The thrill of watching a grand prix and listening in on the dialogue between driver and pits. Pistunzen tells you all about Monza.
Everyone knows I’m well in in Ferrari. But I think a few of you will still be envious to learn that I watched the Monza Grand Prix from the pits and listened in one the drivers’ conversations on my headphones. Back in my day, all the drivers did was go out and drive but now they’re in constant contact with the pitwall to improve their strategy during the races.
Felipe didn’t say much. He had a great race and his car did the business. Fernando, on the other hand, was much more talkative because he made to make his way back up the pack because of the positions he’d lost after a mechanical failure in qualifying and, more importantly, as a result of Vettel’s moving across to prevent him passing which resulted in the Spaniard’s car ending up on the grass.
That made Fernando lose his habitual cool and he burst out: “Did you see what he did to me at 340 km/h?” His engineer Andrea Stella calmed him down at once by telling him that everyone had seen the incident. In fact, Vettel was given a drive-through penalty shortly afterwards. It was a truly emotion-packed moment for me, even though I’m well used to all kinds of races. But the most thrilling thing about the entire Grand Prix was the last three laps. Don’t forget the rear shock and spring of Fernando’s car were damaged when he went off the track and towards the end of the Grand Prix both the driver and the guys at the pit wall were worried something would give. Fernando kept checking how many laps were still to go while his engineer warned him to keep off the kerbs to avoid putting further stress on the damaged suspension. Nerve-wrecking stuff! But fortunately, everything turned out okay in the end. And even I, made of the hardest of hard metals, felt my heart soften and melt.