Both men strut their stuff on-track, and they’re both very fast. But that’s where the similarities end between Red Bull Racing star Mark Webber and the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt.
These two sporting giants were brought together for the first time at the beginning of the week, where Bolt – a PUMA ambassador – was presented with a gold Nissan GTR at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, near Tokyo. The car was then auctioned off for charity, after which Webber and Usain went for a drive for 90 minutes.
“It was great to meet Usain,” says Mark. “He was a pretty cool guy, despite having just got off a 13-hour flight. We talked about a lot of different stuff; I enjoyed it. He knows his cars too.”
Webber wasn’t the only F1 in Tokyo after last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. Half of the grid seemed to descend on Japan’s capital city, from double world champions Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel to Bruno Senna, Charles Pic and Pedro de la Rosa. Most of them headed to the hip Roppongi district and they kept bumping into each other in the numerous gadget stores.
Life hasn’t been so exciting or glamorous for the mechanics or engineers since Suzuka. After working all night on Sunday, they took a charter flight from Nagoya to Gwangju on Monday and then went straight into work at the Korean International Circuit on Tuesday morning. Since then they’ve been flat-out preparing for this weekend’s race.
However, there was one driver representative involved in the preparations. Williams’ third driver Valtteri Bottas donned a high-viz jacket and some steel-toed shoes, and he pulled his weight on Tuesday afternoon. He told reporters at the start of the year that he wanted to learn as much about F1 as possible this year, and he’s true to his word!
By Thursday, with preparations for the weekend complete, the paddock’s sense of humour returned and there were several lighter moments. One of them was seeing various team members dancing Gangnam style. Yep, members of Red Bull, McLaren, Williams and Force India have been dancing to the Korean beat for the cameras as various TV companies from around the world focus on the Gangnam craze for their opening segments to Sunday’s race.
Listen to your trusty cat when he says ‘don’t give up the day job, boys’…