around again for another formation lap! They made it around again and started properly. We watched on the big screen as Vettel and Raikkionen made it 1-2 into the first corner! The grandstand cheered! Soon enough the cars were coming to our part of the circuit, as I watched the Ferraris go through the chicane there was an even bigger cheer from our grandstand when in my peripheral vision I noticed a Mercedes and watched it go over the gravel in front of me! The cheer got bigger as we realised it was Hamilton!
So, we sat in the grandstand and enjoyed a great race! Vettel and Kimi led comfortably and we watched Hamilton try and fight his way back and other battles. The pop of the night was after Vettel pitted and Kimi lead for a lap, our grandstand was so loud at that point!! Sadly it became apparent it wouldn’t end well for Kimi as he was slowing and I managed to hear team radio over the PA and heard something like “engine power”.
The race got tastier when Hulkenberg had an accident. A few English people around me got excited as they thought there would be a safety car and would allow Hamilton to catch the leaders.. how we laughed when they realised it was just a Virtual Safety Car… hahahah..oh, after a lap or two it was changed to a normal safety car and the English people got really excited!
The race restarted and the English people around us got very excited at the prospect of Hamilton fighting back through the field and he instantly crashes into Ricciardo, and the English people groaned. Looking back it’s hard not to laugh!
The race got very exciting towards the end. Sadly Kimi retired but the Red Bulls were chasing Vettel and Rosberg. Rosberg even picked up a puncture battling with Ricciardo!
Before the last lap the French lad said bye to me, and we fist bumped. Didn’t know his name, or talk to him much. But he was a sound lad!
So the race unexpectedly finished Vettel, Kvyat and Ricciardo! Alonso finished 5th!! It was a crazy fun race to watch! We stayed for the podium and noticed there were track invaders on the pit straight! Sadly we couldn’t see a way onto the track where we were so just watched on the big screen.
We met with our Swedish chums (upset that Kimi retired) and went to wait on a taxi. It was a long (really long) wait as they had a domestic in the queue. I threw Leona under the bus and let her deal with it as I pretended not to be listening as I read tweets. They went to the side and were fine again though.
The previous day the man at the stand was advising not taking a taxi from the brand he represented but today he admitted no one was coming and take what you can get! We managed to get a cab and went back to Budapest with our Swedish chums as they asked us questions about the IRA (ffs!).
We dumped our stuff back in the hotel and went straight out for dinner! We tried, for a second time, to go to the Hard Rock cafe but there was a bit of a queue! We got talking to some English people who said “well done” to me because I was wearing a Ferrari T Shirt. They were aware that I didn’t work for Ferrari but still congratulated me. We talked about the race and they said they were sitting right in front of where Hulkenberg crashed!
We then went across the square to a restaurant called Cafe Paris! Another person came up to me to congratulate me (this was weird!) – he was from Liverpool – he was a Mercedes/Hamilton fan but was happy there was a good show to make it exciting!
After dinner we had a walk along the river and enjoyed the sites all lit up. We had a relatively early night and enjoyed a lie in the next morning!!