A long journey from Bombay to Abu Dhabi to Rome to Barcelona… and the drama starts with my baggage being left at Rome. Well, the good part about it they drop it off straight to your hotel, the bad part that it can be one long restless wait. Arrived at the Circuit de Catalunya at about 11:00 am
A Thursday usually comprises saying hello to everyone in the paddock. Reuniting with fellow scribes after a two race break means a lot to talk about. Th thursday press conference was probably the most entertaining one in a long time, there was an entertaining Fernando Alonso, Daniil Kyvat and Max Verstappen, a bored Lewis Hamilton, and even more bored Kevin Magnussen. The limelight was stolen obviously by Kyvatt and Vertappen and the issue surrounding their switch.
To all those who were wondering why Game of Thrones was trending in the F1 paddock. Well, Kyvatt was asked about how he got the call from Helmut Marko and how that went. To which he replied that he was sitting on a couch at his home in Moscow and watching a tv show when he got the call, it went on for 20 minutes. And then when asked what he did after that, he said he got back to watching his TV show. Which show, he replied “Game of Thrones”.
Fernando Alonso almost took of his mic twice and was involved in his own conversation with Hamilton. The two seemed to be busy with their phones more than the chatter in the press conference. He was entertaining with his bizarre replies. Poor Kevin Magnussen got about 3 questions in one hour of the press conference, and for the last question it was more like waking him up from his day-dreaming.
The front-row comprising of Kyvatt, Sainz, and Verstappen took more time and attention. After speaking to a lot of people in the paddock and trying to get a drift of the situation post Sochi, most felt it was ridiculous to do the driver swap. Christian Horner addressed the media about the driver swap, but was in denial on most of the critical points being thrown at him. However, fellow sribes and key personnel say the Sochi issue was used against Kyvat as an excuse. They say it was more about Verstappen and his clan pushing for a drive for the 18 year old, and that has damaged Kyvat’s potential in F1 on the long-run to a large extent.
According to Horner, it is not just about Sochi, ‘Max is a hot property in the paddock’ he said. The line basically hint at the issue in Max’s contract where it says if the senior team does not guarantee him a seat by the end of the year he is free to cut deals with other team’s interested in him.
So that was all for the Thursday roundup, there was a bit of chatter on all the upgrades and Bernie Ecclestone’s exit from F1 but i’ll be writing more on that tomorrow. Its a wrap for the day until the free practice sessions tomorrow for which i have to be on track at 7:00 AM in the morning.