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Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Jul 2011   |  5:06 pm GMT  |  148 comments

Here’s another great opportunity to get closer to F1. Ever wanted to experience the thrill of an F1 pit stop from behind a wheel gun?

Well here’s your chance because next Wednesday July 6th we are going to have a JA on F1 pitstop competition.

We have been given the opportunity of bringing 16 JA on F1 readers to an event organised by Hilton, a partner of the McLaren team. The event will take place between 2pm and 3pm outside one of the Hilton Hotels in Central London.

We’ve been given a McLaren car for an hour. So readers who fancy learning how to do lightning fast wheel changes using latest spec wheelguns on a real F1 car can come along and give it a try. I’ll be there too and will do a post on how you get on.

Also, to make it even more fun, we’ll be timing you – once you’ve got the hang of it! And as an incentive, as there will be two people working on each wheel, the fastest wheelchange pairing of the two groups of 8 will win 2 tickets (general admittance) to the British Grand Prix.

So if you fancy doing something different during your lunch break or you’re sure you can be in Central London on Wednesday afternoon please apply for a place in the comments section below. Entries close Monday 4th at 5pm.

If we have lots of entries, as anticipated, we will do a ballot to select the 16 who’ll get to do the challenge.

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  1. Andrew Dobb says:

    Count me in, I’m based near Oxford Street so hopefully you’ll be nearby.


  2. d.h. says:

    I’m up for a bit of pit stop fun!

  3. Phil says:

    Grrrrrr! Wish some of these events would be over here in the colonys! We miss out on the Forums, tours, contests and fan meetings due to that little detail called the Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps one of the major team sponsors would see fit to have North American-only contests with travel to UK so the winner[s] could participate in one of these shindigs. It would be a great way to spur interest up for next year’s USGP.

    1. James Draper says:

      Ah the draw backs of the being in the best viewing timezone eh!

      1. unoc12 says:

        How about Australia… we miss out on all of that


        Brazil, Abu Dhabi etc.. all take place in the early hours of the morning, with the majority of races STARTING after 10 at night.

      2. Weeraz says:

        Exactly, it was painful getting up at 3am for the Canadian Grand Prix! So worth it though!

      3. scottie doesn't know says:

        10pm starts are perfect. We have the best viewing times on balance in the world.

      4. + 1 for Aus (especially we now have two drivers on the grid, go Daniel go!).

        And maybe Singapore because I go there eevry year for the GP and due to the massive number of Aussie at the Bay grandstand.

        (Sorry, a bit one sided request but can;t tame my enthusiasm :-))

      5. unoc12 says:

        Scottie, what?

        10pm is ok for me since it’s not ruining my day and I can have dinner, then a bit later enjoy the buildup then GP. But it does make for a tired start to week.

        And the more often that not, the Gran Prix that decides the WDC and WCC happens to be in themiddle of the night… Brazil.

        Sure, if maybe Bahrain or a boring GP was there, or even any of the middle ones, fine, I’ll watch it later, and it doesn’t matter because it’s just a race.

        BUT, the decider! I didn’t see Button in 09 or Hamilton in 08, the whole hamilton gearbox, raikkonen thing was just a headline in an article for the 2007 GP. Abu dhabi isn’t even that better. One minute Alonso was leading, Webber 2nd, fall asleep and you can’t off the media for 2 days (monday morning… -> tuesday night) almost so it becomes a horrible climax!

  4. Prem says:

    I would love to get involved in something like this! Please consider me for this competition James!

  5. I’d love to give it a try James. I’m based in London so getting there will be no problem.

    Regards, Adam

  6. Chris Moran says:

    I reckon I could beat Red Bull! 1.9secs

  7. Mario says:

    I’d fancy that. Could you put my name down for it, please? Sounds like bags of fun.

  8. Phil Keeling says:

    Sounds like a laugh. I’m in.

  9. Elvis Baptiste says:

    I would love to attend and try my hand at some real work.

    I shall start prep work this evening

  10. Cole says:

    wow! great stuff!

    Unfortunatelly, being an Argentinean, i’ll be sitting a bit too far away from London during the event!

    Have Fun!


  11. Connor McLaughlin says:


    I’d love to do this.


  12. Laura says:

    I’m sure I could clear all my meetings on Wednesday afternoon. Sign me up!

  13. Max Glover says:

    hi james,

    please please please can i do this challenge it would be amazing


    max glover

  14. Randy Torres says:

    As always USA Fans are discriminated against in these contests! By the way the two ticket prize is nice, but whay don’t you make it interesting and give away the McLaren, or at the very least the winners get a job in the paddock!

    1. john says:

      Mate, you do realise that this James Allen is British and this is a British website and we’re talking about a british team. How many nascar competitions are there in the USA for Brits?

      1. James Allen says:

        And remember that last month input on a Fans Forum in Montreal, Canada with FOTA. How many other UK based sites do that?

    2. Adrian J says:

      Not just US fans…I live in Bath (not too far from the hometown of one Jenson Button) and can’t very well drive halfway across the country just to enter a competition…

      Love the site James, but sometimes the events you run are too London-centric…

      1. James Allen says:

        What like the Fans Forum in Montreal you mean? Not many sites do anything at all for fans, remember

      2. Andrew Halliday says:

        You tell them James! If people want to do it enough, they’ll make the effort. I’m flying from Melbourne to Glasgow next Tuesday, arriving home in Edinburgh Wednesday evening then driving down to Oxford on Thursday to attend the GP for the next 3 days. Hopefully not too much jet lag – that’s dedication!

      3. Rich C says:

        bleh! All you do for *me is make me intensely jealous! ;D

        But when I win the lottery you can be assured I’ll hop a jet and be there for these parties!

      4. Chris havard says:

        I did a 7 hour round trip to mclaren on Thursday for an amazing 4 hours at MTC thanks to James and FOTA.

      5. Mike says:

        To be fair minded – it is not possible to have this type of competition at many venues. I think it is great that JA on F1 is arranging this type of F1 contact and the F1 forum in various continents for F1 fans. Keep up the good work!

        Look forward to reading the results and about the event on JA on F1.

    3. Sebee says:

      What’s funny is that at the Canadian Grand Prix I always kept seeing this pit stop competition setup to test yourself.

      But each and every year it was the same Budwiser Chevy NASCAR 1/2 car setup, not a mock up F1 setup.

  15. Chris havard says:

    Would love the opportunity so name in the hat please.

  16. Derek Ekins says:

    I’ll be there!
    Can I bring my own wheelgun?

    1. James Allen says:

      Use a McLaren one, bound to be optiomised

    2. Sebee says:

      Bring a watergun, you can shoot other competitors make believe it’s raining. :-)

  17. Adam Harvey says:

    If it was a Red Bull, I’d suggest “accidentally” losing the wheels…

  18. grigved says:

    fine opportunity for masses……..

  19. San K says:

    HI James,

    Wow…such a treat – whether win or lose…taking part would be fantastic!

    Thanks for the opportunity – I will keep my fingers & everything else crossed.

    Best regards,
    San K.

  20. Vannman says:

    Count me in!

  21. David says:

    Hi James

    Here’s my entry…


  22. Alex Attard says:

    Wow great fun. would like to have a go but to be in london from Malta is a bit of a head ache and am a bit low in finanaces.

    Have fun guys

  23. Ian says:

    Yes please James!


  24. Dino says:

    Wow, count me in! Sounds like an awesome opportunity!

  25. Ben Russell says:

    I’d love to do this, so here is my entry.


  26. Nigel says:

    Open this text box WIDE and you’ll see what it is…Mclaren F1 car
    Yep, I’d love to have a crack. I’m in London

    ,,,:::::::::~~~~~~::78I=IIO=~=$ =$MMMMMMNNM$I.Z==+7II+7OM:~:::::::::::::::::::::
    ……….,,,DDD8D888DI,,,, NN.ZM8I?$Z7$$I$8$$,8M::,::.D88888888.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ……….,,+8OO88DDDD8,,.NM,MMDMM77III7$7INMNMN,MN ,,+ND8888OZOD,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,,,,,,,,,.,.NND8OO$$NNMMMMMMN~ .,,M.?II7I=M:,,..$DDMMMMNNOOOO88DNO:,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  27. Owen McIntyre says:

    Hello! I can (and would very much like to) be there!

  28. Neil Donnell says:

    Hi James,

    You can count me in on this one too!



    1. You’ve just been Black flagged and disqualified on the grounds that you’ve been to Abu Dhabi for a couple od days last year.

      Best of luck though. :-)

  29. Andy Carr says:

    Viva James Allen!! Count me and my brother in! The Carr Brothers united as one :-)

    We will start training tonight!

    What a fantastic opportunity. We missed out on the Fans Forum at the MTC, so hopefully we can be a part of this great event.

  30. Deepan says:

    I’m in!!!!!

  31. Chris W says:

    This sounds awesome, count me in please!

    I’m moving to London next week so it would be the perfect welcome present…

  32. aj says:

    here’s my entry


    want an unreal prize to win

  33. Farhana Begum says:

    Sounds fun count me in!!

  34. Abdul Noor says:

    I’m up for the challenge!

  35. John Nicholas says:

    Would love to give it a shot…

    Many thanks,


  36. smellyden says:

    I would love to have go please!


  37. F430-FOX says:

    Yes, that would be a good incentive for me to come into London. Count me in :-)

  38. Luke Robbins says:

    would love to have a go.


  39. James W says:

    Very interested in this!

  40. Jack says:

    Sign me up! I’m a long-term fan of F1 and would love to meet up and have a shot at winning tickets.

    I live nearby and can be extremely flexible with my work, so attending would be a sure thing. If I need to bring someone for the pairing that can be arranged too.

    Looks like it will be a ballot. Fingers crossed.

  41. Foaad says:

    I am in as well, would be fun to get up close to a F1 car.

  42. Mário Ramos says:


    I’m a big Mclaren fan and I’m leaving from Portugal to London next weekend just to see the 2011 British Grand Prix. It will be my first live Formula1 race….and what a better way to start than to pratice some f1 wheelchange on my favourite car? Fantastic stuff!
    Count me in!


  43. Amran says:

    yup. count me in too!

  44. Ritesh Tendulkar says:

    Would love to do it.

  45. ChimpSafari says:

    Me please! Way better than surfing the net on my lunch breaks!

  46. Ishaak says:

    You can count me in!

  47. madjon88 says:

    Id deffinately be interested in this, and ive got next week off work so I am deefinately free :)

  48. alex chen says:

    Count me in James I’m in London and free Wednesday

  49. Ollie from London says:

    This is a perfect way to get 100% ready for the next day’s exam. Count me in, I am a Londonder so being at Hilton on Wednesday won’t be a problem. Thanks

  50. Adrian Bell says:

    I’m defo in!

  51. Douglas Revill says:

    Hi James

    Love your website, thanks.
    This is a fantastic opportunity for the fans. I’d love to give it a go. Is there any chance you could arrange something like this for the Aussie fans at Albert Park next year? There would be a lot of interest.
    The fans over in Australia and New Zealand love our sport as much as anyone in Europe – perhaps even more committed I’d say – we have to get up in the wee hours to watch these amazing cars and drivers scream around the tracks.
    We miss out on a lot because we are so far from the action. I’m sure we would all appreciate the opportunity to have a closer look at an F1 car, and to be tested against the British fans!

    1. James Allen says:

      It takes a co-operative sponsor – or team. I’ll ask around

      1. Douglas Revill says:

        Fantastic – thanks James.

      2. Thank you very much on your kind comment for the website.

        I just published a guide to the Canadian GP a couple of days ago if this takes your fancy for next year.

      3. Vodafone or OneHD maybe?

      4. Douglas Revill says:

        I just checked out your site – thanks Damien. It’s great to have an idea where the best places are to view a GP. Keep up the good work.

    2. Alex W says:

      Red Bull did a wheel gun event at Melbourne Uni in 2010.

    3. JohnBt says:

      Been to New Zealand a couple of times. Everytime I set foot in your country the first thing that comes to my mind is the great Mr.Bruce McLaren.

      Will always remember Graeme Lawrence and Geoff Perry.

      1. Douglas Revill says:

        Yes, for a small country we’ve produced some great talent, both engineers and drivers. I often think of the amazing things Bruce McLaren might have achieved if he had lived to a ripe old age.

  52. jfh says:


    Count me in too please.

    James Healey.

  53. Matt says:

    I’m in!

  54. _MDHayes says:

    Would be brilliant to do that.

  55. David Kent says:


    Please count me in (x2) – thanks. David Kent

  56. roddy says:

    me too please James.
    are McLaren providing the overalls and helmets and gloves?

  57. Gemma says:

    I would like to apply please!!! (Hoping this oppotunity is open for women to apply for too?!)

    Many thanx

  58. Helen Tyler says:

    Oh this sounds like fun! Count me in :)

  59. Steve says:

    Iv got the day off so can be there would love to go I’m a big mclaren fan

  60. Furiousa83 says:


    Count me in as an applicant!


  61. Christopher Mould says:

    Wow, James. What a great opportunity to get “up close and personal”. I live in Birmingham, but it would be no problem to jump on a train and come to central London on Wednesday. Thanks for giving fans the opportunity to apply.

    Chris Mould

  62. Mark Laurie says:

    Would love to do this, missed out on the FOTA Fans Forum last week, this would be perfect!

  63. msmelbournegirl says:

    Given the timezones the races are in we are very dedicated fans over here in Melbourne since most races start at 10pm on a Sunday night; and don’t get me started on the Canada & Brazil races…..their 2am and 4am starts are a killer and can make for a tough Monday at work!! But we love it, so we do it!

    Soooo, I’ll second the comments from the other Australian fans.

    We’d love to have a little something like this in Melbourne next year. A pit stop tryout? yes please. A FOTA fan forum? double yes please.


    PS: Love the new website, looks smashing!

  64. Daniel Chow says:

    Would love the opportunity to experience handling a wheelgun.

  65. jakub says:

    Count me in please

  66. Ed says:

    Yeah count me in too, it sounds great

  67. boatesy says:

    Happen to be on a week’s secondment in London that week, which is handy timing.

    Count me in.


  68. Michael Griffin says:

    Count me in for this!!

  69. Hardip Sangha says:

    Count me in

  70. Stephen Courtney says:

    I’d also like to apply, I’m based in central London too.


  71. Siddharth Javeri says:

    Excited for such an opportunity. I’m in.

  72. Adam harcourt says:

    Count me in James I fancy I’m faster than those virgin boys!

  73. ElChiva says:

    Unexpectedly I have this Wednesday off. See you all there?

  74. Toby Liggins says:

    I’ll put my name forward, sounds like an amazing opportunity!

  75. Dipesh Chudasama says:

    This sounds awesome, Count me in!!!
    p.s. I’m obsessed with F1

  76. AndyFov says:

    Here’s my entry. Hoping I’m lucky in the ballot. :)

  77. Would love to do this but I’m a wheelchair user – suppose I could operate the wheelgun but not sure I could haul in a wheel. They are so much heavier than the pit crews make it look on TV!

    Put me in the hat if you think it would be accessible…

    My own wheels are quick release too. ;-)

  78. Alex Thom says:

    I would like to apply

  79. KavB says:

    Count me in :)

  80. Ahmed says:

    Count me in James.

  81. cool_ani says:

    F1 is a global sport and is seeking new territories. More interest would be generated in emerging markets like India/China or even a charity run for Japan. Same for Australia.

    F1 needs more such smaller feeder events for increased popularity and needs to get out of the mother continent :)


  82. Mark Edwards says:

    I would love the chance count me in, I would clear a week of meetings for the chance.

  83. Ben Midgley says:

    Yes please, count me in

  84. Tomas Sopkuliak says:

    I`m in :) lets go do it :))))

  85. Dudley says:

    I’d like to Apply! I’m off this week and have plenty of time to be disappointed at losing a ballot!

  86. Jigar says:

    I’m in!

  87. Ahmed says:

    Hi James,

    I would be interested in this and can make the date.

  88. Akiiki Bedeau says:

    What an amazing opportunity. You can definateltly count me in. I live in central London so will have no problem getting there.

  89. Keir says:

    Count me in – this would be sooooo cool

  90. R Brawn says:

    The big bear will decide who comes to the party.

  91. Fenris N says:

    Count me in on this! Sounds like a great opportunity! :)

  92. Rob says:

    I’d like to come!

  93. Please sign me up James. I live in Milton Keynes and I’m available all day on Wednesday.

  94. AmyE says:

    I’d be well up for this! Put my name in the hat please!

  95. Ricky Woolway says:

    Hey James

    Would love to be part of this

    Please stick my name in the hat cheers !

  96. Icthyes says:

    What a great idea – count me in!

  97. Kishan says:

    I’m in!!!!!

    I live in the midlands but can easily drive into London and Wednesday is perfect for me.

  98. tom says:

    Here’s my entry!

  99. Ohm says:

    I’d like to apply please! :) thanks for the opportunity James!

  100. Tim Brailli says:

    Please add my name to the list.


  101. Christopher Whyte says:

    James, thanks for the opportunity, would love to give it a go.

  102. Andrew Woodruff says:

    I’d love to do this James. I work in central London so could definitely make it!



  103. Phil says:

    I’d be up for it, sounds like an absolute hoot, please add my name to the list :)

  104. Will Rook says:

    Count me in for this! Sounds like well good fun!

  105. AA says:

    I would like to be included in the draw!

  106. Tim Powell says:

    Sounds like a pretty cool thing to do, I’d love to have a go. Either way I’ll come and watch!

  107. LankyAnky says:

    Hi James,

    I’m used to keeping the wheels on big projects so I guess could a take a few off a McLaren.

    Love to do it, work in central London and can clear my diary.


  108. Roger says:

    Count me in too Please. Handy with the spanners and wheel gun !

  109. Phil R says:

    Hi James

    Count me in please!

    Is it open for the people who don’t win to watch it?

    1. James Allen says:

      No, apparently the council are nervous about numbers, hence why we’re only telling the winners which Hilton it is!

      1. Roddy says:

        another idea might be not to tell the council which Hilton it is….

  110. Sublimeuk says:

    Yes please!! I’ll take the day off, no problem.


  111. Philip says:

    sounds like great fun, please chuck my name in the hat!

  112. Ben Boss says:

    Count me in too!!


  113. I’d come up with a pithy, witty comment, but it probably won’t help in a ballot! Please add me to the names in the hat though :)

  114. Nick Twist says:

    Hi James,

    What a great competition, please put my name into the draw. It sounds like it will be great fun. :)



  115. Randy Torres says:

    You really want to rev F1 up. Do something any thing in New York City. Some kind of promo like these NASCAR guys do driving their cars down Broadway from Times Sq. Something like a mini race between a Ferrari and a Mac. I mean 10,000 people showed up at Wadkins Glen to see that seat swap between Hamilton and Stewart. There’s a least 10 times that amount going thru the Times Sq. subway turnstiles during rush hour. Then run a contest for THAT!

    By the way, hey Jim Allen you didn’t post my reply to “john”. What’s up with that? Does my view about NASCAR fans offend British sensibilities?

  116. JohnBt says:

    Wow! nice one James. Sure wouldn’t mind it. Always liked the sound when the nut is being removed and attached.

    Looks like numerous new teams can be formed, LOL.

  117. Ricky Woolway says:

    Hey James

    Hows it going ? Anybody lost a wheel yet or been signed up by Mclaren? :-)

    1. James Allen says:

      Fastest was 5.5 seconds. It was good fun, harder than any of them imagined


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