F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks forward to this weekend’s Grand Prix
The Hungarian Grand Prix has always held a special place in my heart for reasons that anyone in the paddock is sure to agree with. If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’m afraid it’s something that simply cannot be explained. Not that this affects my dear old mate Martin Brundle who I know and you don’t. He sometimes missed the Hungarian GP in the past and people often wondered why. Well, it would be indiscreet of me to reveal the real reason for this but suffice to say it really is a tremendous story and one that I often enjoy telling to my close personal friends such as Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart and Sir Damon Hill who isn’t a knight but really should be because he’s tremendous company if you’ve ever spent time with him, which I have and you haven’t.
Last night I ventured into downtown Budapest – always a treat – and visited Grodogo’s, a restaurant legendary amongst the F1 circus for reasons I can’t divulge here. Suffice to say, a certain two-time world champion called Mika won’t be having the lobster again! It really was tremendously funny if you were there which I’m assuming you weren’t. I was.
As I dined alone, I suddenly remembered a tremendous anecdote from a few years ago here in Hungary which concerns my old mate, the legendary Alain Prost. I returned to my hotel one evening to find him in reception in a terrible flap. He was searching down the back of a nearby sofa and speaking quite urgently to the night porter. Then he looked under the sofa and down the back of the sofa and seemed really quite agitated. Well, it turned out he had misplaced his wallet and was convinced it had fallen out of his pocket when he had sat in reception earlier! ‘Lost your wallet, professor?’ I joked. ‘Oh Jesus, you again,’ he shot back, quick as a flash. ‘Why don’t you just piss off you terrible smug bastard!’ You really had to be there. Which you weren’t.
As to this weekend’s Grand Prix, it would be foolish to speculate on who might take the chequered flag on Sunday. Suffice to say I think Mercedes look strong but Williams are on a charge and one should never overlook Red Bull or Ferrari or a resurgent McLaren or Force India or Sauber.
One thing is for certain; whatever happens I will be on the spot to enjoy all the action. Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.