I attended my first ever F1 race this weekend, and it was a good one: the Italian Grand Prix at legendary Monza, north-east of Milan.The circuit staff were fairly relaxed, making it easy to get really close to the cars and the track (see above).
The track is set in a genuinely beautiful park – a far cry from Silverstone’s grey fields of tarmac. Highlights included inadvertently bumping into Alonso in his road car, being greeted by the affable Davide Valsecchi and finding half the paddock in the EasyJet queue on the way home (including John Surtees, Max Chilton and Johnny Herbert)
Watching from Parabolica, it seemed evident that Vettel took a different line from the other front-runners. Perhaps able to carry more speed in, and certainly with visibly better turn-in (he seemed to oversteer rather than understeer through the turn for most of the early part of the race), it was fascinating to see the one of the details marking out his fourth season of dominance.
Despite the boos and whistles of the Tifosi, it is difficult not to admire the clear superiority of the car from Milton Keynes.
Did it make for a ‘boring’ race? No, no, no. Vettel may need to part ways with Adrian Newey to truly test himself against the field, and perhaps 2014 regulations will bring a freshening unpredictability to the grid, but for me it didn’t matter this weekend.
The smell of carbon brakes, deafening engines and the truly stunning craftsmanship of the drivers made it one of the best events I’ve ever seen in person.