22 Oktober 2009

More pics from Sao Paulo Grand Prix

More photos for you to share that incredible event, the race of the year, as Matt predicted, where everything was decided. An incredible privilege for me to have been able to participate "backstage", to meet the athletes and their fantastic teams. Im still over the moon that Sebastian´s team mate, Aussie Mark Webber, won the race, and I was allowed to hold his trophy and what was left of the champagne. Who do I have to bribe that we get these magnum bottles for our worlds as well?

19 Oktober 2009

I am dreaming.... (Sao Paulo, Timezone UTC – 2)

... and I won´t open my eyes so this incredible dream can continue. I had a Lufthansa work trip to Sao Paulo yesterday, and since we arrived early on Sunday morning, I had wondered if there was a tiny chance to get to Interlagos to see my first Formula 1 Grand Prix live. Matt, my friend from the Red Bull Air Race, is also working at F1 and had informed the Red Bull organizing crew here about my intention.
When we arrived at our crew hotel in the morning, it was obvious that a lot of the F1 teams are staying at the same hotel, as a lot of them were in their official gear, ready to go to the race course. I spotted two guys in Red Bull shirts and introduced myself – sure enough, it was Dominik who already knew I was coming over, and he pulled out a pass for me! Big smile, and my heart started beating faster. Unreal.
I changed, got down to the lobby and tried to find a lift to the race, when I met two Lufthansa pilots and Irmi, a colleague from Munich. They were also going to the race and let me join their group, patiently answering my bezillion questions, as they were big fans of F1 with a great knowledge.
Arriving at Interlagos, we were embraced by the Red Bull family. I found out that my pass took me right to the center of action, pit lane and all... Matt gave me a tour around the „paddock“ (I like that expression, reminds me of flying in Australia ;)) and had the next big surprise – I was allowed to meet and talk to Sebastian Vettel. I must be in humungous jet lag, still dreaming away...
I drank a can of Red Bull to get the energy to strengthen my wiggly knees, took a deep breath – and was overwhelmed by Sebastian´s modesty and openness. He told me that he had been out flying the helicopter with Guido, and the ice was broken immediately. I can´t give away all we talked about now, but I can tell you that it let my dream continue...
One hour before the race. To make it superspecial for me, the Red Bull guys take me to the box where the race cars are prepared. Tyres, spare parts, carbon elements – and a team of about 40 suprerorganized busy technicians who – despite of the stress and suspense – seem to share Sebastian´s friendly spirit. Suddenly Niki Lauda walks past. He is co-moderating the race for RTL German television.
Time for the ear plugs – Sebastian is in his machine and the engine is about to being started. An amazing sound, and a little earthquake. The vibration of the floor tickles my feet, and off he goes. Im not the only one convinced to have met a truely grand champion.
Please forgive me my lack of appropriate vocabulary, but I only just got back from the big Red Bull after race party at 5 am this morning... What a privilege to be part of the Red Bull family!
Time for training now, the big pool is waiting for some brave laps. I hope the 16 degrees of water temperature won´t wake me up from my dream ;) if they do, I might be awake enough to upload more photos for you later.

04 Oktober 2009

Jonny flies the Morning Glory in Australia

This incredible rolling cloud is very difficult to catch, and after a long time of preparation, Jonny and his team created some amazing flying footage, you can watch some of it here:
Also for more fantastic photos and the report have a look at Jonny´s blog
Currently our "flying video reporter" had just flown his first task in the Canungra Classic comp up in Queensland, from his home site Beechmont out to Lake Moogerah. I love that place because it offers a huge variety of different task types and conditions, but also because the people of the Canungra Club always make it a really special event. It is always a bit like coming back to family for me, and I hope I can join in again next year!