I remember quite well how I experienced Formula One Sundays as a little girl. I found it absolutely horrible when my dad sat glued to the television screen from start to finish. Maybe it was the duration of the race or perhaps I just didn’t understand the sport at all. The Formula One years which were dominated by Piquet, Rosberg (Keke), Lauda, Prost and Senna I only saw from great distance and probably even against my will.
Then came the Michael Schumacher era. My dad loved it. He admired the German seven-time World Champion. And for no apparent reason, because I was not a Schumacher fan, sometime during the ‘Schumi’ era it all changed for me. I remember asking my dad why he wanted to spend two hours watching a Grand Prix when you could pretty much predict the winner. Nevertheless, at the same time I started watching races with him from start to finish. To be honest, I did find it somewhat boring to watch Schumacher step on the podium each and every time. However, I also had a lot of respect for the almighty German.
Over the next few years I was only moderately interested in Formula One. But one day I decided to surprise my husband on his birthday with tickets for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps. The moment I received the tickets in the mail, it all came back to me and I started watching every single Grand Prix. And for the first time in my life I had a favourite Formula One driver myself. In short, it got to me and from that moment on I was totally hooked on Formula One.
It is starting to look like we are in the Vettel era now. Nothing or nobody seems to be able to stop the German from becoming World Champion for the fourth time in a row. Unfortunately, my dad is no longer here to witness it, but our five-year-old son already watches every single Grand Prix from start to finish and he is completely fascinated by it.
“Dad, too bad we never had the opportunity to truly experience a Grand Prix at the track together. Nothing beats the live experience of the sound of 22 Formula One engines and the smell of burning rubber. It is so intense and powerful that I truly hope you get at least a sense of it up there in heaven.”