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Author Topic: Hungary 2018 aka Possibly Worst Race Ever  (Read 327 times)

Offline Alianora La Canta

Hungary 2018 aka Possibly Worst Race Ever
« on: August 08, 2018, 02:00:55 PM »
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  • I went to Hungary last race. Got heatstroke on lap 38 and only found out who won yesterday.

    At least I only spent 6 days worrying about what would happen to my beloved Force India (getting that particular item of news just before bedtime on Friday night, when already nobody could sleep in the hostel due to the humidity, was pretty painful)...


    Percussus resurgio
    @lacanta (Twitter)
    http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

    Offline cosworth151

    Re: Hungary 2018 aka Possibly Worst Race Ever
    « Reply #1 on: August 08, 2018, 04:20:56 PM »
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  • Wow, Ali! You did have a rough time of it. I hope you're feeling better.
    “You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
    ― Bob Dylan

    Offline lkjohnson1950

    Re: Hungary 2018 aka Possibly Worst Race Ever
    « Reply #2 on: August 08, 2018, 04:42:37 PM »
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  • Really Alia! Take care and feel better.   ;)
    Lonny

    Offline John S

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    Re: Hungary 2018 aka Possibly Worst Race Ever
    « Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 09:27:52 AM »
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  • Sorry to hear your race got cut short Alia, hope you're fit again now.

    May I ask though, do you think the Hungarian track and race is a better one to attend than, Barcelona or Spa?
    Racing is life - everything else is just waiting. (Steve McQueen)

    Offline Scott

    Re: Hungary 2018 aka Possibly Worst Race Ever
    « Reply #4 on: August 09, 2018, 11:38:54 AM »
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  • It was a brutally hot week...sorry to hear you couldn’t last the whole race.  I hope the trip was on the whole a good experience though.
    The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

    Offline Alianora La Canta

    Re: Hungary 2018 aka Possibly Worst Race Ever
    « Reply #5 on: August 10, 2018, 09:04:54 PM »
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  • Thank you to everyone for your kind wishes. I am completely healthy now (apart from a minor cold - and not only does half my call centre has a cold, but I'm finding this one a breeze to work with) and I feel fit enough to tackle anything short of a half-marathon (my next one's not for another 2 months ;) ).

    John, I've never been to Barcelona or Spa, so I can't fairly compare either to Hungary. I have been to Silverstone, and consider Hungary to compare favourably... ...provided one is not trying to entertain small children, or some sort of snowman. General admission views are arguably better at the Hungaroring than Silverstone, though disappointingly it's not possible to walk the whole way round the track (the areas around Turns 3 and 4 are closed to all spectators, so anyone wishing to give Turn 4 the finger for giving Felipe so much pain in 2009 will need binoculars and Bronze grandstand tickets - those being the ones overlooking Turns 5 and 6 and thus having sight of Turn 4).

    You WILL need more water than you think for Hungary. Expect to fill the 0.5 litre bottle you're allowed to take through security at least 8 times over the course of the day, and make sure you a) stow an extra litre in a locker for the walk back to the train, b) buy a big bottle of water from the shop just outside the track (it's the equivalent of 85 p for 1.5 litres) or c) use a non-train option such as the free F1 bus, your own car or one of the three taxi companies licensed to use "Bernie Avenue". I know the track also officially recommends cycling as an alternative to any of the above, but unless you are part camel I would leave that to daring, super-fit locals!

    Most things (except mineral water and F1 merchandise) are much cheaper at the Hungaroring than Silverstone, and the bag allowance is more generous. Both technically only allow 20-litre bags, but my 35-litre bag was allowed into the Hungaroring once the guards saw I hadn't packed it with more than 20 litres worth of items, whereas I believe Silverstone can and will refuse entry for a bag that size in the first place. Also, the Hungaroring, unlike Silverstone, has lockers you can put things you want for the journey back in.

    Travel to the Hungaroring is easier than Silverstone, especially as there is a free "F1 bus" going from one of the Metro stations to the bottom of the Hungaroring hill. They were popular but enough buses were available for the demand.

    Downside for Hungaroring is that the F1 Zone, which is terribly noisy and crowded at lunchtime in particular, is in the way of all the seating areas. At Silverstone, you'd have the option of walking the other way to bypass it if you wanted.

    The fans were awesome and used to trying to communicate with people with effectively no common language. Lots of Poles, Finns, Swedes, Danes and Dutch people, as well as the obvious Hungarians and Czech fans. However, you may struggle to find them in the city itself as a lot of the people staying in the city aren't there for the race (I was literally the only person in my hostel who was there for the Grand Prix - and it was a cheap, well-kept one on the Pest side of the river). You don't find as many Western European fans as elsewhere, if this matters to you, though there is a significant British contingent and even some adventurous Aussies.

    Commentary is about 1/3 English and 2/3 Hungarian, largely because it takes almost twice as long to say most things in Hungarian as English. The English commentator was comically pro-Hamilton, quite audible unless a swarm of cars was coming past, and often did roll-calls of nations present at the race when nothing more interesting was happening.

    There are a lot of "lulls" in the action. Use strategically for hiding in the beer tent (surprisingly, actually buying a drink is not compulsory for use of the tent unless one wishes to sit down, and if that specific tent is not busy, nobody will complain if you sit down with a eau de portaloo sink). The food looks expensive compared to town, but at £6-£10 for a full meal's worth of food, and £3-£5 for an ice cream or other snack item, it's still far cheaper than Silverstone. Food quality was uniformly good, but my personal recommendation is the savory waffle shop, which did a waffle ham-and-salad sandwich for £6.50 that made for a good, substantial lunch. Two of the three servers there speak English and constantly make jokes about the other one to English-speaking customers.

    The trip as a whole was a good experience for me. However, I spoke to my parents and my race-shortening "problem" was worse than I thought it was.

    Turns out the fuller version was:

    On lap 38 of the Hungarian Grand Prix, I got heatstroke. Ambulance people went over to me (as you'd expect) and tried to get me to respond. I didn't respond (too busy trying to get water, which I didn't realise I could no longer get thanks to the heatstroke). Ambulance people look through my stuff to check what might be the reason for this, and phone my ICE number (thankfully pre-set to my parents' number) to tell them, quote, "Do you know Alianora La Canta? She is going to the hospital in Hungary".

    They found my autism alert pack... ...and decided the best way to respond was to stuff me with muscle relaxant to treat the autism. (Hint: for anyone wondering, this is not a recognised treatment for any form of heatstroke). They then proceed to cart me off to psychiatric hospital. Because anyone with autism who faints must obviously need their autism treating instead of their heatstroke!

    My parents get this message, attempt to call me back and fail because for some reason the phone got switched off. They spend 2 days attempting to locate where I might have been taken, eventually having to enlist the help of the British Consulate.

    Meanwhile, I am continuing to receive muscle relaxant - lots of it - in hospital. As well as nutrition via IV and a 2-person ward which was at least nice, cool, safe and containing enough fluids. In other words, my actual problem was being treated by coincidence.

    2 days after my collapse, the Consulate got back to my parents reporting that none of the major hospitals in Budapest had me. My parents assumed I'd been kidnapped and tried to ring me again. Still no answer. A day later, the Consulate finally managed to find me via a private ambulance agency contracted by the circuit - apparently Budapest's main psychiatric facility does not count as a major hospital. Another hour of calls later, my parents give up trying to contact someone in the hospital as it is always picked up by someone who does not speak English, or passed over to me (who could not pick up the phone due to the muscle relaxant).

    Finally, the Consulate locates the one doctor who can string English sentences together and connects him with my extremely stressed parents. The doctor asks who is accompanying me. Dad answers, perplexed, "Nobody, of course, she's visited Budapest by herself before and is quite independent". Apparently the doctor was astonished that autistic people could go on holiday alone in the first place, let alone that one such person was in his very hospital. My parents gave him a "bit of an education"...

    Dad demanded to speak to me, and on being asked what I was being fed, I apparently told him I couldn't lift my arms to eat. After some queries regarding treatment, Dad insisted I be taken off the muscle relaxants immediately and just be left to recover, peacefully, with some good food, for 48 hours.

    The doctor was slightly surprised when, 48 hours and lots of tasty goulash later, I was ready to leave hospital to spend the next 2 1/2 days traversing Europe to go back home. Oblivious to the misdiagnosis and not remembering anything from the time I was full of relaxant, I thanked the English-speaking doctor for treating my heatstroke "which must have been bad for me to need 5 days' treatment, but thankfully I was in the good care of this hospital".

    In conclusion: I've decided I need to write a book about this, so people understand why people like me decide to travel across half of Europe with their autism to cheer on teams that go into administration shortly after my arrival and try to stay cool in baking heat :D
    Percussus resurgio
    @lacanta (Twitter)
    http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

    Offline Alianora La Canta

    Re: Hungary 2018 aka Possibly Worst Race Ever
    « Reply #6 on: August 10, 2018, 09:36:28 PM »
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  • Also, going through the Race Essentials thread, some comments pertinent to Hungary:

    - Weekend ticket is a combined one. The front of it has the pit walk pass, the back has the test days pass, neither is meant to get detached from your ticket at any point. Not sure it's the same for all providers, but mine came in an A5 card folder with a race timetable, map and some handy hints (like which taxi companies were allowed to use Bernie Avenue and therefore both faster and cheaper than the rest).

    - Remember your passport and all travel tickets for getting to and from Budapest. Shouldn't need to put that in, but guess which silly billy forgot to print out one of her sleeper train tickets, causing needless complication when trying to leave Prague?

    - Cap additions of any kind are considered cool, as long as no prohibited items are involved, of course.

    - Waterproof jacket and a towel are essentials. The towel is so you can carry on sitting where you are when everyone else is so scared of the lightning that they have run for the beer tent. I would use the rucksack you've likely used to carry everything as a way to keep the towel in place.

    - Bring sunscreen from home. Separate it into 100 ml bottles to get it through security if flying (if going for the whole week, it's worth considering 150 ml of sunscreen, but if only doing the weekend, 100 ml - the amount allowed in a single flight container - is loads). Don't mix it up with your shampoo. Nobody in Mogyorod (where the track is) will admit to knowing what sunscreen is, let alone sell you any. (Someone tried to convince me sunscreen was a dark blue car spray paint...) It's even difficult to find proper sunblock in Budapest itself - the only place I found SPF 20 in was in a shopping centre that "only sold the good French stuff" and charged me the same as for a F1 hat, for 200 ml of sunblock.

    - Standard sunglasses are easily and cheaply obtained in Budapest. Prescription and "clip-on" sunglasses are not.

    - Officially, only 0.5 litres of water can be brought into the circuit - and empty bottles cannot be brought in addition to this. Use the circuit lockers to keep extra water safe if you want some for the return journey, otherwise get a robust 0.5 litre bottle and memorise the location of every toilet. Note that all the sinks have potable water and are the official recommended method of hydration. The fact that 0.5 litres of mineral water inside the circuit is £4 reinforces this recommendation. (Yes, an ice lolly is slightly cheaper).

    - Earplugs need to be brought from home, but a wide variety of ear defenders are sold outside the circuit for €10 (or the equivalent in Hungarian forints).

    - Binoculars need to be brought from home.

    - Do NOT expect the programme to have a useful guide to the support events (as in years past). There is a timetable, but apart from that it is completely devoted to F1. Support races don't even get entry lists nowadays.

    - Most stands don't take credit cards, though there is a free ATM near the circuit entrance and another in the Fan Zone.

    - Keep your big umbrella/parasol at home. Small umbrellas attached to hats, or collapsible small umbrellas, are acceptable.

    - There are autograph sessions randomly spread through the weekend, even if you miss the pit walk (where most autographing happens) on the Thursday.

    - Leave the golf seat/shooter's stick at home - they're prohibited at the Hungaroring, as are all items that fold into seats.

    - I would not recommend ordering a FanVision rental unless made of money. Friday-only cost £4, Saturday-only cost £31 and Sunday-only £57 HUF. The weekend cost "only" £100. Do they really expect half the audience to lose their devices over the course of the weekend?!?

    - Lots of camping available for people who are thinking of getting some fabric and a mallet hoisted. Though hostels are just as cheap for the single traveller and are worth a look. Hotels obviously a bit of a pricier option, but better if you are the type to need air conditioning after a hot day's race-watching.

    - There is a large "watering hole" outside the track for anyone needing a proper beer. Also, there is a small bar at the bottom of the hill, and the reward for climbing the 3.5 km to get to the train station at Mogyorod is what I am told is a decent drinking establishment. Though most of the nightlife is in the city itself.

    - Snakes and spiders are not a problem in Hungary. Ants and wasps can be. Simply move slowly away, detach laggard ants from your bag, and they tend not to follow you.

    - Wellies might be a good idea - or not - check the weather forecast (when it rains at the track, it rains properly). A solid set of shoes, in most parts of the venue, will suffice and be less heat-inducing.

    - If you have children.... ....please do everyone a favour and bring something to entertain them. There is practically nothing for them in the shops at the track. I was sat next to a Hamilton-supporting family on Sunday morning. The 8-year-old constantly asked for food and drink, not due to hunger or thirst, but boredom. Thankfully, I had my programme with me, so that kept the child entertained for 30 minutes while the parents thought up something else...
    Percussus resurgio
    @lacanta (Twitter)
    http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

    Offline lkjohnson1950

    Re: Hungary 2018 aka Possibly Worst Race Ever
    « Reply #7 on: August 11, 2018, 07:33:41 AM »
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  • WOW! What an adventure. Glad you finally made it through.
    Lonny

    Online Luke

    Re: Hungary 2018 aka Possibly Worst Race Ever
    « Reply #8 on: August 11, 2018, 10:09:07 AM »
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  • If you ever need a (terrible) photographer to follow you as you write your book on F1 experiences...  :D

    Glad to hear you're now well and recovered, what an adventure to tell over the years though. 
    Poster formerly known as Williamsfan.

    Offline Alianora La Canta

    Re: Hungary 2018 aka Possibly Worst Race Ever
    « Reply #9 on: August 12, 2018, 09:34:42 AM »
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  • If you ever need a (terrible) photographer to follow you as you write your book on F1 experiences...  :D

    Glad to hear you're now well and recovered, what an adventure to tell over the years though.

    I am sure you are better at photography than me. I can't even make proper use of the 0.3 MP camera on my "feature" phone, I'm that bad...

    This book is going to have cartoonish drawings rather than photos, but I will keep you in mind if I want to do a broader-based book. (Currently about 50% of the way through writing the English text accompanying the book that I'm planning for this weekend. I don't want any more doctors telling concerned parents that they've never heard of autistic people travelling abroad independently before...)
    Percussus resurgio
    @lacanta (Twitter)
    http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

    Online Luke

    Re: Hungary 2018 aka Possibly Worst Race Ever
    « Reply #10 on: August 12, 2018, 10:30:40 AM »
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  • I am sure you are better at photography than me. I can't even make proper use of the 0.3 MP camera on my "feature" phone, I'm that bad...

    This book is going to have cartoonish drawings rather than photos, but I will keep you in mind if I want to do a broader-based book. (Currently about 50% of the way through writing the English text accompanying the book that I'm planning for this weekend. I don't want any more doctors telling concerned parents that they've never heard of autistic people travelling abroad independently before...)

    You've not seen my photos  :D  I have some very blurry pics of Tim Peake from the other night, appalling! 

    Good luck with the writing though, it is a great thing to do.  Out of interest, are you planning to get it published in... Hungarian?! 
    Poster formerly known as Williamsfan.

    Offline Alianora La Canta

    Re: Hungary 2018 aka Possibly Worst Race Ever
    « Reply #11 on: August 12, 2018, 11:23:02 PM »
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  • Bilingual English/Hungarian is the plan (so it's readable to both of the main expected audiences). I've already got a bilingual friend who's volunteered to do the translation/alpha-reading, and may have another friend willing to translate to Finnish (which, for one of my marketing plans for the book, would be handy). Obviously I'll want to give her a fair share of the royalties.

    First draft of the words is complete (there will be pictures, which I refuse to start until I know the broad structure of what I'm drawing) and has been sent to the translator/alpha-reader.
    Percussus resurgio
    @lacanta (Twitter)
    http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)