My love for motorsport started from the age of four when I remember watching it on the family TV on a Sunday afternoon. I specifically remember getting annoyed that my mums family roast would always be served halfway through and so I’d try and watch what I could whenever I could find it. I specifically remember watching the Senna/Prost dramas in 1988 as the earliest thing I can remember. My favourite game as a child was Nigel Mansell’s GP on the ZX Spectrum 3. Yes. I am old.
It wasn’t until the 90’s when I was able to develop my true love and passion for motorsport though, and that was with the introduction of Eurosport into the household. My mother detested it so I’d try and sneak watches of Friday qualifying by coming home from school to have lunch, or waking up mega early for the races in Japan or replays. It’s something I still do now even though my body often regrets it! Eurosport also introduced me to Indycar, karting and lower formulae of racing. BBC kept me entertained with BTCC in the later 90’s but that would be something I’d drop and return to in the 10’s. When you are the youngest in a family of five, you can only choose the TV channels after school before everyone gets home – and by 2000 I had discovered the internet and that was that.
During this period I developed a cult love for the midfield and more so, the backmarkers. Minardi was my go-to team of choice and will never be topped, but Ligier, Larousse, Osella, Arrows, Jordan, Tyrrell, Pacific, Forti, Simtek, March, Coloni and Sauber – I’d be cheering them on for points, finishes or qualification. I think it was my love for the little guys with passion taking on the establishment. As a Brit, I also cheered for Williams. I even got to have my photo taken with Coulthard’s 95 Williams in a shopping centre somewhere!
Fast forwarding to today and I find my fascinating in motorsport is now much more multilayered. I still love F1, even if it’s seemingly popular to rip into it at any given opportunity from rose-tinted glasses and from so-called fans whom the sport isn’t really aimed at. I wish the grid were bigger and the sport a little less desperate to bankrupt itself, but fundamentally it still gets my heart racing.
I do find that I am equally enthralled with F2, GP3, BTCC and as of two years ago V8 Supercars. I also watch Indycar, Super Formula, Formula E, Formula 3 Europe, Formula 4 Japan and occasionally Nascar. Whilst I can’t claim to have an vast in-depth knowledge in any of those other sports, I think it helps me appreciate what each formula brings.
Favourite team: Minardi
Favourite driver: Olivier Panis
Favourite F1 team on the grid: Sauber
Favourite F1 driver of the grid: Daniel Riccardo