LIFE AT THE FAST LANE - AGP 99
by Lights Mullet
Two years ago I wrote heaps about my first time at the AGP. It was great!
Last year I was part way along a straight at what they call Little Monaco and the cars were just blurs, there was no action on the boats, and the two McLarens just ran away and hid from the rest of the field before stopping for tea and biscuits to decide who will win the race. Oh, yes, and even though the after race party was not good I still had a good time.
So it was off to Melbourne for the third time. This year I was staying close to the circuit and the extra 1 1/2hr sleep each day was worth every cent.
I was working at Sector 11 which turned out to be uneventful, as what action George 'the car magnet' didn't steal at turn 9 managed to keep going until turn 12 before coming to rest. It was mostly four days of keeping ourselves busy in what way we could. We even managed to run a crash simulation to find out that cranes can't travel as fast as F1's. During one of the support races we did have a big Formula Ford 'off' which gave us plenty to do, the crane even had to be brought in to pick up the wreck. It was a bonus that this year we had a big screen TV directly behind our sector point, although from my location I couldn't see it!
Many thanks goes to Jacques Villenue who broke our drought of action by deciding during the race to see if the rear wing is necessary. After ejecting said rear wing at about 10.7 he executed a series of spins before neatly parking it up against the wall right in front of us. Out with crane and we put a rather broken car at our point for safe keeping until the end of the race. It gave us opportunity to have a close look at how F1 technology breaks. I think Jacques will forgo the speed advantage in favour of the straight line directional stability and continue to use a rear wing.
The rest of the race was for us uneventful but interesting as the mighty McLarens were still in Christmas holiday mode and the Ferrari team made Schumaker pullover to let Ervine win at the beginning of the race instead of two laps from the end, strange decision that.
In three years the after race officials function has digressed from 'THE PARTY' to 'the officials BBQ' and apart from there being tables and chairs this year it was still pretty ordinary. The food and its presentation was not a patch on 1997 (everyone who went to Adelaide tell me that it was even better there!). After 4 long days standing up I object to standing in a queue for up to an hour to get some pretty ordinary luke warm food. Volunteers should be treated better.
Well it's Formula 1 isn't it?.