Ayrton and Me

Almost 20 years ago, I joined my then boyfriend on a trip to the Belgium Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. To be honest, I was hoping (in vain) for a proposal in the romantic surroundings of Brussels’ historic Grand Place.

When I asked my boyfriend before our trip if we would get the chance to see any of the drivers up close he responded with a knowing snort of derision at my foolish naivety.  A veteran of many race weekends, he explained all about the crowds, and the security and the impenetrable F1 paddock.  Even so, I was determined to enjoy the experience.  As we entered the circuit, I looked around at the sights and colours.  Suddenly, not more than five feet from me, on the other side of a single layer of fencing was Ayrton Senna.  His Honda sports car was sitting waiting for the entry barrier to the circuit to be lifted.  With the car window rolled down, he was relaxed and smiling in a short sleeve shirt, waving casually as the other fans around me spotted the sport’s supreme superstar.  Then he was gone, but the buzz stayed with me all the way into the circuit and, to be honest, all through the weekend.  As it turned out, Senna’s luck was not in for the race, he finished fifth after a tyre gamble didn’t pay off.  Instead, I was there to witness the first of Michael Schumacher’s innumerable race wins.

I learned a number of lessons from that weekend: (1) my boyfriend did not have a romantic bone in his body; (2) I would rather risk toxic shock from holding in my urine for 15 hours than use the portaloos at the Spa circuit (3) self-declared experts don’t always know best about F1 or anything else for that matter.

This blog is written in that spirit (the final point, not the portaloo one).  I am a Mum and a Formula 1 fan.  I don’t claim any special insight just a desire to write about my favourite sport.  Sadly, neither of my children are F1 fans, although my younger son will sometimes keep me company to watch a race – particularly if it involves an early morning start.  I have to share my passion elsewhere.  I’ve looked at some of the many F1 forums and blogs, but, to be honest they are not to my tastes; too many entrenched views and short term perspectives.  So I have decided to start this blog.  A friend asked if it is aimed only at female F1 fans, but it’s really for anyone who wants to share their love for F1 in a positive and fun way.

I have been practising writing pieces to see if I had anything I wanted to say, so I’ll probably put up quite a few blogs in short order, and then move onto a steadier pace. I won’t always be right, but I will always be honest about my opinion.  I will try my best to be accurate and to reflect some of the history of the sport, rather than just the latest controversy or scandal.  There are a number of great blogs by professional journalists who take the time and spend the money to attend all the races and provide an insider’s insight.  This blog is very much a view from the living room armchair, but, after all, that’s where 99.9% of F1 fans see the action from.  Thank you for your time.

FORMULA ONE MUM*

*P.S.  This blog was going to be called ‘Formula Mum’, until someone pointed out that I might be mistaken for an anti-breastfeeding campaigner!

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2 thoughts on “Ayrton and Me

  1. Dear Formulaonemum. i thoroughly enjoyed this great story about you meeting the great Senna. I will be following this excellent blog as it is brilliant to see a women’s point of view on this great sport. Cannot wait for the next entry, continue the good work.

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