Michaela Merz

Formula E in Zurich

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I have to admit that I have never understood how people can get excited about watching in the blazing heat how fast cars can race past them in endless curves. Time and again. Wzum, Wzum, Wzum.

I have never raised objections when one of the men close to me wanted to spend Sunday afternoon at home in front of the TV even when the weather outside was so good. We all have our funny tastes.Now Formula E has come to Zürich and race fever has spread like flu throughout the city. One talks about it, you are for or against, neutral voices are scarcely heard. And my youngest wants to go and watch. For the price of the ticket for the stand we could both have a week’s holiday. Absolutely crazy!! And all the exorbitantly expensive tickets are already gone.

Therefore I agreed to go and watch the first training in the morning at 9.00am.  We took our scooters and sped down to the course. At the entrance there were very strict security checks. Bicycles and skates were not allowed on the event area. But scooters were not a problem. I couldn’t understand that, but why ask stupid questions, when the rule was in our favour. To see the race cars in action turned out to be a challenge. Large stretches of the fenced off circuit had been covered with opaque material. About 1.80 m. high. Small people, like me, therefore couldn’t see anything at all. We had to climb on some object or other to sneak even a peek. That didn’t worry my youngest, and he found a place on a rubbish bin. But I found it stupid and after a short time I got down again. Then I saw a lot of scooters, mark Micro, and all their owners with a badge inscribed «Test driver». I asked what they were going to do and they said that after the training they could ride round the circuit. That would be something!! They showed me where the booth was where one had to register but warned me that one had to register in advance by internet and that it had long been fully booked. I tried nevertheless.

At the Micro scooter booth they repeated what I had already heard. It has long been fully booked and in any case they didn’t have any free scooters. But I didn’t need one, we had our own with us. And what scooters! Our scooters were the very first that were produced. They were so old that no spare parts are available for them. But our ancient models still worked and how. 99% of their parts were still in their original condition.  At the time, 20 years ago, I was second in Speed Scooting at the first Scooter World Championship held at the main station. I talked and talked and finally 10 minutes before the start I was able to convince the organisers and managed to get hold of two of these Test driver badges, which permitted us to scoot the circuit.

It was unique, it felt really good. The spectators round the course clapped, laughed or called out something encouraging. It was a feeling of pride and freedom and was very enjoyable. Pity that we could make only one circuit. I would have liked to have stayed for another hour.

Now I can understand some of the feelings of the racing drivers. As a spectator, I still find the races boring. But to each his own.

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