A cold and wet morning greeted us at the circuit on race day, but that didn’t stop a large group of fans waiting for more photographs from the drivers and other team personnel.
I was lucky enough to get a different perspective this morning as I observed the goings on from the drop off area at the entrance to the F1 paddock. In another step up from yesterday, and with action starting earlier today because of the rain delay during Saturday qualifying, most drivers were very keen to get into the paddock to prepare for rare Sunday morning qualifying.
As always, Sebastian Vettel signed autographs for an extended length of time and was greeted with the biggest cheer from the waiting fans. While Lewis Hamilton may be the new ‘Schumi’ in terms of attracting controversy, Vettel is definately the new Schumi in terms of popularity.
I was lucky enough to have my photo taken with Jean-Eric Vergne, Pastor Maldonado, Marc Gene, and a grumpy David Coulthard, who produced the worst fake smile I have ever seen (that includes the ones that Mark Webber occasionally dishes out).
I also had my eyes peeled for FIA driving standards observer Danny Sullivan, however I did not manage to see him this morning. Sullivan is virtually unknown in Australia, which is surprising given his status in Motorsport as an accomplished F1 and IndyCar driver, his career highlight being his famous ‘spin and win’ victory in the 1985 Indianapolis 500. A photograph with Danny would be a dream come true.
Other notable occurrences
– Kimi Raikonnen was back to his old self today offering nothing more than a wave to fans before heading into the paddock
– Former World Champions Mika Hakkinen, Damon Hill and Sir Jackie Stewart all thrilled the fans by signing autographs
– Lewis Hamilton again came in the trademan’s entrance to the circuit and was not sighted this morning (we still haven’t been able to get a good view of that new sleeve tattoo of his)
– Valterri Bottas could be the new Raikkonen (he probably just drinks a bit more coffee)