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Friday, 19 August 2016

What is it like going to a Formula E race?

Formula E is a fairly new racing series about to enter it's third season. I began watching it at the end of the first season and have been really enjoying it. So when it was announced that there would be two races held in London this year for the second season I decided to go! And I can tell you now, it was a very enjoyable day!

I bought a general admission ticket for the Sunday (last race of the season!) which was just over £20 and you got so much for your money. I stayed at my cousin's in London the night before so I didn't have to travel into London that morning. We didn't have to get up early, went on the tube and when we got off the tube it was less than a 2 minute walk to Battersea Park. As soon as we walked through the gates we were given free radio's so we would be able to listen to the commentary. We walked around first of all to look around and see parts of the track. It was amazing how close we could get to the track. The cars are so much bigger and faster then you realise.

We looked around after qualifying and there was so much to do. It was a real family place but for all ages. The E-village is the place you want to be after qualifying. There you can get food and drink while also not being far from where the drivers race on a game version against each other and where the autograph session takes place. We had a bit of time before either of those events happened and Renault was one of the people that had a couple of cars and fun things in the E-village. BMW also had a couple of cars you could sit in, which I took full advantage of! They also had a little race track with remote control cars where you had a few minutes to get to grips with what you're doing before you race against 3 other people. It was not as easy as it looked but it was a lot of fun!

The one thing I wanted to do was meet Daniel Abt and as many of the other drivers as possible so knowing when and where the autograph session was vital. We originally wanted to watch the 8 drivers on the virtual race but we worked out we wouldn't get a good spot in the line for the autograph if we watched it and then went over to where the autograph session was. We got in the line and sat down. We were there a while but it was worth it! We made friends with a couple in front of us who had a little boy which was so cute. They were so friendly and clued up on what to do a FE events as they had been previously.

After a while of chatting to our new friends the drivers arrived and it was time! This was when it started to hit me that I was going to meet all the drivers. The drivers were all stood or sat along the side of the stage and you walked down and met them one by one. First up was Jerome D'Ambrosio who was the most lovely man on the planet and he was sat on the stage but got down to stand next to me for a photo! We got about just over half way down the line when the drivers had to start going and prepare for the race and you wouldn't guess who I was going to meet next. DANIEL ABT. I had been waiting all day and then he got up and went. He was being hurried away but told me to take a signed photo, so better than nothing! I did miss some other drivers that I would have liked to get but I got quite a few so not too shabby.

After that it was time to recover from what just happened! So we did what normal adults do and went to get slushies. Then we went to find the perfect spot to watch the cars go past while listening on our radios. We found a spot in which there was a gap between the walls that was just more than a car lengths. However, after the third safety car we decided to head back to the E-village and watch it on the screen. Plus my phone was dead so I couldn't take anymore photos. That did mean that for the podium we were able to get right at the front! I thought that was a bonus until two girls came out and started using the guns to shoot free tops to people in the crowd further back. But me with my loud voice managed to ask one of the girls to throw one at me which she did. Just happened to be one of the last ones. Lucky is an understatement! The atmosphere during the podium was just amazing, everyone was so happy and it was an incredible experience.

My cousin and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and we got a lot for our money considering its a motorsport event! We would love to go again. However, London isn't on the provisional list for season 3. Gutted doesn't even come close to how I feel. But I will always have the memories of going to my first FE race and how much fun I had. I hope FE comes back to London one day or somewhere else in England and when it does, I'll try my very best to go!

If you have ever thought about going, it will be an incredible day, worth every penny! Highly recommend at least looking at tickets if you are able to go to one.


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Going to the British GP!

It was a dream come true for me when I received the tickets, I was in such shock that I was actually going to be there live at a F1 race that I cried of happiness. In the run up to it I was so excited and full of disbelief. Then the day finally arrived!

I was up at 5am making sure I had everything I needed, wearing my F1 shirt and my Ferrari hat. I also had my jacket because its england, I knew it would rain at some point. We headed off at 6am for the journey to the park and ride were we would get on a bus that would transport us to the track. We had no traffic and the park and ride was so easy. Just parked your car and got on one of the busses they had (there were a lot!) and within 10 minutes we were at the track. Walked about a minute, showed our tickets and we were in!

All we could hear was the GP3 race which had just started. I was amazed by the sound and it was slowly hitting me that by the end of the day I will have seen GP3, GP2 and F1. The boys (my dad and brother) decided they needed to eat something. So after we walked round a little bit and bought a programme, they got some food. While they were doing that I decided to look through the programme and then we discussed where we wanted to go and watch the races from.

We walked round and we arrived behind the grandstands opposite the pit lane. By this point the GP2 cars were lining up so we decided to stay and watch them go on their warm up lap and the first lap and then walk and find the best spot. The first thing we said to each other was how loud the GP2 cars are! Much louder than on TV. We managed to find a spot where we could see the cars coming round a corner, go past us and we could see the pit entry, and we had a screen behind us which was helpful!

So we had found our spot for the afternoon so we got the picnic rug out and sat down, we probably started eating some food we had brought with us at this point too while also taking photos and watching the GP2 race. I think after the GP2 race was when it first started to rain a little. We encountered short but heavy spells of rain. It didn't rain when the driver parade was on. Okay I'm fairly sure Marcus Ericsson waved at me but please no one burst my bubble.

Not long after the driver parade the pit lane was open and the cars were driving around on their way to line up on the grid. Wasn't long after that when the heavens opened and we had to fold our picnic rug over our stuff so it didn't get wet. All three of us were prepared in case it did rain, however no one thought to bring an umbrella, but it was all good we managed to stay as dry as we could. Plus we had nice people near us who let us stand under their big umbrella. After awhile the rain finally stopped and just before the race was about to start! This meant the first few laps would be exciting as the track was quite wet. But first we were treated to the red arrows who did an excellent performance.

The race starting behind the safety car was a little disappointing but the track was quite wet and no one knew how the track would be. Once the safety car was in it was a very enjoyable race witnessing moves and people darting into the pits. There was something about knowing who had gone into the pits when the commentators hadn't told us that I quite liked! Not sure why but it was all part of the experience. I liked having the option to watch the screen behind me and then turn around and see the cars go past me with my own eyes.

After the race we made our way on to the track and towards the podium. I did fangirl a little bit at the fact that I was on a race track which had just been raced on by lots of my favourite drivers. Of course I got a picture sitting on the kerbs, I mean who wouldn't!? The podium and start/finish straight were packed with people, all trying to do the same thing, take photos! But it was still an amazing experience which I will never forget. The only thing any of us said we would change is getting a grandstand ticket instead of general admission. Other than that we all enjoyed ourselves and were sad to leave.

We headed back towards where the busses were and it was very easy to find which one we needed to get on and within 10 minutes we were on the bus heading back to the car. Getting back to the car wasn't an issue, neither was getting out of the park and ride.

Overall, it was a dream come true, lived up to expectations and in some ways exceeded them. I cannot wait to save up and go again! I couldn't have wished for a better time, all made the experience. If you asked me to pick a favourite part, I can't tell you because I loved every single minute of it. I would thoroughly recommend going yourself if you're a F1 fan! Going to Silverstone to watch F1 is ticked off my bucket list finally!