The Grand Prix Mechanics Charitable Trust has launched a new area on its website, exclusively for former and current F1 mechanics to chat online and swap photos and stories.
The new area of the website is open to current or past F1 mechanics, who have registered with the Trust.
Called ‘The Garage’, it is a private area where mechanics, past and present, can find old friends and colleagues, interact and reminisce or plan meet ups.
There’s a forum to discuss any topic they like, plus a section for photographs from when mechanics worked in the paddock. There’s even a list of other registered mechanics so it’s easy to find old friends and colleagues wherever they may be in the world.
The Trust holds a reunion of registered mechanics every two or three years, the most recent being at Williams F1 in Autumn 2010, which have proved very popular with former F1 mechanics. The introduction of “The Garage” extends this opportunity to keep in touch even further.
This is an important year for the Trust, of which I’m a trustee; it’s the 25th anniversary.
Set up in 1987 by three-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Jackie Stewart, who was campaigning for better standards of safety in the sport, the Mechanics’ Trust aimed to provide support for mechanics should an accident occur when they were working in the pit-lane.
These days, mechanics are well supported by their team during their careers; however the trust remains as relevant as ever through its support for mechanics in need of assistance long after their time in the pit-lane when they no longer have the support of the team.
Jonathan Wheatley, Red Bull Team Manager said: “I’ve been employed by a Formula 1 team for over 20 years now and I know that if something happened to me while I’m working with the team, I’d be looked after.
“But talking to some retired mechanics who have been out of the business longer than I’ve been in it, they’re in a completely different situation and I think that’s why the Trust is doing such great work.
“We have regular team meetings and I asked them to register because while I understand there are around 220 mechanics registered with the trust, there must be thousands who haven’t signed up and I hope that they will do.”
Sir Jackie, who has been chairman of the Mechanics Trust for 25 years and instrumental in raising well over £1m for the fund, commented: “Every time I sat behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car, I put my life in the hands of my mechanics. I therefore have an absolute admiration for what they do.
“When times of hardship strike, the trust is here to help the mechanics by offering them support either financially, with medical support and guidance or with advice from our people who can identify what help is available from the government and other sources.”
Registration is easy; either download the registration form on the website, contact Trust Administrator Ann Wood on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 00 44 1896 820263. If you wish to make a donation to the Trust’s work then also contact Ann.
Registered mechanics receive personal login details giving them full access to The Garage.