There are those two motorsport events I’m waiting for the whole year and one of them is F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi! This years event finished not so long ago, I have finally manage to recover (I slept 15h two days in a row after coming back home, imagine …) and while looking back to those 3 days of madness I can tell you one thing… I’M LOVING IT! Every single aspect: working hard, lacking sleep, learning from the best, being bored at times, having fun ‘backstage’ and catching up with those I see only once a year! And funny thing is, I don’t even like Formula 1 that much 😛
Most of you probably don’t share my enthusiasm about F1, but let me tell you… it’s all about the people and what is happening “backstage”! If not for them, I would not be involved in Formula 1 after first event – “been there, done that”. Lets just say I’m more of an off-road person 😉 I like real action, although supporting GP2 and GP3 races gave us enough thrill this year!
I find it super interesting to see how that multimillion dollars machine runs. It’s incredible how many people are involved in making it all happen. What we see on TV is stunning and there is a huge amount of hard work standing behind it. Work of fantastic people, out of whom some I can call my friends. Those for who I’m there in a first place.
We have fun! Lots of fun! and in between there is hard work (well, depending on your role ;)). I’m usually lucky to be able to have a bit more fun 😉
That said, I manage to find time to wander around Pit Lane watching teams practicing tires change and chatting to my Pit Lane Marshall friends or going for a track inspection in a Course Car.
I finally ticked off my bucket list a picture INSIDE the Safety Car – added Bonus was Charlie Whiting (FIA F1 Race Director) himself posing with me! He’s a truly amazing person!
I also managed to sneak out and visit Support Pits and see how GP2 and GP3 races are being run. It wasn’t easy to get there, but that is why we have our fantastic Boundary Riders on their scooters, who can help with transportation (wearing FIA official shirt helps :P). It was very cool to see a “life” around the track too.
Last year I was involved with GP2 and GP3 Races, so I was free during F1. Therefore, I managed to watch one of the Qualifying Sessions straight from the Race Control room (I’m telling you – WOW!). Those guys do an unbelievable job! So stressful and demanding, yet every single one of people working there does an outstanding job – knowledge, reaction speed, precision, professionalism – I could observe and learn from the best!
This year I was directly involved in F1 so I saw an other side of what is going on. Working with Stewards allowed me to learn about the systems used for communication and decision making, expand my knowledge regarding procedures and regulations, and see how Live recording works and is being used … and how much documentation is being generated 😉
So who won anyway!?
I did miss quite a bit of Race, but not that I’m complaining. The most important part of it – finish, I managed to see (I was in a Timekeeping room at that time – lucky!). Watching a podium ceremony with all the team members from underneath it was cool too. And than… like every night I: finished work, tried to catch last minutes of a concert, headed back to the hotel and straight to a bar to discuss day events with friends, other motorsport enthusiast and freaks like me 😀