Formula 1. McLaren. Travelling. Meeting people. Sharing the experience.
Who am I? Well, quite simply put, I am a hugely passionate Formula 1 fan. That isn’t to say that my love of motorsport is solely of F1, far from it. I’ve attended many motorsport events including Formula E, WEC, DTM, Goodwood, Autosport International, Race of Champions, but really, the seed that was sown as a child that led to my love of motorsport was with Formula 1.
Sunday would see me sat alongside my dear Dad, no longer with us, watching the races on television. I loved spending time with him, watching the Senna and Prost battles, shouting at the television when something happened to Mansell…that enthusiasm came from him. It turns out, he had a bit of motorsport history himself, although not at these levels.
After my Dad passed away in 2001, watching Formula 1 without him seemed so raw. I stopped. I didn’t even want to be in the same room when it was on. After a few years, this passed, but it wasn’t the same without my Dad. My spark for the sport was reignited in 2008, when I watched a young lad from Stevenage and shouted “Is that Glock?” along with the rest of the nation, and then, in 2009, when the Brawn GP team did what seemed impossible. I sat watching, with my Jenson Button cap firmly upon my head, and the passion was back.
Back as a child, watching the races with my Dad, going to see one had seem impossible. My family didn’t have a lot of money, and this was just something that I accepted people like us didn’t do.
During a weekend away with my hubby in Valencia in 2010, a place we loved visiting, we saw the clear up going on after the race, and I started looking at ticket prices. It seemed that we could do this after all, so we vowed to book up and attend the next year. What some saw on TV as a boring race was far from it when you attended, and Nick was happy as there was a beach nearby. Win-win! So I attended my first race in Valencia in 2011, and again in 2012. These were my first taste of meeting my heroes.
From then onwards, I’ve travelled to many races around the world and made many friends. Silverstone, Barcelona, Hungary, Spa, Monza, Singapore, Abu Dhabi…always with my #BelieveInMcLaren banner in tow! I’ve met so many other fans all over the work via social media, and then been lucky enough to meet them in person too at a race.
I’ve been very lucky to sometimes be in the right place at the right time, or to be invited to attend events.
In 2014, I started writing for Badger GP. Initially, this was sharing my travels as a fan with other fans, but I soon found I loved being involved with the Badger family and started attending events for them. I really enjoy interviewing people, be that drivers or members of the team. Everybody has a story to tell and everyone is part of the jigsaw puzzle that goes together to make a team, and I try my best to research my questions, be prepared and professional, but also to ask the questions with a slant of what a fan really wants to know. I try to be impartial as we know it takes all teams to make the Formula 1 championship what it is.
I’ve been very lucky with the access I have been able to get to the teams in order to achieve this and it made our coverage on Badger GP all the more exciting. I have attained media accreditation at F1 testing in Barcelona, WEC at Silverstone, Formula E in London and Paris, Goodwood Festival of Speed and Autosport International at the NEC.
I have also contributed to some fan-based articles when asked. This includes the Team McLaren blog, an article on the British GP for Crash.net, and also the British GP episode of CNN’s The Circuit in 2018, and a write-up about it. I’ve also been interviewed on Sky Sports News.
- Crash.net: Hackers Guide to the British Grand Prix
- CNN: British GP 2018
- CNN: British GP Superfan (me!)
Being a passionate fan has also meant being passionate about the team I support, and as I have mentioned before, that team is McLaren. A team steeped in history, I remember the lump in my throat as I saw the famous boulevard at the McLaren Technology Centre for the first time. The car that I had always wanted to see was the legendary MP4/4, and seeing it up close for the first time was breath-taking. I even had a birthday cake shaped like it!
People may say that the team aren’t doing so well at the moment, but for loyal fans like myself, our support does not waiver, no matter how frustrating we admit it can be! Just like football supporters would never change their allegiance, we keep on wearing our team kit and crossing our fingers!
I have been very lucky to have now visited MTC a few times at various fan days and events, but I never forget that first feeling, and it is with that in mind that I was so very proud to be of a group of fans that McLaren awarded MCLRN+ Papaya membership to, at a visit to MTC earlier this year. A limited number of fans from all across the world have been given Papaya Card like mine, made of carbon fibre and painted with same papaya paint as the car. We were also invited to the homecoming of Johnny Rutherford’s Indy winning M16, and to see the Borg-Warner Trophy up close – a real treat!
I’ve also a love of the McLaren road cars, something that has been bolstered on visits to MTC when we’ve seen the automotive areas, and watch the production line at MPC from the balcony. Seeing a McLaren Senna come through was a real highlight on our last visit, as was seeing a car enter the rain testing chamber! I’ve been lucky enough to drive two McLaren’s now, and sit in a few, even a GT raced car!
And now it’s Sareyware.com
So what is the purpose of this site? For me to keep on writing about the things I love as I enjoy it so much! I will still continue to travel, attend races and events, talk to people, hopefully get some interviews, and I plan to share it all here. If you enjoy what I write, please tell me so, and share my articles, my site and my twitter account with others.
(If you don’t, well, no-one is forcing you to follow me, so choose your words carefully if you decide to tell me so, but maybe just unfollow!)
Formula 1. McLaren. Travelling. Meeting people. Sharing the experience. Sareyware!