F1: Pit Walk

On a clear day, you can see COTA from miles away. This afternoon, I watched the tower get closer and closer in my windshield, giddily anticipating the weekend ahead. And, in racing, the weekend apparently begins on Thursday.

As a perk of having married my seat for 14 years, I got passes to Thursday’s pit walk.  COTA advertised this as a “VIP Pit Walk.” If so, there are a hell of a lot of VIPs! I got there right when it started, and the line stretched from the track all the way around the main grandstand to the parking lot. Luckily, it didn’t take long for me to storm the track and elbow my way to the front of the barricades. Naturally, I stayed until they started herding us out with ropes (really!).  Here’s a little peek at what I saw, in the order in which I saw it. (Who has time to curate these photos? We have a whole weekend in front of us!) Don’t forget to click on the photos for a much larger view!

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Caterham coming through!

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Driver’s champion four years in a row…this is Seb’s world. We just live in it.

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Pit practice for the Ferrari team.

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Remember Mark? He kindly gave you a tour of a COTA lap.

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Safety cars. It’s a pretty good day when these are the slowest cars in the pits.

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Look how smooth it is underneath. This is Nico Hulkenberg’s car.

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Stuff and things.

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Red Bull left their bits lying around.

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Love the gullwings on the Mercedes-Benz SLS. And the car on the right is a bad-ass wagon. Respect.

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Le Podium.

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It’s the little things.

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That’s a lot of tires.

Here’s Hulkenberg’s crew practicing pit stops:

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Well, hello, Esteban Gutierrez! How old are you – 15?

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An apparatus!

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Caterham does a bit of practice.

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If you’ve gotta have a happy place, it might as well be this place.

 

See you tomorrow!

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