In less than a month it’s ten years ago that I visited Melbourne for 2009 Australian Grand Prix. Meeting Lewis Hamilton and a Parisian fan was one story from that weekend, but another took place a week ahead of the race.
The race always takes place in the middle of the city in Albert Park — and while the tarmac is there, the grandstands, fences and sponsor signs are built each year especially for the race. So I remember going to the track which was almost completed and asked one of the construction workers if I was allowed to walk around. He looked at me through his sunglasses and said firmly: “You need a yellow jacket”, and turned around. I thought that was that, but then he turned to me again and gave me one with the company logo on it.
It was a simple thing but I spend the next hours walking around, taking pictures and getting a sunburn (totally worth it). I saw the circuit from up close and witnessed how massively big it is. It’s over five kilometers long with sixteen corners, and Formula One cars complete it in around ninety seconds. That’s insanely fast.
After my lap I found the guy on the same spot, still working hard in the sun. As I gave back the jersey, I said thank you, but I’d love to thank him again. His little gesture brought joy then as the memory brings joy now.