A racing team is a group of people whose main task from Friday to Sunday is a rush toward seconds and fractions of seconds.
The motorsports is a unique sector where all the work is performed on the highest emotional degree. Have you ever tried to analyze the tiniest nuances of drivers' trajectories in the turn in that very moment when the heart falls somewhere at heels and then jumps to the ears? The teammates on the pit wall understand each other without a word, and it's a real mystery how the team director can find appropriate wordings for the drivers passing her at a speed of 267 km/h and not to get the wrong buttons pushed on the radio set. But if it was possible to keep the time at least for a moment with our joint effort of will, so we granted of about 0.3 seconds on each lap to the drivers...
A professional racing ream is a group of people where everyone not only knows what to do but knows how to do it perfectly. And he or she tries to improve the work in comparison with the last time.
The racing world is completely particular, so the unexpectedly appearing analogies with the 'normal life' are really heart-piercing. It's Vallelunga, pre-grid and the lining up of the cars before driving to the pit lane and further towards the track. It seems to be the kingdom of brutalism, but only if you don't look at the mechanics. They treat the cars in the same manner as grannies before the holiday in a kindergarten – they make the beloved child to blow the nose a hundred of times, smooth down the bows, wash the marks of chocolate from child's cheeks and push with the hip other relatives who carelessly approached too close and can mess the child's stretched shirt.
A unique racing team is a team that meets together for a hen party after a difficult and not very successful racing day: there are boss, engineer, manager, observer and the invited guest – the photo contest winner.
I won't tell you details, let our girls' talks to stay behind the scenes, but judge the fact!
Believe me, the person who has been working a lot with the teams, but, as opposed to the mechanics, doesn't prepare the car for a race; as opposed to the drivers, cannot drive fast; as opposed to the managers, doesn't organize the trip, but just seats down at the computer and periodically comes to people busy with their work with a voice recorder (top class is to choose the most tense moments when every question provokes the only answer of an interviewee: "You're all we wanted!"). So, believe me. A cool racing team is a team where each member feels his or her value and importance. They appreciate each other as both professionals and personalities to pleasantly spend time with from Friday to Sunday. This is a team where people like to laugh with each other. All together.
It's Vallelunga, a hotel not far from the circuit, a warm evening of September. Rattan chairs appear around a small table themselves, and the drinks – on the table in the same manner. The German engineer and the Ukrainian driver discuss the 'rock-paper-scissors' game. It revealed that it's called 'Schnick-Schnack-Schnuck' in German, and these words don't make any sense. Anja Goltz admires the logic of the Russian name that explains the rules.
The Ukrainian team director is teaching the French driver Ukrainian nearby.
- What's your name?
- My name us Côme! – he replies in Russian without any accent.
- How old are you?
- I don't know!
The Greek manager of the team hastens to participate in the conversation. Having waited everybody stops laughing, he solemnly pronounces in Russian:
Everybody laughs in chorus again, including Stelios from Greece and Côme from France.
Then the conversation is switched from English into Italian, than proceeds in Russian until Côme jumps out of his seat and articulates diligently:
- That's enough Russian!
- S'il vous plaît, – the Russian speaking part of the team responds mischievously and begins to hastily translate into English the previous piece of the conversation.
The Tsunami members can smile always.
The main mechanic Vitalii Timanovskii gives an interview. It's important, he's very serious choosing the necessary words. And at this crucial moment an unshaved face pecks his tenderly on the cheek, and a hairy arm pokes an ice-cold bottle of water on the scruff of his neck: colleagues decided to reduce excessive pathos.
The late evening after the race, we are on our way to the hotel, Côme Ledogar is driving. Suddenly a form of a dragging (on foot! on the road! in darkness! in grey clothes!) pedestrian appears on the highway highlighted by the lights.
- Have you seen him too? – Côme asks hesitatingly, having changed the car's direction hardly to come around the insane.
- Of course! – I state weightily. - It's the famous Vallelunga ghost!
- I don't believe in ghosts! – Côme waves off.
- How can you not believe in them when you've seen the ghost firsthand?! – I parry.
All the rest of the evening Côme was very thoughtful. His materialistic worldview began to show signs of strain.
'Ghosts game' is very popular in the team. In Magny-Cours Stelios Fakalis became suspicious having entered his room due to the open door of the closet. Oleksandr Gaidai jumped out of it with with a cheerful shout 'Boo!'. Stelios was very glad he had been so attentive. He didn't know that our photographer Akis Temperidis was still hiding in the rattan chest...
I lived all the weekend with the thought that it's the most complicated task to gather the people who are professionals in their fields in that they might feel so comfortable together. The opposition of physicists and lyrists, not to mention the political mud, didn't touch Tsunami RT. It requires some special talent that has no name yet. But it definitely exists: I doubt that the team where the driver is the director's husband would still function and they wouldn't kill each other if this did not work?!
So, wherever we are now – in Kyiv, Lviv or Moscow, in Odessa, Athens or Thessaloniki, in Lyon or in Italian cities, we are together. We are a team. And that's great. Дуже добре. Très bien. Benissimo. Sehr gut. Πολύ καλό.