Among other initiatives we ran for fans around the British Grand Prix was a fun programme to convert a sceptic to F1 by using the crossover appeal of the Senna film to win them over.
The prize was a weekend at the British Grand Prix, with a grandstand and hotel package kindly donated by the title sponsor, Santander. Hayley Fox and her husband won it and here’s her account of her first F1 experience.
Hayley Fox writes: “We received our tickets on Thursday and with that my husband became an excited child again, I will admit that I too was excited as so many people had talked to me about it.
One thing I noticed was a lot of people had said to me ‘Oh you’re so lucky, I would love to go and see F1.’ What I was surprised by was when I asked them, ‘Do you watch F1?’ most replies were ‘no’ or ‘when is it on?’ But they had all heard of it and wanted to see it.
F1 Practice really made me feel why my husband and so many others love this sport; the atmosphere, the people it was great. Then came the noise and oooohhhh my ears the first time the cars came past me at full speed I really felt myself getting excited what a feeling, and what a noise!
Race day: We sat and watched Alonso drive the old Ferrari round the circuit (how beautiful did the old F1 cars look?) and the drivers parade and I and everyone else was waving and of course cheering on fellow Brits for a good result.
As the race progressed it was great to watch and the cheers from the crowd everytime Lewis, Jenson or di Resta made a move and when Alonso gained the lead was amazing. I really think we have the best fans in the world.
The race felt like it was over before it had even started and I have to admit to jumping into the air watching Lewis and Massa’s last lap fight and Lewis coming out in front the crowd as did I and my husband acted like he had won, it really has sucked me in to the world of motorsport.
I felt rather sorry for Jenson though but I’m learning, after watching, the smallest mistake means ‘game over’ but I also understand now how much trust the team members have in each other. I personally couldn’t stand in front of a speeding car with the lollipop (I even picked up some F1 lingo!)
When the race ended we were lucky enough to get onto the circuit and watch the podium and have a walk round (my husband has collected some tyre rubber and some carbon fibre souvenirs)
All in all amazing experience which I’d love to do again but not sure we could afford it.
My main observations from the weekend are; the noise, atmosphere and the people make an amazing experience. It such a shame that it is not more affordable as I’d love to go again.
We also watched the after-party and cheered on the many drivers that appeared and what great thing it was to watch.
We are now exhausted but when we arrived home the many people I had told to watch it did and they said, ‘What a great race’ and ‘You must have had such a great time,’ so I hope I’ve now converted a few people (and quite a few were women) into F1 fans.
If I was allowed to say it though F1 seems to be far too boxed in in it’s own little corner and needs to open up to let more people in and allow them to experience what I experienced, I’m sure even just a little advertising would go a long way.
If a film I didn’t even want to watch convinced me to look into F1 and watch a race and entered this competition imagine what advertising and a close up experience of F1 could do for the sport. I’m convinced that just hearing the noise and feeling atmosphere like I did would turn many others like me from a silly cars going in circles type of person to an F1 fan and obsessive of that V8 noise. I now also understand how feel the Senna film connects to F1 it’s beautiful the film and F1 are like poetry in motion.
All in all a great weekend and thank you to James and Santander and our rep and drivers over the weekend we were very well looked after.