Let me take you back to the British Grand Prix with the crowds buzzing, the Mercedes duo battling each other, red Bulls seeing red, a record number of home Grand Prix wins for Lewis Hamilton and a safety car that allowed the quick thinking to gain on their rivals.
It sounds great right? Well, actually if you dig a little deeper it is even better.
You may be a little confused as to how it could get better but, from a marshalling point of view, the F1 weekend goes beyond the race.
The F1 race is just a small part of the weekend. The race only lasts for a maximum of two hours. Two hours in a weekend that starts for some on Thursday afternoon with the high-speed test but, for everyone else it starts at 7:30am on Friday reducing the race to a tiny percentage of the entire weekend.
This all means that the team you are marshalling with on your post at the circuit has to be a good one. This may be daunting or you may not be keen for the weekend as you’ve been put on a straight where there is less likely to happen, so how do you get around it?
An open mind is a good start, the F1 weekend isn’t a regular meeting so you have a lot of downtime and this is where the open mind helps. You have a lot of people from different backgrounds of marshalling and you have a lot of time to get to know them. This is ideal to work towards your enjoyment of the weekend as you and the other marshals will relax around each other and before you know it you’ll be laughing, joking and telling stories plus it has the added benefit that you know someone from a different circuit that you’ve wanted to visit.
Once the racing is done what do you do? Go to the concert with your mates and drinks, it’s certainly one option, but you’re more likely to head back to the campsite and relax.
What better way to enjoy your F1 experience than kicking off your marshalling boots, getting out your overalls, pouring yourself a drink and chewing the fat on the day that you’ve just had. If you’ve planned well you can have a BBQ and have a little communal area for you to sit around in a big group.
It’s ideal, what’s not to love about chilling, camping with your friends, food and drinks. Think about it, it’s amazing.
The small detail
One thing I noticed about this year’s F1 at Silverstone was the little things that happened and they’re the things that made the weekend as great as it was.
View this post on Instagram
When the #sun is shining and you have the track to yourself to get to post, it would be rude not to cruise round @silverstonecircuit on a #BMX – good fun but, a little tiring at times 😂😂 . . . #F1 #formula1 #formulaone #britishgp #britishgp2019 #bike #cycling #tacetrack #cruising #fun #2019 #silverstone
I’d been using my BMX, yes you read right a little BMX, to get to post instead of catching the bus and on the Sunday of the race, I decided it was a good idea to get out a little earlier and cycle a lap of the track. Imagine all the people there early to get a good spot and you’re pootling around the track on your bike. It’s great and even better when you start racing against your friend and the crowd start getting behind you and cheering you on.
That’s not exactly cricket – Well actually it was cricket, after the race and before the concert, there is normally drivers appearing on stage to talk about what happened, never before have I seen this grind to a halt but, this year was different. With England’s presence in the Cricket World Cup final, the attention of everyone turned to the big screens and the scenes that were happening at Lord’s Cricket ground.
People may have been divided as to who is a Hamilton fan, who’s a Lando Norris fan but at this moment the people came together. There was a chance for England to win and boy did the crowd know. You could feel the tension in the crowd, cut it with a knife almost and when the final wicket dropped the realisation that England had won, pandemonium ensued. Pints of beer flying everywhere and friends jumping on each other were scenes that I’d not seen since Wigan beat Man City in any of the last three times the teams met in the FA Cup.
I think what I’ve been trying to say but in a lot of words is that if you go to the F1 don’t just focus on the race because there is much more to it than that. Think of it as going on a four day camping holiday with your friends and you just get the added bonus of motorsport.
So, on that note, I’ll see you all in 2020.