Exclusive: How to run a Grand Prix
TG gains unprecedented access for a behind-the-scenes look at the FIA at work at the Brazil 2012 finale
Posted: 19 Feb 2013
"You have to think of it as a normal race, because that's what it is. Of course, there's lots at stake, but I won't talk to them," he says firmly. "In all my years in this job, I've only talked to them on a Sunday morning once, at Monza in 2001, immediately after 9/11 when there were plainly exceptional circumstances. Many of the drivers were jittery that weekend, and nobody really wanted to be there, but we got on with it... Look, I have the utmost respect for these guys. I've always said: ‘You are the best drivers in the world. Prove to us that you are.'"
As he prepares himself for the start - a process that can be done from Race Control as well as on the gantry - I wonder if it's something he ever truly gets used to. "I would be lying if I said I was unmoved by it. Yes, you get nervous, you wouldn't be human if you didn't. I was extremely nervous the first time I did it. But I don't have any superstitions or rituals. That's just asking for trouble."