F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks forward to this weekend’s race at Hockenheim
Germany has always been one of my favourite Grand Prix. There’s a magic here that you just can’t put your finger on unless you are standing here in the paddock at Hockenheim, which of course I am. Only yesterday I was saying as much to my dear friend Sir Frank Williams and he agreed with me in his own unique way. ‘I’m sorry, who are you?’ he quipped. Priceless.
Last night I maintained a little tradition that exists amongst a few of us and headed for a legendary restaurant not far from the track which discretion prevents me from naming. Suffice to say, a certain three time world champion Scottish friend of mine will know where I mean! Indeed, I was told that this anonymous gentleman had dined there just recently. I have known dear old Gino who runs the place for more years than we care to remember and asked him if this certain ex-driver had mentioned me whilst enjoy the infamous penne al salmone. ‘What?’ he quipped. Marvellous.
As I dined alone last night, I was able to reflect on what a wonderful motorsport heritage Germany has given us. From von Trips and Stuck to Frentzen and my old mate Nick Heidfeld who never fails to make my laugh with his trademark japes such as completely ignoring me! The elephant in the room in these parts is of course my dear friend Michael Schumacher who we hope and pray continues to regain his health. I have received no reply to my many, many letters but I know for certain the weltmeister has read them all and is thinking of me.
As to this weekend’s race, who will take the legendary black and white flag? It would be foolish to speculate, but I believe Mercedes are strong as ever, Ferrari could surprise, Red Bull look ever stronger and we should never discount Force India, Sauber or an improving McLaren. Rest assured, whatever happens I will be on the spot to witness all the action in person.
Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.