Ladies and gentlemen. It is time. It is time for what I have been waiting for a very long time. The time is now for the F1 Spanish Grand Prix weekend. 

F1, F2, F3, and the W series all at the Montmeló race track! What a treat!

Victor and I arrived at Montmelo which is about forty-five minutes away from his house, on his scooter. It was my first time on a scooter on a highway and I must say I felt absolutely terrified sitting on it at 100 km/h. I felt like at any moment the wind could push me over and my beautifully exposed skin would be a thing of the past. Fortunately I survived the weekend and I lived to see another day.

We did not go by car because there was a parking fee that was not applied to scooters and motorbikes and we also wanted to avoid the traffic by wiggling ourselves through. It saved us hours throughout the entire weekend, especially on Sunday for the race.

Arrived at Montmeló

Friday was exciting because it was the first time at a Formula 1 race venue for both of us. We looked through all the stores before settling in our seats on the second floor of the main grandstands. Seeing these super cars up close and the noise they make made the whole experience much more real, but after a few laps around the track during FP1, it kind of became redundant and the rest of the day was not that exciting. Obviously Friday is just practice and on any other F1 weekend I would have not even paid attention to it, but here I was live in person for the very first time and I expected non-stop entertainment. I also think the fact that the crowd control people were not enforcing people to sit down in their assigned seats meant that everyone was standing by the rail and I could barely see anything. It was very annoying because the angle we had was a quick right to left head jerk almost right below us.

Saturday afternoon was when the real excitement began with the qualifying session. This is when things start to count for something. As a Hamilton fan, hearing the news that Mercedes were bringing upgrades that could possibly allow them to actually compete against Ferrari and Red Bull and not just benefit from the competitors’ technical issues was awesome news. Unfortunately, those improvements did not seem to make much of a difference during qualifying as Hamilton finished 6th and Russell 4th. 

Leclerc takes pole position
Hamilton pre-race
Max wins

As far as the race itself I think it would have been a great one if Hamilton had not collided with Magnussen in turn 1 of the first lap and Leclerc had not had to retire with another engine issue. Besides Hamilton’s great comeback from behind the race became a bit dull and once again Verstappen comfortably won.

What I realized throughout the weekend is that regardless of how good your seats are, you are still only seeing a small part of the action which is unfortunately just the nature of the sport. You cannot see the whole track unless they built skyscraper stands which would probably look ridiculous. It would however be nice if they invested in bigger and more screens so you get the best of watching the cars live in person, but you are also not missing out on all the action that is happening throughout the other sections of the track. For Victor and I there was one smaller screen to the right close to the entrance to the pit lane, but it was not running the live feed you see on F1TV. I found myself often looking more at my phone because I had the F1TV stream on there with commentary then I was at the track because on the track I would only see them for a split second and the passings happened into turn 1 which I could not see without standing up and causing everyone to yell at me.

The best thing about the seats I had were the minutes prior to the start and the start itself. Seeing all the drivers up close getting ready and then smell of gasoline as they fired up the engine was great, but if I look at the whole package, my previous desire to go to many in person F1 races has dwindled because unlike in other sports I find the television experience to be a better one. The cost, travel time, and inability to see all the live action are some important drawbacks to note.

Not long after the race I was heading to the Camp Nour for the Barça-Villareal game. More on that in the next blog.

Hasta luego.

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