When I had the opportunity to move to London, I jumped at the chance. One of the main reasons is that I LOVE Formula 1. You see, I grew up in Texas, then lived in California. The idea of watching an F1 race in person didn't seem like it was in the cards for most of my life. Of course, as soon as I left the USA they held the first-ever Austin GP, in my home state none the less, just a 2-hour drive from where I lived for over a DECADE. But that's how the universe works for some people.
My first race ever was the Spanish Grand Prix
Bloody hell I'm trackside in Spain, my first ever F1 experience left my eardrums shattered. I couldn't believe how loud the V10s were. It was all I could do to be this close without earplugs, bone-chillingly loud cars.
Alonso, the Spanish hero in his Ferrari
I love the legacy of Formula 1. I remember being a kid and watching these "European Indy Cars" running at the old school tracks. And those are the tracks that I REALLY wanted to see. Monza, Silverstone, Monaco... a weird place called SPA? I'm joking, of course, these were the tracks that I wanted to see most of all. The tracks that Formula 1 was built on, the tracks I used to watch races on as a kid in Texas.
The old track at Monza, just sitting up there reminding you of the old days
Eau Rouge, the legend. Of all the turns on all the tracks on the planet, THIS is the one I wanted to see mos
After visiting a few tracks I started to fall in love with the life around the track as much as the action on the track. I found out that there was more to go to a Formula 1 race than the race itself. It's an entire start-to-finish cultural experience. From trackside BBQ in Barcelona to cocktails at Black Legend in Monte Carlo, it's far more than just "watching a race".
Spanish grill work, delicious
Each countries traditions, trackside
It's not remotely a stretch of the imagination to say that these 5 or 6 experiences were the halo experiences of over a decade of life. I cherish them and think about them all the time. Especially in these sports dark days, some moments bring me so much joy.
Post race party track side in Monte Carlo
Royal Ariforce stunt pilots
I've never tried to curate my experience at these races, I can't afford that sh*t. I just buy a 3-day general admission and head out. The things you see while walking around the track are the things that joy is made of, and I'd be sad to miss these if I stayed put!
The Ferrari fans at Monza are pretty crazy
The Ggrand Pubar of Ferrari
Hamilton fans are everywhere
Ferrari fans, always crazy
Now, I've talked a lot about this and about that, but look, it's OBVIOUSLY about the cars and the drivers ON these tracks. I feel that I've seen the last of the great beasts, and I'm excited and proud that I know what it feels like to hear the pain.
Alsonso in Spain
Sebastian in his Ferrari at COTA
One of my favorite drivers of the time, Kamui Kobayashi
Kimi in his Lotus, the last driver to win a race for Lotus I believe.
Jensen destroying everyone in SPA
I've General Admission-ed my way into some incredibly cool moments as well. You would be surprised how easy the access is at some of the more exotic events. I've never experienced more access than I did at the Monte Carlo GP, quite the opposite of what you would expect.
A few LEGENDS in Monaco
The fan favorite, Pastor Maldonado, el Crashaanado!
The tracks have their beauty as well. Spa nestled in the forest, it feels huge, it is huge. Baking in the Spanish sun, or sipping on pints trying to stay warm at Silverstone. Each track is a full experience.
Now, once you get to the race, and you enjoy your pit walk, and you have some beers and check out a few different corners there is one thing left to do. You have GOT to figure out where it is that you will be rushing the track and seeing the podium from the track surface. Some are more famous than others, ALL are glorious.
Waiting to celebrate a Hamilton win in Silverstone
COTA where Hamilton secured his championship
The remnants of a post race at Monza.
And there it is, a lifetime of Formula 1 dreams brought experienced by me. And in case any of you noticed, I had to move halfway around the world to make my Formula 1 dream happen. And while I was away, something else happened in my home state as well. And I'm glad to say, I managed to finally see a GP in my own country!!!