The return of F1 this weekend heralds the return of another season filled equally with hope and despair, although technically it starts as soon as the engines are fired up for winter testing. My social life goes into hibernation as everything gets checked against the FIA calendar and my social media goes into overdrive – you have been warned!
I’ve been a little more quiet this season as I don’t want to jinx my favourites plus there’s been so much chopping and changing with regulations and the powers-that-be seem intent on destroying the sport I love, that I’m loving it a little, teeny, tiny bit less nowadays. Like, 92% instead of my usual 100%.
However, seeing the media circus restart down in Melbourne, plus going to a work event near Silverstone and being surrounded by F1 memorabilia has given me the tingles and I can’t wait for the madness to start again!
- The ridiculously early starts for Free Practice, Qualifying and Race sessions – because waking up in the middle of the night, in the darkness and listening to cars on a track is actually brilliant and you learn how to function with broken sleep patterns for the flyaway races.
- The soap opera that is Formula One – complete with heroes (gentleman drivers that are funny, real and look like they’d be a great laugh on a night out) and villains (the crashers, the arrogant ones that spoil it for everyone else, those that believe their hype) and the wooden acting when discussing poor performance/rumours in the press pens!
- The wheel to wheel racing – it’s like watching a game of chicken, approaching a turn at 250kph with just a wheel nut between them and someone has to brake first. *gasps*
- The fellow fanatics – I’ve been lucky to connect with some amazing people over the years. There’s something that bonds you close when you’re up in the dark hours or putting everything on hold “because quali’s on,” when you share a dislike for a particular driver or meeting up at different racing events. Only a fellow fan would be as excited as you are when you find a visor tear off on track.
- The history – nearly a hundred years of brave racers throwing themselves around a circuit at super fast speeds. Iconic tracks that have seen the birth and death of legends. Tradition and passion within names such as Hill, Villeneuve, Schumacher and Senna to name a few. Step on to a classic track and you will feel the magic within that Tarmac.
- The technology – you’ll see carbon fibre on absolutely everything nowadays but its roots are in Motorsport where strength and impact durability are paramount for driver safety. Start/Stop ignitions, flappy paddle gearboxes, wet weather tyres – the list goes on. What is first a development in F1 to create performance gains translates to the mass market making driving safer, efficient and more enjoyable.
- The humour – we have a strange and ridiculous sense of humour often creating hashtags and memes. Check out those involving Pastor Maldonado or Kimi Raikkonen, or #placesalonsowouldratherbe for lols.
- The glamour – Formula One attracts big money and all the other trappings of wealth including gorgeous locations (maybe not Sochi) beautiful people (maybe not Bernie) and fast things (maybe not the back end of the grid).
- The underdog – there are teams and drivers that just get your support for being lovely people, or when something extraordinary happens and they beat established drivers. It upsets the apple cart in the best way because to finish first, first you must finish!
- The memories – the sound of the cars always reminds me of watching races in the summer with my grandfather. He would fall asleep in the middle of the race waking up just in time to see who had won. I still find the sound soothing.