This was getting ridiculous. Through the small windows of the media centre, a glorious orange sunset had turned to black, and now 10,000 pinpoints of artificial light glittered from the densely packed high-rise buildings of Monte Carlo. The bass boom of dance music from the Red Bull Superman party thumped faintly in the background, as the excited chatter of alcohol-fuelled fans, beautiful people and hangers-on rose from the Stars 'n Bars restaurant below.
It was all tuned out by the journalists milling about under the yellow glare of the media centre lights. While a diligent few were still tapping away at keyboards, a growing crowd gathered around the FIA communications office, each person determined to grab the verdict as soon as it was published. Meanwhile, the British press lounged back in their chairs, bored.
As usual, there was plenty of banter. But the conversation kept returning to the same subject: the reason we were still sitting there. Would Michael Schumacher be thrown out of the Monaco Grand Prix or would he be let off the hook?
The tension in the post-qualifying press conference that had taken place hours ago had been of Scorsese thriller proportions. Schumacher had entered it a happy looking man. But with every question focused on his dubious error at Rascasse and the fumbled stall of his Ferrari, his face set into a grim, impenetrable mask.