Badger was fortunate to spend the Italian Grand Prix weekend in Milan and be a guest of Shell and Ferrari at Monza – and as a result, it was a rather special experience, so here’s our F1 Top 5…

In at five is the very special people on this planet who are collectively known as racing drivers.  This may seem to be an interesting choice, but seriously, until this weekend, Badger’s editor had not experienced full-on, high speed track racing from within the car – sure, we’ve all been to grands prix or other motorsport events and driven Scalextric cars, but the level of skill, talent and bravery needed to be a racing driver becomes very clear when in the car!

As part of the Monza weekend, Badger was treated to racing and skid-pan experiences around the Vairano ASC circuit in a range of Mercedes’ that go a little quicker than ones old folk drive around in – exciting stuff!

At four is is being a VIP – yes we all love to hate those so-called celebrities who end up being interviewed by Martin Brundle on his pit walk only to say they’ve never heard of F1 before, seem bemused at how fast F1 cars go and support the team who’s paid given them a paddock pass.  The Italian GP weekend was different though because Badger was a VIP (or should that be VIB?!)

Of course, unlike the z-listers, we love all things F1 and have done since the dawn of the 90s so you could say that we very much enjoyed being chaperoned around and being well looked after – nothing is a problem when you’re a VIP and there will be more tales from the adventures published right here on Badger ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

On the podium in 3rd on this week’s Badgerometer is, rather oddly Shell V-Power fuels.  Ok, so the cynical ones amongst you may not see this as being odd, what with Shell being very good to Badger – but spare you cynicism for a minute there and let us explain that as well as driving cars quickly, eating tasty food and being made to feel at home within the towers of the prancing horse, the weekend also involved some pretty impressive science lessons.

And it was during these lessons where Badger learned more than we ever knew there was to know about the rather smelly liquid that goes into your motor at the filling station.  We’ll provide a full chemistry-lesson style report for you over the weekend, and it’s actually pretty interesting stuff, hence V-Power is for sure on the podium of this Badgerometer.

First of the losers and in at 2 is the Italian Grand Prix fans – they’re up there with the British fans – just like at Silverstone where the crowds are loud, massive and all very passionate for their team to win. Having a Ferrari on pole and in 3rd was a near perfect result for them and the expectation come Sunday morning was as high as the Ferrari is red.

As for the race, having Jenson Button take the lead as the lights went out just made it so much more special for the Italians when Alonso emerged from the pits ahead of the McLaren and kept his head to lead the race to the chequered flag. The cheers were even louder than they were for when Lewis went off in the opening lap.  As soon as the cars had entered Parc Ferme – the Italian fans had already jumped the fences and got themselves onto the circuit, this photo shows the first man running as fast as he could to beat the rest of the tifosi to the podium celebrations.

and then a few seconds later…

They call Monza ‘the magic track’ and for any Italian, this was clearly a magic weekend.

And comfortably at the number one spot is the evening of September 11th 2010 where Badger had dinner in the Ferrari team motorhome where we enjoyed a five course dinner prepared by world class chefs and chatting with team personnel while enjoying said food.

Being inside the heart of Formula One’s most successful and passionate team really was something special and not even cringe-worthy celebs get this sort of treatment. Can you imagine having a tasty fillet of steak while discussing the team orders rules with the Ferrari Sporting Director? You get just how unbelievable this was – full report to follow!

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And as for being slightly miffed, this week Badger has to report how disappointed we were with Fernando Alonso’s toilet.

Yep, you read that correctly – it’s clinical, basic and well probably very practical, but there we were having dinner with Felipe and Fernando’s chill-out rooms next to us and the toilet just downstairs….

…now, with the level of technology, passion and history in such a team, it’s forgivable to think that the toilet may have a certain uniqueness to it, or at least have a some photos from big moments, but no – think of your average caravan chemical toilet, make it a bit smarter and that’s that’s your lot.  If Badger was an F1 driver, he’d demand a throne to read the papers and relax before heading out on the circuit, wouldn’t you?

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