Breakfast with Seb!
12 months ago, to celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary, I went with my husband (oddly enough!) on a trip of a lifetime to see the Monaco Grand Prix. This was our first time at the event and what a memorable experience it was too
By pure chance we found ourselves staying in the same quiet hotel as DC, Jake Humphrey, Niki Lauda, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. I really couldn't quite believe how each time we went into reception there was another famous face of F1, everyone was really friendly and relaxed, I don't know if that is the case at every Grand Prix or whether Monaco is just that bit special that it puts a smile on everyone's face?
We had tickets for Anthony Noghes corner for Thursday practice. What can I say! It's probably the closest you will get to F1 cars on a circuit, they exit Rascasse and past the pit entrance and drive right past you, before flooring it on to the start finish straight. The noise was just out of this world and made the hairs tingle on the back of my neck, such was the aura of being in a place so steeped in F1 history. The weather needless to say was perfect and we just spent the whole day watching F1, GP2 & Porsche Cup cars practising.
Friday was great fun, there is no F1 and once the other cars had finished qualifying, Top Gear turned up filming the episode where they had Bernie, Flavio and Christian Horner showing them the way round the circuit. Clarkson did several extra laps and had to be virtually hauled in to the pits, face beaming. We then strolled back to the hotel only to find Jeremy Clarkson back there filming with Mark Webber.
Saturday was time to sit and watch qualifying from the classic view of Casino Square. There was a long stoppage for a nasty accident involving Sergio Perez who exited the tunnel and went side on into the end barrier. It didn't make pleasant viewing and it was great to hear he was okay, if a little concussed. But who got pole? Well it was the man of the season, Seb Vettel who planted his car on the front row of the grid, as he did for a record number of times during 2011.
So on to Sunday. We were planning to be up early expecting to rush to our grandstand over looking the harbour, but our alarm didn't go off and we were actually woken by Porsche Cup Cars driving past the hotel to the circuit! (Only in Monaco!!) We headed down to breakfast and after grabbing orange juice and croissants, we sat down. At this point my husband nudged me and whispered "You'll never guess who is at the breakfast bar". I glanced round and walking toward the table next to us was none other than Sebastien Vettel. He sat quietly eating breakfast in shorts & t-shirt as if it was any other Sunday morning. He was joined by a couple of his team and all were so relaxed.
Once everyone had finished, in reception Seb paused for a photo with me, wished us happy wedding anniversary and strolled out of the hotel to the circuit. It was a fantastic race that was building to a stunning finish, with Seb on very worn tyres trying to fend off Alonso and Button before a saftey car then red flag with 2 laps to go meant a re-start on fresh tyres secured the win.
Breakfast with the Monaco pole sitter, winner and world champion. It's something I'll never forget and cannot believe just how lucky I was!
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