Wednesday, November 20, 2013

placeholder post

We just got back from the Austin Formula 1 Grand Prix...longer post to come [with pictures], but in the meantime, some placeholders:

* Trucked Will's car down, so much easier [and cooler] having our own car there.

* Stayed in same hotel as the Mercedes AMG Petronas team [the SLS Black that Lewis had for the weekend was *gorgeous* <drool> ].

* Awesome drive with a buddy over Twisted Sisters...sooo much fun, an incredible day.

* The McLaren hospitality crew were *amazing*. Many good conversations with Andrew, Gemma, and George, much respect to the whole team for what they do.

* Friday Free Practice was definitely worth going to. Not as many people, much more relaxed.

* Pit walk was cool, and our badges got us into the exterior of the McLaren pit. Way interesting, but not as cool as...

* ...the personal tour of the *garage* with Peter, a McLaren employee who has been with the team for over 20 years.

* Lots of swag: hats, bags, a jacket, headphones, earplugs, bluetooth speaker, signed pics of Sergio and Jenson.

* Speaking of signatures: Will persevered through ridiculously cutthroat fans and got his car's circuit panel cover signed by Jenson. Fuck yeah.

* Qualifying was much more active than we'd seen in recent races, which we were very okay with for our first in-person race. :^)

* Race day was hot and sunny...90+ degrees [and rising as the track heated up], sun beating down. Didn't stop us from staying outside to watch everything, though. Huzzah for copious applications of sunscreen.

* The drivers are smaller than they seem, especially when you see them out of their racing suits. Their weight is *strictly* managed, so they are wiry, lithe, thin buggers. Even the 6-footers seem small, since there are no extraneous ounces on them.

* Austin handled the event rather brilliantly...traffic was copious but manageable, and everything was well-marked, with lots of people around to help you if you got confused. Very impressive.

* The sound. Holy shit, the sound. Those cars are ridiculous. TV just doesn't capture it. The high-pitched pissed-off wasp whine as they pass by on the straight going full bore. Even more surprising was the low bass grumble they put out when crawling [hah! pit speed is 60MPH, hilarious to call that "crawling"] through pit just don't expect that, and you don't really get to hear it much on telly. I am very, very, very glad that we were able to hear those cars in person before they move to the V6 turbos next season.

Lots more, will sort through pictures and mementos and pull something together in the next week or so.

To sum up:

An incredible time, definitely want to do it again. :^)

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