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F1 News & Discussions => General F1 Discussion => F1 Experiences => Topic started by: David on September 04, 2012, 08:16:34 PM

Title: Belgian GP
Post by: David on September 04, 2012, 08:16:34 PM
I have a few words to write and a few pics to post for you guys, but I can barely keep my eyes open this evening after my return form my Belgian adventure.
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: cosworth151 on September 04, 2012, 08:54:49 PM
Looking forward to it!  :yahoo:
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: Dare on September 05, 2012, 12:25:51 AM
Where were you seated on the track David?I hope near t1
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: Scott on September 05, 2012, 07:23:42 AM
It'll be fun to hear about the race, and hope you've gathered tips for those of us planning a trip someday to Spa.
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: F1fanaticBD on September 05, 2012, 04:57:22 PM
I have few things to talk about David :

1.We never saw our GPW banner that you supposed to be having as being the official from this forum..

2.Did you bring the other half of thing which was Lewis taking away?
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: Scott on September 06, 2012, 01:41:21 PM
1.We never saw our GPW banner that you supposed to be having as being the official from this forum..

We've been through this - GPW members are supposed to go bare chested with GPW painted on the front, and the website up and down the arms. 

Just like Ian and I did at Monza   :P :P
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: Ian on September 06, 2012, 06:52:48 PM
Of course we did Scott, but the local police did'nt like it when you showed it printed on your buttocks.  :DD  :DD  :DD
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: Scott on September 06, 2012, 07:24:09 PM
They're the ones who wanted to look.  Those Italians  :-[
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: F1fanaticBD on September 07, 2012, 06:32:13 AM
Dear Wizzo would you stop these two getting naked in the name of GPW, while their only intention is to get noticed by Italian beauties (Wonder how on earth will they get that :confused:)

Ian is the culprit, summer is heating him up off the roof, Scotty here is just an accomplice.. ;)

Ian I told you I will get you the pole, with the lady....
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: David on September 09, 2012, 11:37:45 AM
Sorry for keeping you hanging form my GP experience story, this past week has been a blur! Iíll not bore with the travelling and all I will cut to the chase. We arrived at the track at around 9am me and my MD (complete F1 nut) after a two hour coach journey from Brussels, and entered the complex via the Blanchimont gate to the frankly weird sound of GP3ís. We made our way up towards the Blanchimont corner and the final chicane where we go comfortable to watch FP3. I can tell you I was like an excitable child and could wipe the smile off my face, and I hadnít even seen a car yet! Given this I had to calm myself with my first beer of the day (wasnít that bad it was quarter to eleven by now). Surrounded by F1 fans all equally excited for what was about to happen, waving flags, blowing them bloody awful air horns. The maddest fans prize has to go to the Fins, boy do the dudes love Kimi! Then it started, the sound of F1 cars on track, I knew it was going to be loud, I knew it was going to be special to see my heroes on track, but at that moment a 36 year old man turned into a 12 year old boy again. I couldnít believe the scale of the noises I was experiencing and the sights I was seeing. The first few cars were back marker teams and I thought if they are going that well they could be on for pole today! LOL! Then I seen them, Alonso, Schumacher, Button, Hamilton, Kimi ...... and yes Scott even Massa, I had to have another beer to calm myself down. The cars were coming hard from Blanchimont and braking for the Chicane, unreal how late they brake and how quickly the scrub off the speed, and then how composed the cars seem in what is a very tight chicane, and then the noise as they open the taps and head down the start finish straight. The travel company gave everyone ear plugs for the noise, but seriously why would you want to blank out the music. It was all too much so I had to have another beer to calm the nervous, purely medicinal at this stage youíll understand. Unbelievable the difference in sounds from the cars especially on the over run when they are on the brakes, the Ferrari sounded awesome, but I would say that. The McLaren and Force India had and absolutely amazing note, the Red Bull had a strange sound, almost like they were doing something with their exhaust gases, not that I trying to start any rumours or that. Another car that stood out to me was the Caterham, it made an cracker throaty noise as it burbled into the corners. That first hour seemed like five minutes and by this stage my face was aching from smiling so much, but another beer soon killed the pain (anyone seeing a pattern here?).
We then headed off towards the F1 village to see what was on offer while the Porsche Supercup cars were on track. As we walked closer to the pits etc. I was a little disappointed that everything was closed off and you couldnít really see what was going on. We walked under a tunnel that took us under the track and into the F1 village, as we walked up the hill through the crowds to the exhibits I got an sharp elbow to the ribs from my MD, ďholy ****Ē he said ďlook behind youĒ. There behind me was a wall of tarmac, yes a wall, thatís all I can describe it as, I was looking at en Rouge. You canít imaging unless you are standing there just how steep it is, I had to have a beer to bring me back to earth. After looking round the crazy overpriced stalls and paying some Belgian 70 cent to have a pee, (have to excuse me, us Irish are tight, didnít mind paying 5 Euro a pop for the beers though) we headed to the top of en Rouge to watch quli. Tell you what itís a hell of a steep hike to the top, however when you get there there you are greeted by a cabin, there they were serving some beer, so we had to have one to settle the blood pressure, purely meditational.
Qualifying started, as did a whole new F1 experience. The cars were now going flat out through en Rouge heading up the hill, damm that was loud compared to the sound at the chicane, I had to have a....only kidding! You could now see the difference between who was quick and who was a little less quick, I wonít say slow because they were far from slow. They didnít seem to back off and all, and all you heard was a slight change in engine note as the cars compressed through the corner and up the hill. Although a little disappointed the Massa missed out Q3 and Alonso could only manage 5th, and the fact I was accompanied by a Button fan who rubbed it all in, Quli was another amazing experience.
We then grabbed a few beers from the cabin and headed up the hill to find a seat on the grass to watch the GP2 race. Unfortunately this was cut short by the accident and the race was stopped. With a bit of time to kill we decided to walk up to Les Combes and check out the rest of the track. What a place Spa is, the track, the amazing corners, the elevation change from the lowest point at La Source up to the highest point at Les Combes, and that run down off the hill at the back off the track, what a series of corners, heaven for F1 fans. If Bernie ever allows this place to fall off the calendar it will be a great loss to our sport. We had to be back to the coach for 5pm, and as we rambled around soaking up the atmosphere and a few beers LOL! We realised it was after 4-30 and we had no real clue how to get back to the coach, we decided to stop taking two steps forward and one back as we had done for the pass couple of hours as the hospitality set in, and press on toward the coach, Jez we just made it and no more, and I had a lovely sleep dreaming of F1 cars the whole way back to Brussels.

Iíll post my race report later along with some photos when I work out how to do it. Donít expect much photography skills!
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: John S on September 09, 2012, 03:25:07 PM

Good atmospheric prose there David, reading it I really felt your enjoyment of Day 1 at Spa.  :good:

I'll certainly raise a glass, or three, to you in anticipation of your next post.  ;) :D

 
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: Scott on September 09, 2012, 06:41:43 PM
I thought all the beer pounding was going to lead to you waking up in a ditch somewhere during Qualifying, or missing your bus back to Brussels.  ;) ;)

Great writing David.  You certainly captured how many of us felt when we went to our first F1 race.   :yahoo: :yahoo:

We'll look forward to the race report...  :good: :good:
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: F1fanaticBD on September 09, 2012, 07:11:45 PM
 :good: :good: :good:

Just makes me feel that i have to go a GP as soon as possible

Waiting for the race report
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: David on September 09, 2012, 09:04:07 PM
Day two Ė Race day

Picture the seen, itís 6 30am there are 42 Irish folk waiting on a coach, the day before had been amazing, the night before had been........good I think. Plenty of sore heads and sleepy eyes but everyone was ready to get going regardless of the hour, spirits were high. The journey to the track took longer than expected, there were definitely more people heading in the direction of Spa today. Arriving at the track we decided that we would make the long trek to Les Combes and head down the hill to the end of the DRS zone or there abouts, where we thought the best racing would take place. I was convinced I was the only person who had this plan and it was early so we would get the best spot possible to view the race, I was wrong, very very wrong. We battled our way through the crowds up the back of the circuit, I donít remember seeing so many people in the one place before. Every spot along the fence, every crack some could get an eye too was occupied. As we walked the GP2 second race was taking place, them boys are fairly shifting, not near as quick and impressive as an F1 car but still riveting to watch. We eventually arrived at the spot I had thought of and stood at the top of the bank, not a place to put yer bum to be had, but I didnít care. I could see from the exit of en Rouge, right up the hill to the entry to Les Combes, this was the spot so we..... guess what.....got the beers in! The atmosphere was great and the crowd was well up for it, and by this stage the Porsche Supercup boys were on track and lining up for their race start. Off they went away from the start line and as they came through en Rouge and up the hill every bugger on the bank stood up, all I could see was the back of some German dudes head. There was a huge accident that ended up with a Porsche sliding up the hill on itís roof right in front of us, or so I was told, couldnít see a thing! The decision was made that we had to get a better spot for the F1 race. Across the track we could see people coming out of the forest and there was hardly a sinner there to block the view. We made a hasty retreat and head up to Les Combes and down to the back of the track the way we had come to gain access to the forest. During the walk a major concern cropped up, we had serious doubts about the availability of refreshments in the middle of the Arden Forest, this was a big set back and a pit stop had to be made. The next beer hut we came to we stocked up the back packs and headed through the forest. Using my directional skills and the map we had been given, we made our way through the forest, no one was more shocked than me when we realised we hadnít a clue where to go. After a bit of trial and error, and muddy feet, we eventually made it to the spot we had seen. Ah great we could see the track at last if not though a chain link fence and it was getting close to race time.
I always thought that when the cars made their way round to the grid that they maybe took it easy. Well they donít, they were going hard and the noise was intense as the past us and braked for the entry to Les Combes, the excitement was growing for the race. As the cars made there way round on the warm up lap my heart was pounding as the noise echoed through the trees. Then as the noise died down for a second, as one by one you could hear in the distance the cars line up on the grid. Watching F1 for as long as I have you seem to have a sixth sense for how long the start sequence should take, I could almost see the red lights as the noise of 24 F1 cars screamed through the forest. Bang the lights were out and you could hear that all hell had broken lose, then unfortunately bang again. I obviously couldnít see the accident from my vantage point but I knew instantly that all hadnít gone to plan, as the engine screams had dulled, everyone knew there had been an incident at the start. I must add at this point, although there was a big screen just down from us, you needed binoculars to see it and you were looking at it from a side angle, with this and the cars right there in front of you it wasnít a point of interest at that time. As the cars made their way up the hill, engines already in fuel save mode, we watched to see who had been involved. My heart sank when I only seen one Ferrari pass, the man I was desperate to see race, and Ferraris only real chance of a result was out. You know what came next.... I had to have a beer to ease the pain. As I supped my beverage the cars tootled round behind the safety car which by all intents and purposes was having the absolute wheels driven off it as it blasted up the hill, really brought home the difference in performance between a supercar and and F1 car to see it in the flesh. After a few laps the safety car was in and the race was under way again, I had hoped to see 24 cars come up the hill at full tilt into Les Combes, but I canít imagine it would have been much more impressive that what I did witness. Damm the noise as they all passed for the first time, my poor unplugged ears, it was like nothing else I have ever heard. As the race when on you could see that Button had it in the bag, he just looked so much quicker than everyone else, his car even sounded better than the rest for some reason. They passed us at full speed, somewhere in the region of 200 mph and very shortly afterwards they back off and braked for Les Combes, what a noise, and the more spaced out the cars got the more you could enjoy the noise of each individual machine, screaming at full revs, the banging and crackling on the over run. I got to see a few passes including the one Massa made on Webber, you can imagine my excitement at this, I even had to have a beer to calm down. LOL! As the race settled down and given that the backpack stock was now well gone we made off through the forest to get a view of the cars coming down the back of the circuit. First we watched as the cars exited Bruxelles hairpin then round the left hander toward the Double Gauche, then further round at the Double Gauche corners themselves. These are the two fast left handers and the back of the circuit on the way down the hill. Itís hard to describe how an F1 car negotiates fast corners, they just have the most unbelievable high speed grip in the corner, to the naked eye itís hard to tell if they slow at all. After what seemed like too short a time the race was in the final laps and by this time we were at Fagnes, thinking ahead today by gradually making our way back toward the coach park as the race went on. We watched as Button passed on his final lap to take the chequered flag and a well deserved pole to flag win, the race was over, and much to our dismay the cars didnít make a parade lap as they were apparently waved into a back entrance to the pit complex after the flag. Given this disappointment we had to have a few wee drinks to make up for it and to celebrate Buttons win and our F1 experience like only an Irishman can do, and all this as we marvelled at all the team trucks parked up. Needless to say I had an absolute ball at the Belgian GP, and I would recommend a visit to Spa as a must for any F1 fan, I havenít experienced any other tracks but I could image Spa would be very hard to trump. Hope you enjoyed reading my stories, I tried to make them as entertaining as possible as I knew I had a lot to write, in fact I may have broke Aliís record for the longest post. LOL!!
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: cosworth151 on September 09, 2012, 09:43:16 PM
It was worth every word, David! Thanks for the stories of Spa.  :good:

As I've said before, there really is nothing in the world like actually being at an F1 race.
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: Dare on September 09, 2012, 09:46:27 PM
Nice read David,the noise is what Ian talked about too
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: David on September 09, 2012, 11:45:34 PM
A few photos. Excuse the photography, As the bloke in the fast show said "I was very very drunk!" LOL

Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: David on September 09, 2012, 11:47:38 PM
More
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: David on September 09, 2012, 11:48:55 PM
The slender chap with the Ferrari cap on is me.
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: Dare on September 10, 2012, 02:37:42 AM
Dave a few months on the Dare Exercise Program[just $19.95 money
back guarantee] and I'll have you in a F1 Car[car not provided]
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: lkjohnson1950 on September 10, 2012, 03:21:38 AM
Sounds very much like my first F1 race. I went to The Glen in '78 or '79. Stood at the bottom of the esses and thought that TV doesn't show how steep it really is, or how fast it drops off from the end of the straight into the Boot. We camped at the track and were awakened by the sound of a Cosworth V8 warming up. One big difference, the garage area was a big Quonset hut and everyone was welcome to walk down the center aisle and watch the mechanics at work. Many of them were selling used bits as souvenirs.
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: F1fanaticBD on September 11, 2012, 09:55:00 AM
Spot on David, people like me who are yet to go to a grand prix can re-live the moments with your words.

Great job..And no matter what people say, those are great picture..

I am resisting a temptation of giving advice as a doctor regarding beers enjoy...
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: aazz on September 12, 2012, 08:42:28 AM
That was an excellent report and great photos. Hopefully one day I can get to one of the older traditional European circuits to see a race. You've even made me a bit jealous  :good:
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: cosworth151 on September 12, 2012, 12:40:51 PM
Great pix, David! The one looking through the woods at the grid & La Source is classic. I also liked the one of the DRS marker. I think that's the first time I've ever seen one.
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: Ian on September 12, 2012, 02:08:33 PM
Great pics and reporting Dave, as has been said before, the sound of those cars on the limiter is unbelievable ain't it.
Title: Re: Belgian GP
Post by: David on September 15, 2012, 06:56:54 PM
Few more pics from Spa......

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