24 April 2019
Off to Baku...
Apologies for radio silence in recent days, but the Easter holiday is something that F1 folk rarely get and so it was important to be at home and involved in non-racing activities with small happy people.
So rather than chasing racing cars around, I spent the weekend looking for Easter eggs, overseeing pony rides, lawn-mowing and so on, which means that the break between Grands Prix disappeared, not helped by various adventures following the puncture on my return from Bahrain, which somehow managed to take a day and a half to get everything in order.
On one of my trips to buy paint/grass seed/change the TV box or whatever, I did take a small detour to drop into a place called the Circuit de l'Europe. They say that Britain has the strangest place names, but I'm not so sure, as the circuit is to be found in a commune called Sotteville-sous-le-Val, which basically translates at Stupidtown-under-the-valley, which begs a lot of different questions. The facility is to be found inside one of the big lazy meanders that the Seine flows through around Rouen. It is jammed between a railway, a motorway and two flooded gravel pits. It offers karting, jet-skis and paintball and has a karting boutique. The only reason I went there was because it came up in conversation recently with Esteban Ocon, as being the place where he and Pierre Gasly spent a great deal of time when they were younger, perfecting their racing skills. I didn't see any rising stars on my visit. There were a few folk driving around, but it was clear from their shapes that they were not going to appear on my radar as future F1 stars.
I also spent a little time trying to teach myself video editing. I shot lots of video in Shanghai but didn't have the time to edit it together in any coherent fashion during the race weekend, as preparing the GP+ e-magazine for the 1000th Grand Prix edition took up all my available time. Still, it was the biggest GP+ ever at 123 pages.
Anyway, it is now time to head off to Baku, which is not an easy place to get to, as the only direct flights are on the wrong days. Thus one must bounce through airports such as Istanbul, Moscow, Minsk or Kiev, or go further east to Dubai and then fly back to Azerbaijan. Still, it should be an interesting weekend as all the races to date on the Baku street track have been pretty unpredictable, which is what F1 fans are always saying that they want...