Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Formula 1derful Recap.

It's been a few days since the US Grand Prix but I feel like I am still recovering. I was hoping not to need to put Ferrari fans or Schumacher up there but so it goes.

Overall, my experience over the weekend was a total blast. Yes, the race was predictable, at least after that first turn crash in which 8 cars went off. This year, we wound up on a mound near a screen so we could actually see the start and keep a bit more aware of what was going on. My friend Eric a McLaren fan, in two years now, has yet to see a McLaren do a race lap. For myself, I was pleased tos ee my favorite driver, Giancarlo Fisachella, get to the third step of the podium, and most of the race for me was kept interesting by hoping he wouldn't have a meltdown as he often does.

To me though, more than the race, (even as an ardent fan an apoligist I think Mike gets it right) I love the whole atmosphere surrounding it more. I walked around most of the morning of the race just taking pictures of different people with different flags and face paint and props. At some point I hope to get those up on flickr or here. On Friday, we ran into some cats from Scotland and talked to them for about 20 minutes about scotch and the atmosphere at the track. On Saturday we saw them in kilts being interviewed on the big screen. When we asked them why they came to this race as opposed to any of the others they could go too, their answer was the people. When asked the same question on the big screen by the interviewer, he gave the same answer.

Truth told that gives me a sense of pride about the city that possibly should be reserved for other things. Truth told, Formula 1 itself as a sport is an oppulent waste of money all for entertainment purposes. Yet, when the event is put on in my city, and you walk around and you realize that people seem to be having a good time, and that they have only good to say about the whole event and city I sorta feel my chest pump out a bit.

Yes, obvioulsy it would be great if the Barcelona of North America was known as a mecca for theater or live music rather than the racing capital of the world. But for the time being, with the 160 million dollars that tourists pour into the citu over the Formula 1 weekend, it's good to know they are at least leaving with a positive impression.

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