Enrico Zanarini gives us his race day schedule.
Click here to subscribe to our print edition!
5 am: I am in Australia, it is the first Grand Prix and I am still severely jetlagged so anyone else who claims waking up at a later time is either bluffing or making large use of Melatonin. There is nothing better than spending some more time in bed dozing off every now and then to mentally prepare the day. The race in OZ starts in the afternoon so there is no point getting ready until midday, especially now that my work is focussed in entertaining my sponsors, rather than managing drivers.
12 noon: Time to go. Best is always to use your car and your F1 car pass, however public transport in Melbourne is very well organized. Taxis can get you from Collins St. to Gate1 in less than 15 minutes and the train takes only an extra five and you pay nothing for the ride. It’s great to come through the turnstiles together with the happy Aussie crowd, as they are the real fans of this sport.
2 pm: Lunchtime. I spend most of my time at the Ferrari quarters. Max is a great host and he knows I like fish and a glass of red wine for my meal so he makes sure the chef Carmine cooks some for me. My table is always the one closer to the TV monitor but you must arrive early to claim the best seat.
3 pm: Time to go meeting up with friends and business associates. Often my clients want to visit the garage to feel a taste of the action and be closer to the F1 cars, especially now that they look so different. I enjoy watching them because there is nothing better than looking at the facial expression of a satisfied customer who spent millions to have his name on the nosecone of a Ferrari.
4 pm: You can feel the buzz of the pre-start around you. All the people listed in the Who’s who of F.1 switch to race mode and get a very serious grin. Drivers have finished their strategy briefs and are relaxing waiting for the 30’ call. Teams are ready, cars are ready, the track is clear. I take my sponsors on the starting grid to make their first F.1 experience sublime and watch my sport taking shape.
5 pm: All lights are green. I sit comfortably in front of the TV and start to think aloud to enable my sponsors to understand a little better what is going on. I always have my Mac in front of me, turned on the F.1 web site following the lap times and a live chat. It’s an hour and a half of pure adrenaline for everyone who loves this sport and I am no exception.
7 pm: The race and the podium are over. Time to say goodbye to clients and friends and make my way back to the hotel. The traffic is usually chaos so best is to take the little train to Southern Cross Station and walk ten minutes to my room. Sunday night is always special in Melbourne and the only time I really relax with a great seafood meal, a bottle of Pinot Noir and some superb company.
11.55 pm: My day is nearly complete, but the night is not. The after-race parties take over and the F1 people, or at least the ones who survived a late flight back to Europe, can be seen making the scene at the venues around town. My pick is the one at club 23 and join my friends for the last exchange of opinion on what happened earlier on. The disco is loud, much louder than those highly complicated power units…. Thank God they didn’t change the sound of music!