Brazilian GP: Monday Morning Debrief - 26 SEP 2005 What to say on the morning after the night before? Here are some moments you may have missed from yesterday's events... Podium party piece Podium: 2005 World Champion Fernando Alonso...
Brazilian GP: Monday Morning Debrief - 26 SEP 2005
What to say on the morning after the night before? Here are some moments you may have missed from yesterday's events...
Podium party piece
Fernando's podium celebration was, to say the least, unique. Initially when he arrived, he seemed slightly stunned -- struggling to take in the scale of his achievement, and what had happened to him.
The national anthems played, followed by the trophy ceremony. Champagne was sprayed, then Fernando suddenly took a moment alone on the top step. He collected his thoughts, then began to pour champagne into his trophy -- before drinking it. Was it simply that the stuff wasn't coming out of the bottle quick enough? Well not quite...
"In my region in Spain, the typical drink is a sidra (cider). When you drink it, you have to pour it into the glass from high in the air, and I did the same thing with the cup. It was a little bit of home to bring to Brazil." You can take the man out of Oviedo and let him conquer the world -- but you will never take Oviedo out of the man!
One word motto
Ever since he began with Renault, Fernando Alonso has had a characteristic one word motto: 'Toma!' It means 'come on!', 'have it!' -- a spontaneous explosion of joy, celebration and ecstasy after unstinting, determined effort and well-earned success.
It is just like Fernando himself: succinct, to the point and full of passion. So that was the one word that came from the Spaniard's lips as he collected himself, stood on the nose of his R25 and took the plaudits from all sides on parc ferm?©. "Toma!"
The French talk about 'la bonne guerre' -- a phrase that connotes a true, sporting fight well fought by both sides, in good spirit. That feeling was present in the post-race press conference, when Fernando and Kimi showed genuine mutual respect as they sat either side of Juan Pablo Montoya. And it came from the Renault F1 Team's arch rivals McLaren too.
Ron Dennis was one of the first people to pass by the pit-wall and congratulate the Renault's technical staff, but the gesture that spoke volumes about the mutual respect between the two teams came afterwards. As our overjoyed mechanics returned from the podium celebrations to the garage, they were joined by 'the men in black' -- their counterparts at McLaren.
Each team member from 'Macs' came round the garage, shaking hands with the Renault boys on a fight well fought, and a victory well won. "I have always said that for me, the human side is still what makes Formula 1 so special," commented Technical Director Bob Bell. "It is the beating heart of every team, and yesterday's gesture from McLaren was a perfect symbol of that."
"We have fought them tooth and nail this year -- and will continue to do so until the end of the season. But there is also immense mutual respect between the two teams, and a real sporting atmosphere. The congratulations were sincere and heartfelt, and wonderful to see."
"But make no mistake, we will be back to our usual rivalry come Friday in Suzuka..." People like to say F1 is only a sport for two hours every fortnight -- and a business the rest of the time. Perhaps yesterday's gesture will redress the balance a little...
Passing the torch
As Fernando stood patiently answering the questions of the world's media after the post-race press conference, an interloper appeared in the midst of TV cameras. A red shirted, smiling face that embraced the young Spaniard, and unofficially passed him the torch of the world championship.
So what did Michael Schumacher have to say to Fernando? "He just said well done, you deserve it, you have done a great season this year. There is a lot of respect there, and it means a lot. To beat Michael this year was an extra happiness for me."
The only question on everybody's lips was 'where is the party tonight?' Flavio had forbidden any celebratory planning, but sure enough, the team found enough time to organise their celebrations for Sunday evening in Sao Paulo. So what happened? Sorry, some things have to stay confidential!