Everybody, I did it!

10 years of being a Formula 1 fan, a global pandemic later, and I finally got myself to the 2021 Formula 1 British Grand Prix.

If you follow me on any of my socials, you’ll see my endless emotional tweets regarding the weekend and how I just couldn’t put it into words, so what am I doing now? Putting it into words. You see, the 280 character limit on Twitter wasn’t enough for me to express just how incredible the weekend as a whole was – so let’s start from the beginning.

After F1 Testing in 2020, I officially caught the Racing Bug (it’s a real thing, I promise), and as soon as I returned home from Catalunya, I booked the Sunday in Luffield Grandstand at the 2020 British Grand Prix. Of course, Covid-19 happened, and that put a stop to, well, everything. The option was made to roll over our tickets to 2021, and with that, we also booked GA for Friday and Saturday following the announcement of the Sprint Race trial being at Silverstone.

Following the past 18 months during the pandemic, I honestly wasn’t sure that this years British Grand Prix would even go ahead and was expecting it to be behind closed doors once again. However, in June, it was announced that the event would go ahead at full capacity after being chosen to be included in the next phase of the UK’s Governments Event Research Programme. Racegoers would have to prove a negative Lateral Flow Test taken within 48 hours of visiting or show proof of full vaccination.

My Accomodation

Typically, many people choose to camp when they go to a Grand Prix. Silverstone have a few options, Woodlands, which has both Lively and Family parts to the campsite. Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of camping – so I chose to get an Air BnB instead, just a 25-minute drive from the circuit. We parked at Silverstone the first day and Dadford campsite the other two. The traffic was easy; in fact, there was none! Whether we were lucky or got there early enough to make sure we escaped it, I’m not sure.

Something I would say I missed was the camping atmosphere. I had a few friends staying in Woodlands for the weekend, and all I wanted was to go back and carry on the vibes with them and other motorsport fans! Next time, I’ll definitely get over myself and rough it at the campsite!

The Racing

Where do I begin? Obviously, as a motorsport fan, I knew I would enjoy the racing no matter what. The weekend was packed full of it; W Series, Formula 2 and Formula 1 were the main events. However, I also really enjoyed seeing the Classic Cars, particularly that beautiful silver and red Vodafone McLaren. Not only was it my first ever Grand Prix, but it was also the first trial of the Sprint Race format, in case you’ve been living under a rock – the weekend sessions consisted of FP1 and Qualifying on Friday, FP2 and Sprint Qualifying on Saturday and obviously the race on Sunday. Being there firsthand, I was actually really excited to witness two races. It didn’t take any excitement away from Sunday’s race, and I’d definitely prefer to watch a sprint race over another practice session.

I tried to watch as much track action as possible and managed to watch all of the F1. However, there is just so much else going on that I only managed a practice session and a race and a half of F2 and a race of W Series. I really wanted to focus on taking in the whole atmosphere, meeting and spending time with friends I’d never met before and looking around.

Over the course of the weekend, we sat in several different places, Friday you could sit wherever you wanted, so I took that opportunity to scope out good places to sit for future reference. We sat in the Hamilton Grandstand, Abbey and Stowe, all with incredible views. I would definitely consider getting Race Day seats there one day. Saturday, I went off to meet my friends who’d been sat up at Becketts for the Sprint Race, again, incredible views. I just loved every second. Sunday, we had Grandstand seats at Luffield and oh my goodness. I LOVED THEM.

The Entertainment

Like I mentioned above, I went there for the racing, and the entertainment side was just a bonus – but it ended up being a really huge bonus. Whether it was the desperation of being locked away for the past 18 months and finally feeling myself again within crowds of people that all share the same interest, but the evenings were definitely a huge highlight of the weekend. A few pints, good music and the best atmosphere I’ve ever experienced. Perfection.

If this kind of entertainment isn’t your vibe, don’t you worry. The Fanzone at Silverstone was incredible! It had EVERYTHING. Endless merch stalls, the McLaren x Gulf Livery, the Merc and another beautiful looking McLaren to sit and awe over. Some amazing games and interactive things to do, such as eSports and pit-stop challenges.

I’m coming to the end of this post, and I still don’t feel like I’ve put into words just how amazing it was, and being honest, I’m still struggling. Someone said to me, “there will never be a feeling like your first grand prix”, and at the time, I wasn’t sure what they meant. But, now, I really do.

Every person who came up to me to say hello, every friend I met and to some really special people who made the weekend one to remember, thank you.

Until next year, Silverstone.

The FIA Formula 2 2021 season kicked off at the weekend, and I started thinking about how insane this year will be (evidence was right there in the three races we have already witnessed!) There are some fantastic drivers in contention for the championship this year and I really think it might boil down to the very last race in Abu Dhabi. Title aside, I think there are five drivers that should definitely be on your list to watch this year.

Robert Shwartzman is into his second year in Formula 2 racing with Prema, after a 1 point advantage clinched him a championship win in the 2019 FIA Formula 3 season with the team. Shwartzman’s rookie year in Formula 2 was anything but easy, with a quick fire 2020 calendar, and the loss of his father due to COVID-19 in April – physically and mentally the season would be tough for the 21 year old. However, he took the season by storm – within 3 weeks of the season starting, the rookie had achieved two wins and a podium. He finished third on his Formula 2 Debut at the Red Bull Ring, but that wasn’t enough for the Russian driver. Just 7 days later, he then went on to win the feature race at Austria, dedicating the win to his late father. Round 3, the third back to back race this season, Formula 2 returned to the Hungaroring where strategy played into the hands of Robert as he climbed through the field from 11th and claimed his second consecutive feature race victory. Throughout the rest of the season, Shwartzmans results were a little up and down, but he still managed to end the season with 2 more wins and another podium – finishing the championship in fourth place in his rookie year. I don’t think I need to say much else on why he is definitely one to watch this year, I truly believe he’s a future Formula 1 star and that’s that.

Christian Lundgaard is another hot favourite for the title this season. The Dane started his single-seater career in 2017 when he entered and won the SMP F4 and Spanish F4 Championships with MP Motorsport. After his rookie year in Formula Renault was such a success, in January 2019 it was announced that Lundgaard would drive for ART in the FIA Formula 3 Championship. He took his first podium on his F3 Debut in Barcelona after winning on track, although a 5 second time penalty knocked him down to second. He won his first F3 race later that year in Hungary. Lundgaard made the step up to FIA Formula 2 for the 2020 season, racing with ART Grand Prix, a total of six podiums including two wins helped him finish 7th in the championship. However, there is a question mark surrounding Christians consistency, leaving himself point-less throughout half of the races in both F3 and F2. There is no doubting Lundgaards speed, if he uses it to deliver more consistent results this year, the Alpine Academy driver could be given an F1 seat for 2022.

Oscar Piastri – where do I begin? Two championship titles within 2 years. The 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup champion, stepping up to Formula 3 racing with Prema for the 2020 season and taking it by storm. Two wins, six podiums and ridiculously consistent – with only one race finishing outside of the top 10. Piastri’s deadly overtakes are something to sit back and admire, charging through the field on several occasions last year. In December 2020, Piastri announced that he would continue with Prema into the FIA Formula 2 season for 2021, replacing reigning champion Mick Schumacher. Oscar and Robert are teammates for this year – with similar junior careers in terms of coming up quickly through the ranks. It will be interesting to see them battle it out this season.

17 years old. Imagine what you were doing at seventeen. Théo Pourchaire however? Racing in Formula 2 for his first full season, after graduating FIA Formula 3 with an astounding racing record – he missed out on the championship by just three points. Since his single seater career began in 2018, he has won both the French F4 Junior Championship and the ADAC Formula 4. Jumping into the FIA Formula 3 Championship, Pourchaire took his first victory at the second sprint race at the Red Bull Ring, followed by his first feature race win at the Hungaroring the week after. He finished the season with a total of eight podiums, but that aside – he only finished outside of the points three times! For such a young driver I was ridiculously impressed with his consistent performance. Pourchaire made his FIA Formula 2 debut at the final two rounds of the 2020 season in Bahrain for HWA Racelab to replace Jake Hughes. The back to back race weekend didn’t go as smoothly as Theo had hoped for, with one retirement and three results not worth noting. Pourchaire drove for ART Grand Prix at the post season test in December, and the following month it was announced he would join the team for the 2021 season. Theo is also a part of the Sauber Junior Team – could we be seeing him in Formula 1? Absolutely. He’s a name to remember for sure.

Dan Ticktum. Please don’t leave. Hear me out. A two time winner of the Macau Grand Prix, but yet to be a championship title holder. A guy with, it’s probably fair to say – a slightly complicated past after being banned from racing in 2015. However, he is talented behind the wheel of a car when he’s able to keep level headed. At the end of 2019, he was named in the line-up of the Williams Driver Academy where he was given the role of a Development Driver, after parting ways with the Red Bull Junior Team. Alongside this, it was announced that Ticktum would drive in the FIA Formula 2 championship with DAMS. It was here, where we started to see him unleash that talent. Three podiums including a race win in the Silverstone Sprint race and relatively consistent results throughout the season landed him 11th in the championship, being the fourth highest rookie in the standings. For 2021, Dan is racing with Carlin – a team with just a few notable drivers. Could this be his ticket into Formula 1 for 2022?

It was really difficult to pick just five drivers to look out for from this year’s championship, I could’ve written about another 4 at least. The grid is ridiculously strong and if you don’t already watch Formula 2 – take this as your sign to get watching.

Whether its a few drinks with friends, or just for fun – everyone loves a good game of
Would You Rather?

So, we put current Formula 2 and Haas F1 Team Reserve driver Louis Deletraz to the test with some weird and wonderful questions. Do any of his answers surprise you?

would you rather give up social media or eat the same meal for the rest of your life?
give up social media!

would you rather have a rewind button or a pause button for your life?
a rewind button

would you rather win 40 races but never win a championship, or win a championship without ever winning a race?
win a championship!

would you rather talk like Yoda or breath like Darth Vader?

would you rather be able to run as fast as a cheetah or fly, but only as fast as a tortoise?
run as fast as a cheetah!

would you rather have raced in the 1950s or the 1980s?

would you rather race at Silverstone or Monza?

would you rather have 1 Horse Sized Duck or 100 Duck Sized Horses?
100 duck sized horses

would you rather drive a McLaren 720s or a Ferrari F12?
Ferrari F12

would you rather your only mode of transport be a donkey or a giraffe?

A big thank you to Louis for talking part! Is there any other drivers you’d love to see? We’re really hoping to make this into a series to get to know the drivers we love on a different level!
Let us know!

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