In my first post (and the last so far ;)) I mentioned how following your dreams is important to me and how much I believe in visualization of your desires. Today I will give you an example of what I was talking about!
A lot of people ask me “where did I get my passion for motorsport from?”. When I say I always had an interest in it and it has nothing to do with a father, brother, uncle or any other male role model, they cannot believe me, but it is the truth! “I was born with ethanol instead of blood in my veins” I say; and that is where it all came from.
I could say it was luck, or I should I say, it was meant to be? The universe knew what to offer and where to take me. I met the right person who showed me how to go from an observer to an actively involved participant in the motorsport world. I became a marshal and even a “pseudo” journalist and a photographer at some point 😉
If you follow your passion and are dedicated to it, you meet more and more people who share the same interests and you never know what can come along with that new friendship… 🙂 This is what happened to me and to make a long story short, (thanks to the amazing people I met on my way) I managed to travel the world to participate in great events, to meet amazing athletes I used to admire only on TV, and eventually I got to work with them and even became friends with some of them.
Even though my heart beats stronger for off-road motorcycle sports (like Cross Country Rallies or Enduro), there are some car events that I do like and admire. One of them is WRC Rallies. The dream to be involved in WRC came true few years back, when one of the rounds was held in my country for the first time. It was a great experience to be there, see it and work with other motorsport maniacs like myself. I won’t lie, it was cool to meet the famous drivers themselves! So this one I can tick off of my bucket list 😉
Another dream that always seemed unreachable, was Formula One. Yes! F1 has always caught my attention, its glamour and greatness, but what is most impressive of all are the drivers and their unbelievable skills! I would always watch the “show” from my comfortable couch and think how amazing it would be to be there; not as a spectator (on a TV you actually see more and it’s more fun for me, believe it or not), but as a marshal, an employee, someone involved, someone with an access to the Paddock, Pit Lane, Race Control… crazy, no?!? But who said you can’t dream, right…?! 😉
I always thought it would remain a dream, I had no idea how to make it come true… but I remained dedicated to my passion, even when I moved abroad and didn’t know anyone in this field. I met new people, I got myself involved again (yes, a bit of experience helps ;)) and one day, I got THAT offer!!!!! How could I turn it down?! I must have not sucked at my previous tasks after all 😉 For F1 I got one of the best jobs. The best, because I had an access to all those magical places I mentioned earlier and I got to watch the race seeing the cars pass behind my back on a cozy chair in front of a TV 😉
Those three days at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix were the most wonderful days of my motorsport life and ones I will never forget!
I had my responsibilities on each day, working with the Stewards for GP3 and GP2, which were the supporting races for F1 this season. So while F1 had its practice runs, qualifications or the race itself, I could have a break.
Thanks to this, I could enjoy myself watching the F1 teams preparing for each stage. I got to see the teams practise Pit Stops when I was standing just next to them; I must say that the speed and precision of the whole tire changing process looks even more incredible when watched from such a close distance.
I got to drive in the Course Car that goes on the track to open it and close it, after and before each next session, whether it’s practice, qualifications or the race. In that period the track can be cleared of any debris, vehicles can move from the support pits to the main pits, etc. It was a fantastic experience to see how the track looks with all the marshals ready at their posts and the stands full of excited spectators!
The most unbelievable thing I got to do was to be in the Race Control room for the F1 Qualifying Sessions! Being there, seeing how it all works, how fast everything happens, how stressful and fun at the same time it is… I don’t even know how to put it into words! This position requires nerves of steel, knowledge and a lot of dedication! Exactly what everyone in Race Control has, with Charlie Whiting, who is a truly genuine, friendly and positive person (and a Race Director I got to know ;)) in the forefront.
I wouldn’t be able to do all that if not for all the amazing people I met. Thanks to them the whole experience was unforgetable! So many positive people sharing same true passion can mean only huge doze of good fun!!
Last but not least, I must admit, that super exciting was meeting some of the drivers 🙂 First impression? How the hell did Michel Schumacher or Mark Webber managed to squeeze into those cars? All the guys are … well, not too tall, if you know what I mean.
Normally I’m not the first one to bother anyone “famous” for an autograph or a picture, but this time I wanted to have some trophies.
Unfortunately, when you wear an official FIA shirt, you should not run around with a camera (thank you 21st century for modern technology and cameras in phones!), also some drivers do everything to avoid any other people than their own team. You may actually start wondering, if they haven’t already invented a teleporting machine that they use to move from a pit garage to a team villa 10m further or to the hotels. It wouldn’t surprise me! Some others just “run for life”, being probably tired, and focused on something more important than fans or just being fed up with constant attention. Luckily there are some, that don’t mind, understand and smile no matter what! Yes Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso! I’m talking about you 😉
Because of all that my pictures gallery from F1 is very small. But what’s most important is that I captured all the scenes and emotions with my own eyes and will keep them in my heart for a long time, If not forever! Well at least until the next opportunity, which I believe will come again!
Because dreams do become reality !!!