I ran into a problem with my write-up on my weekend as The Marussia F1 Team’s #SMDriver.
I wrote paragraph after paragraph of what my experience was like, only to figure out it was way too long and that nobody would ever read it. So what I decided to do instead was boil it down into condensed impressions of my weekend, with photos mixed in for good measure.
The first thing that strikes you in the pit lane is the casual attitude with which everything amazing happens. ‘There’s three time World Champion Jackie Stewart! Hey Jackie! and… Woah! Feel the heat off those tire warmers!’ Of course it’s just another day for everyone back there, but for a newbie it’s amazing.
The pit lane smells like an F1 pit lane should. The bitter smell of roasting brakes & tires is omnipresent, but just after a session the mechanics come out to clean the wheels. The sweet-smelling cleaners they use evaporate and mingle with the other scents. It’s both nice and horrible at the same time.
Jenson Button is really thin. Like… really thin.
Max Chilton is a cool customer. I got to hang out with him for a few minutes at a party, and it was just like hanging out with a friend. It sounds like he’s set for a Sunday drive next year. I hope he really does well.
Everyone at Marussia is hired through Monster.com’s Monster Cool Jobs site. There are loads of jobs on there now for aerodynamic engineers and model makers etc. I’m watching this site like a hawk for a Marussia marketing job right now.
- Austin is a great town full of amazing people. The vibe reminds me of a cross between Montreal and my college town of Tucson, Arizona.
- Every single person at the Marussia F1 Team was determined to get the 10th and final championship spot at the end of the year. From the marketing people to the drivers to the mechanics, beating Caterham was on everyone’s mind. Everyone there had a job to do and everyone is there to eventually make the cars go faster. Marussia was essentially robbed of its goal this weekend in Brazil, but it came this far without the electronic speed boost of KERS! Watch for this team in 2013. Marussia will come back with a vengeance.
- The Circuit of the Americas is one of the best tracks on the F1 Calendar. The elevation changes all over the circuit are great. I would love to experience it behind the wheel one day. My S2000 would be a blast here.
- Lewis Hamilton has lots of fans in Austin. Well… It may be that everyone was rooting for anyone but Vettel, but the crowd went wild when he took the lead.
- Watching everyone go about their business before the race on Sunday was amazing. There is no waste in the Marussia garage. Everyone is fueled by passion and an absolute desire to win. I’ve never felt a work environment like it.
I just want to thank Monster.com, the Marussia F1 Team and all of my fellow LA F1 Fans for the experience. I am so humbled and, over a week later, still coming down from the high.