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Saturday, 15 October 2016

Motorsport related tattoo!?

In august I did something very brave and even a little risky as my parents were against the idea. But, I went through with it and I cannot be more happy with how it turned out. And this mysterious experience was getting the outline of Silverstone tattooed on my arm. 

This was a big decision for me. I knew 2 years ago I wanted a motorsport related tattoo. It took me that long to decide what exactly I wanted! I knew that whatever I had inked on my body would be with me forever, that when I would see it I would think of the connection it had to me. The idea of Silverstone didn't happen until July, and when I thought about it, I knew it was exactly what I wanted. Silverstone is a track I've been to in the past for BTCC but in July, it was where I saw my first ever F1 race live. That day will live on as being one of the best days of my entire life. I was so happy the whole time, watching some of my favourite drivers race in GP3, GP2 and F1. That's what made me think 'yep, Silverstone is the one'. I knew whenever I saw Silverstone, I would think of all the times I've been there and how extremely happy I was. I never felt more me. I was in my F1 top with my Ferrari hat, watching the thing I love most in this world. 

Now, it's time to dig a bit deeper into why exactly I wanted a motorsport related tattoo. I have suffered and continue to suffer with anxiety and depression for over 3 years now. There have been really low times and times where I am coping well. But the one thing that has always got me through it has been my love for motorsport, especially F1. It gives me something to look forward to and I love throwing myself into a race weekend. It has really helped me deal with things and this tattoo would remind myself of why I keep fighting, why I don't give up. Since having the tattoo I have had bad days and breakdowns but I see the tattoo and I remind myself that while battling what I am, I have been 100% happy and 100% myself. Motorsport is a part of me and always will be, the memories I have will always be with me and I thank my lucky stars I have been able to go to a F1 race and also watch other categories. Motorsport gives me strength and I would notice that on weeks with no race or winter I would get a bit worse. But now, I always have that reminder in the form of the tattoo which I see lots of times everyday. I do look at it and smile and laugh and it does put me in a better mood. It is doing exactly what it was suppose to do.

Any one of my friends who knew me, knew I loved my motorsport and I had so many compliments from people on it. I think my favourite one was when someone said 'oh my god, your tattoo is so unique and its so you!' That meant the world to me. It made me believe even more that I chose the right design. It means so much to me. I can't really put it into words but it makes me feel so happy inside. Maybe its the idea of people realising that my life revolves around motorsport and it is a part of me and they are accepting and supporting me in my passion in life. The response was more than I could have ever hoped for and that does make the tattoo that even bit more special.

The tattoo itself didn't take long, the only pain I had was when I was having it done. After I had no pain what so ever. I put cream on it for about a week and had it covered for 24 hours after I had it done and while it was healing. It took about 30 minutes for me. I will admit to it being that long because I needed to take a break half way through because my anxiety was through the roof. It was painful and I was scared but after I was so relieved and so happy with my decision. 

The first imagine above is me half in pain but smiling through it because I did something for me and because it was what I wanted. The second is what it looked like after all wrapped up. To this day I am in love with it and I always will be. I never wanted a tattoo when I was younger but this one seemed so right and so worth it. It was the right call to make. I have thought about another motorsport related tattoo but we will see, all in good time. For now, I am thrilled with it and I feel a sense of relief that I am being more open and honest about how much motorsport means to me. To me, it is part of my DNA.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Why are support races important?

Junior categories are normally over looked by most people as it doesn't use the most up to date technology and the biggest names around. However, in my opinion it makes it that much more interesting. GP2 and GP3 have really grown on me over the last few years. I find it so thrilling for so many reasons!

The main reason I enjoy watching is it because since the cars aren't as technologically advanced as an F1 car you get to see much more of the driver and their own driver style and their raw talent. Especially when you see them go from GP3 to GP2 and how they cope with that step. GP2 is more advanced as they have the feature race in which they must pit and change tyres. So they have to look after the tyres much more than in GP3 and they don't have any mandatory pit stops. Also, any overtakes in GP3 are earned by merit as they don't currently have DRS, although I am aware that is changing for next season. These things allow you to see the potential that drivers have. Furthermore, F1 teams look at GP2 and GP3 to see if there is anyone they want to invest in to maybe drive for them in the future.

For example, in GP3 Jack Aitken is part of the Renault Sport Academy this year. This is an amazing opportunity for him as the team are not only watching but working with him and encouraging him. It may have even affected Jack's performance and given him that bit more confidence in his ability as a team has recognised his skill. Jack has sure delivered recently with podiums and race wins! Not sure Renault will be letting him go anywhere soon.

Going to GP2 the main driver that is backed by a team is Pierre Gasly who is backed by Red Bull. Pierre has worked with Red Bull for a while and he knows this year is vital for him. He knows there is a seat waiting for him in Toro Rosso and then maybe Red Bull one day. It is all riding on how he does this year and he has impressed. He has had some bad luck, but he has always tried his hardest and got the best out of his car. And you can't say his Prema car has been bad either because both Pierre and his team mate Antonio Giovinazzi have been mighty quick in their Prema's. Gasly has shown he is good enough to be in Toro Rosso, it is just down to the team. Whatever happens he can hold his head up high and know he has done the best he can and he has delivered!

Touching on Pierre's team mate, Antonio came into GP2 this year as a rookie with the new team Prema, no one expected him to do as well as he has! Currently leading the championship. I don't think anyone expected that. Not surprisingly that in september, Ferrari announced he was doing work on the simulator for them. Antonio shows that you do not need backing from a big team early on. That in a good car with the talent that Antonio has shown, you will be noticed b a F1 team.

All three drivers I have mentioned have worked hard to get where they are now and get noticed. F1 teams don't just notice anyone. My point is, junior categories are a good way to get an idea of how hard it actually is to get into F1 in the first place. It gives the audience a chance to see someone who they may later support work their way up to their dream. It is very easy to criticise some drivers in F1, but watching junior categories shows they get their own merit. Yes backing helps them, but it is ultimately the teams choice who they pick for their line up and they pick the drivers they believe in the most. Therefore, I believe support races are so important and race weekends are more exciting with support races.

Lets hope Jack, Pierre and Antonio get where they want and should t be as they are incredibly talented drivers who all deserve to be in F1 one day fighting for points and possibly even championships!