Turkish Delight - Turkish GP 2009

Turkish Delight - Turkish GP 2009 After the glitz and glamour of Monaco, our Easyjet flight touches down at the very unglamorous Sabiha Gokcen airport, about 15 miles outside Istanbul on the Asian side. We wait for our hire car only to be greeted by a stunning example of 'rent a wreck'. Lovely...

The Istanbul Park Circuit is about five miles up the road from the airport. It's a fantastic facility, a place where the drivers can let loose and enjoy the delights of their machines. Turn eight being the one they all look forward to, as it's seven seconds of G-forces greater than the Space Shuttle on take-off. Not bad for just under two and a half litres with a bit of fine tuning.

A certain Felipe Massa has done rather well at this circuit over the last few years, so it was here we were expecting to get an idea as to how far Ferrari have come with their F60. Not very, by the looks of it. Felipe only managed seventh in qualifying and sixth in the race, Kimi even further behind.

No, again it was Jenson who stole the show. I first met Jenson in 1999 when I was shooting a corporate client day with Nortel Networks at Hethel race track in Norfolk. Nortel were sponsoring Williams at the time, so Jenson was dispatched to drive guests around the Norfolk track for the day. I obviously blagged a few laps with him, and immediately was impressed by how smooth and relaxed he was behind the wheel of the Lotus Elise. It was also a pleasure to spend the day with a charming well mannered young man, who seemed very happy in his own skin.

Watching him around Istanbul Park this weekend reminded me of that day. There weren't many people watching him in action on Sunday, as was the case at Hethel, but the way he pulled off win number six was brilliant. A mistake at the last corner seemed to be the only one of the weekend, as he effortlessly destroyed the best efforts of Red Bull to win the race they were expecting to win.

His obvious joy over the team radio was there for all to enjoy, as the realisation dawned that he was in the best car of his career that so happened to be the best of the field in '09. The win beginning to sow the seeds of the possibility of the championship into his thought process. His words of thanks to the team for providing him with such a stonking car reminded me of that day in Norfolk. This well mannered charming man making sure all knew he was happy and had enjoyed his day.

At the airport the next morning, he was still buzzing and good company. A nice example of 'good things come to those who wait'.

To enjoy my images from the Turkish Grand Prix, please visit the formula 1 section of my site and select Turkey.

posted on 12th June 2009 01:00pmview comments (4)leave a comment