The tranquillity of a race track a few hours after the finish makes a stark contrast to everything that has gone before. It’s a striking feature of any major motor race and evident to those staying behind to complete their weekend’s work.
For journalists, it was particularly noticeable in Canada in 1988, given that the media centre at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was situated in the control tower. While writing my race report, I happened to look out of the window and saw Ivan Capelli feeding seagulls on the deserted main straight. It was the work of a moment to nip downstairs and take this picture.
This scene was typical of the thoughtful and kindly Italian. During an interview many years later, he would describe the pleasure he got from soaking up the atmosphere of a race weekend, from beginning to the very end. He would, for instance, make a habit of standing in the middle of the stadium at Hockenheim, just to look up at the empty grandstands and savour the silence compared to the bedlam earlier in the day.