- The Inside Line
Anyone for schnitzel?Kate Walker July 18, 2014
While it's not as well-known as Silly Season, F1 does have a Schnitzel Season, and we're currently smack bang in the middle of it.
Until this year, the German Grand Prix - whether at Hockenheim or the Nurburgring - marked the beginning of Schnitzel Season, as in both Germany and Hungary the press room catering is (exclusively) cold schnitzel. A freshly-cooked schnitzel can be a thing of wonder, but four days on the trot of tooth-chillingly fridge-fresh schnitzel isn't a culinary highlight - especially not when you know that in three days' time it will be back to four more days of non-stop schnitzel.
While the Austrian Grand Prix was an incredibly popular - and successful - event, there was a downside to F1's return to Styria, and that was the extension of Schnitzel Season. Roughly one in six of the races on the calendar are now schnitzel-based, and were it not for the British Grand Prix the F1 travelling circus would have been treated to three consecutive schnitzel races.
Catering for the masses is never an easy task, of course, and we're very lucky to get fed at all.
And it could be worse - schnitzel is what we're fed at lunch time, but if my experience at the Nurburgring in 2011 is anything to go by, supper in Germany is mildly terrifying.
At that year's German Grand Prix I was sharing a car to the circuit with a group of GP2 mechanics, whose hours were rather different to mine. On Saturday night, a particularly hefty rebuild saw me hanging around the media centre till it closed at midnight, which meant I was "treated" to the circuit's dinner provisions for the press.
In the cafeteria set up at the back of the press room were two small wicker baskets. One contained millions of mini packs of Haribo gummy bears, and the other was piled with sachets of ketchup and mustard. Next to these was a much larger basket of sliced bread.
I waited for them to bring out some meat, or cheese, or something, but nothing came. And when I asked when the rest of the food was being brought out I was told that dinner had been catered, and that it was up to me to make my own sandwiches. From mustard and gummy bears.
Maybe there are worse things than endless weeks of chilly schnitzel…