The Ferrari drivers finish before we are even halfway to the front but the Honda drivers are coming. While we wait, we discuss which page in the programme is the best one to get signed. I choose the crimson back cover.
Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello emerge wearing black sunglasses. I feel it beginning to get dark. My head is moving away from my body. I crouch down in the dusty straw. I am about to pass out. I don't want to lose my place in the queue.
We wave frantically to friends standing up near the front taking pictures. Drink and lollies arrive and I feel myself returning to the Park. The line has hardly moved and I still have my place.
Finally we are at the front. The drivers are surprisingly short. As a Kiwi, I am used to rugby celebrities and with the huge media hype that surrounds these men, I am not expecting such diminutive figures.
We file past as quickly as it takes to do a squiggle with a vivid. Jenson says "How you doing, alright?" I don't mention my near faint. He has enough problems this year with his car. If only he could know what happens in 2009.
Later I find the marker is rubbing off the shiny cover, no one else is allowed to look at my programme in case they damage the fragile signatures.
Friday is the first practice day for the Formula One. It is raining lightly but still warm. I wear earplugs and a marshal on a motorbike stops to give a pair to a teenager leaning on the fence. Standing anywhere in the park, I instantly know when a Formula One car starts up. The high pitch distorts in my ears through the earplugs and rattles in my stomach. As the cars chop down through the gears and brake for the corners, there is a loud scream and then shockwaves seem to hit my back.
Learning without doing
11 hours ago