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Have you met any F1 drivers?


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#1 postajegenye

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:22

Have you already met any F1 drivers, and if yes, who made the best impression?

Of course, seeing a guy for a couple of minutes can't say much about his personality, but still, I'm curiosu what experciences you have when meeting F1 drivers.

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#2 Jerome

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:25

Do you mean ACTIVE F1 drivers, active now? Then the answer is no. I met and spoke to several Dutch F1 drivers, some of them in length.

My impression: the older ones (Gijs van Lennep, Michiel Bleekemolen) who drove in the seventies, very intelligent, wellbred, upperclass, wellspoken, ironic. The 'younger' ones (Huub Rothengatter, Jos Verstappen) 90's and further: average intelligence, from humble background, verbally not strong, no-nonsense figures.

It's a development you see in all sports. The broader the appeal, the more no-nonsense and less exotic and humouristic the characters are.



#3 Francesc

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:27

I met Nico Rosberg, nice guy, also Webber and DC made me good impression, and worst impression for me Massa :down:

#4 tahadar

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:29

i met jenson button a couple of times at various UK motor shows. briefly saw takuma sato and anthony davidson post silverstone GP but i didnt get to talk to them. the only one ive actually spoken to is sebastien vettel in the BMW pitlane park in silverstone, as i got to race him in the RC car thing they had there. i beat him too! :lol: he seemed quite shy and didnt really want to talk much..a bit like when you meet a new person in school!

#5 Keffo

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:34

Christijan Albers, Robert Doornbos, Nico Rosberg, Tiago Monteiro, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Adrian Sutil, Nelsinho Piquet, Sebastian Vettel, Giedo van der Garde. Also Mario Theissen and Eddie Jordan. And Bruno Senna.

Mario Theissen was a nice guy, Eddie Jordan was fun, conversation with Rosberg a bit weird. Sutil gave long answers, much, much longer than I expected. :up:

#6 Sergino

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:39

once I made an interview with zsolt baumgartner. he is a very humble guy...

#7 Garagiste

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:46

Only spoken to Montoya at any length, and he was witty and generous with his time. Mind you, I was in the Williams motorhome, so there's a possibility he might have thought I was somebody remotely important.
Have had "hello / good luck" type exchanges with M Schu, M Salo, Brundle, JYS, Moss and others.
Oh, and same day I met JPM, I returned from a trip to the loo and found Massa chatting up the girl who is now my wife. Unlucky, Felipe! :cool:

#8 united

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:48

I met Nick Heidfeld twice. A fascinating personality.

#9 Mika Mika

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:50

Mika Hakkinen, Nick Heidfeld, Damon Hill, and Martin Brundle.

#10 Spunout

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:53

Keke Rosberg, Mika Häkkinen, Mika Salo, Jyrki Järvilehto. JJ is super nice dude. With Keke and Mikas, rather short meeting (autograph...from Keke to myself, from Mikas to kids of my friends).

#11 Chiara

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:54

Eddie Irvine and Mika Salo.

#12 Cosworth-Daz

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:56

Met Mika Hakkinen, In 2000, gave me an hour of his time, talk etc, he is a VERY FUNNY PERSON, spent most of the time cracking jokes etc. very nice guy,

also had lunch with Jarno Trulli at a test session in 2005, Jarno was nice and polite.

#13 Chiara

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:59

Originally posted by Cosworth-Daz
Met Mika Hakkinen, In 2000, gave me an hour of his time, talk etc, he is a VERY FUNNY PERSON, spent most of the time cracking jokes etc. very nice guy,

also had lunch with Jarno Trulli at a test session in 2005, Jarno was nice and polite.


I'm totally jealous :p I always wanted to meet Mika he is one of my all time favourites. A friend of mine goes to Brands to watch DTM and has often had a nice chat with him. Seems like a lovely bloke and I really miss his humour in F1 ;)

#14 Mika Mika

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 13:00

Originally posted by Cosworth-Daz
Met Mika Hakkinen, In 2000, gave me an hour of his time, talk etc, he is a VERY FUNNY PERSON, spent most of the time cracking jokes etc. very nice guy,

also had lunch with Jarno Trulli at a test session in 2005, Jarno was nice and polite.


Mika is great has a really dry sence of humor.

#15 UPRC

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 13:02

Originally posted by Chiara


I'm totally jealous :p I always wanted to meet Mika he is one of my all time favourites. A friend of mine goes to Brands to watch DTM and has often had a nice chat with him. Seems like a lovely bloke and I really miss his humour in F1 ;)


F1 needs more juice fights. :cry:

#16 postajegenye

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 13:05

My own experiences:

I saw many of the drivers as I have been to 4 Hungarian GPs and the place where I stay at Budapest (the flat of an old friend) is basically in the same street as three big hotels where the drivers stay. So you can bump into drivers everytime you go out to the street...

Talking to Alonso was a pleasant surprise for me in 2006. It was before 7am in the morning (Friday or Saturday on race weekend), I went to a nearby shop to buy some food. There wasn't any crowd yet in front of the hotels (there are always lots of fans there as you can imagine, mostly fangirls...) and as I was walking past the hotels Alonso came out with two other team members. There were 3 or 4 other people on the street but none of them payed any attention... So I went to him and desperately searched for a piece of paper as I though an autograph from a WDC would be nice. I found a bit of a newspaper in my bag and asked Alonso if he could sign it, "Sure" he smiled "do you have a pen?" I didn't realize he needed a pen to write as well. :D Fortunately one of the Renault men had one and so FA signed it for my name. I asked him whether he always left the hotel so early. He replied along the lines of "No, but we have some stuff to discuss today, and we'd like to avoid traffic, too. But I don't like leaving this early, I'm so sleepy!" I asked him a couple of other questions about the season etc (a typical case where a fan talks to a driver and asks irrelevant things just because he has the chance to do so :p ) And then came the real surprise - he asked me if I was Hungarian and whether I could help him. He then showed me a piece of paper with a Hungarian word on it - the word was "main road" - and asked me what it meant, and when I told him he just said "ah, ok, thanks". He didn't explain why he needed that word :D Then they said goodbye and left in the Megane. The whole conversation took no more than about 3 minutes but he came across as a really nice guy to me, absolutely down to earth. And it was quite amazing that I set off for a trip to a small shop and met a WDC, with no other fans there.

When I got back from the shop about 30 minutes later, fans were already gathering, waiting for the drivers. I told Alonso fans that he had already left but they didn't believe me.

I haven't really spoken to any other drivers, but saw lots of them; in fact, MS was the only one who never signed anything to fans when he come out of / into the hotel, he never even looked at the fans.
Lewis is nice, he signed anything for anybody last year, also Kova, Massa, Kubica, Button, Sato, Davidson... With Fisi, it depends on his mood :D

Ah, and last year at World Series by Renault at the Hungaroring; you know it's an event when fans can come into the pits and paddock whenever they want (excpet during session and races of course). And it's free too, so there were lots of people there but the majority only knew Vettel was (who had already made his debut in F1 with BMW then -it was in July). So everytime he came out of his truck fans went to him, he was ok, signed things but didn't stop to talk to anybody.

Parente was an extremely nice guy though. :)

#17 Perigee

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 13:15

I met Luca Badoer at a furniture fair in Milan early 2005. Very friendly guy, signed a couple of things for me, and we had a little chat about the new car and expectations for the season.

Also met Eddie Irvine at a book-signing a few races before the end of the 1999 season, when he was a real contender for the WDC. Said nothing, didn't look up, didn't acknowledge. Just probably saw each book as another 10 quid (or whatever) into his bank account. Cool as ****.



#18 F1 Tor.

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 13:20

The nicest ones I've met were Rubens-who signed my Montreal race ticket in 03. He saw a bunch of us waiting patiently and came up and chatted and we talked about his son, family, the race etc. Another nice guy was Justin Wilson, who was just sitting near his car (while mechanics were practicing pitstops) and would be very gracious with autograph seekers or fans that just wanted to chat(did I mention we all had fake Toyota passes!!).Pizzonia smiled and waved as he took a bike out onto the circuit. Ralf was difficult at times, but, I have to say, never refused signing stuff for us. The hardest to meet was Michael. I stood beside him twice while he was conducting interviews and he really wasn't in the mood to chat or sign anything, which is understandable considering he, along with JV, were by far the most popular drivers at the Montreal race and every minute was accounted for. I ended up just talking with his assistant, who kept telling me the chances of getting to meet him would be zero(you gotta try though) As for non-drivers, I chatted with Peter Windsor and James Allen for a couple of minutes and I have to say, even though they both get grilled on this BB, they were very polite and gracious. Oh, I almost forgot. When we were crossing the bridge once to get to the circuit, a bunch of cars were waiting for people to cross and this one car in particular was going very slowly, slow enough that the driver behind him started honking. Anyway, the driver of the slow car was Alonso(while he was at Minardi) THAT was funny. Anyway, good topic. :wave:

#19 potmotr

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 13:21

I've been lucky enough to work in the Formula One paddock a few times, plus at a couple of car launches. I've also worked at the V8 Supercars in Australia so have met some old timers who previously pedalled an F1 car...

In this order, I've met:
Martin Brundle (when I was in short pants back in 1992. Great guy, was doing a Mobil promotion in Adelaide with the late, great Peter Brock)
Chris Amon (the most approachable guy ever)
Larry Perkins (had a lot on his mind that day, but courteous)
Patrick Tambay (lovely guy, working with an ocean racing team at the time)
Scott Dixon (come on, he tested! - a great guy. Seems quiet but is actually quite hillarious)
Gianmaria Bruni (Briefly, seemed OK)
Zsolt Baumgartner (Very, very polite and courteous. Was actually shocked I wanted to chat with him.)
Bas Leinders (Shook hands, seemed OK)
Michael Schumacher (All business. Turned up, fullfilled his obligations. A bit of small talk about his motorcycling, but otherwise ultra professional. Not that warm, but probably is like this because of the pressure he was under at the time)
Rubens Barrichello (Ultra relaxed. Very polite. A good guy)
Sir Jackie Stewart (Hillarious, and totally approachable. A great ambassador for F1. Couldn't have been more helpful. If you ever get a chance to say hello to this living legend do so. He really is fantastic. His wife Helen is lovely too)
Niki Lauda (Chilled out)
David Coulthard (Fantastic. Chatty and interested. Totally unpretentious Scot.)
Kimi Raikkonen (Much like he seems on the TV. Monosyllabic and looking into the middle distance)
Juan-Pablo Montoya (A no bullshit guy. All business and speaks his mind. Looks you in the eye. Respect)
Ralf Schumacher (Seemed bored when I met him)
Mark Webber (Great guy, really outgoing. A regular bloke made good)
Giorgio Pantano (Didn't really make an impression)
Nick Heidfeld (Seemed quite shy and is very short. I'm around the same height as Michael Schumacher and he came up to just above my shoulders)
Ryan Briscoe (Was Toyota test driver at the time. Very professional, laid back Aussie)
Cristiano Da Matta (Cool dude, in a similar vein to Barrichello)
Olivier Panis (Very polite, and very funny)
Jenson Button (Couldn't have been more chilled out. Had a beautiful girlfriend with him at the time -Australia 2004- who was also really lovely. Both smiled heaps and made jokes. They loved being in Aus.)
Takuma Sato (Great guy. Appreciative. Very positive)
Christian Klien (Was 20 at the time and about to make his GP debut. Seemed cool, chilled out with one ear ring, but seemed very young)
Jarno Trulli (Good guy, only met briefly)
Alan Jones (Straight talking Aussie, chilled out and approachable in the A1GP pit)
James Courtney (Laid back Aussie, helpful)
Alex Wurz (Really great guy. Funny, interesting and interested)
Nico Rosberg (Quite distant. Seemed like his mind was somewhere else)
Kazuki Nakajima (Polite, but English wasn't great at the time)
Narain Karthakeyan (Seemed quite unhappy when I met him.)
Lewis Hamilton (Great guy. Not in the least bit cocky or arrogant as is so often posted on his freaking forum. Happy to pose for photos. Heaps of fans around and he was totally unflustered. Was with his old man who was equally polite. Don't believe the garbage you read. These are genuine people made good.)
Nelson Piquet Jnr (Ran into this fella in a automotive model shop at Spa! Seemed OK.
Brendon Hartley (Kiwi who tested for Red Bull Racing this year. Great guy. Typical teenager. Full of energy and enthusiam)
And finally... Sir Jack Brabham (Another living legend but is getting on these days.)

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#20 otoelpiloto

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 13:25

Originally posted by postajegenye
My own experiences:

I saw many of the drivers as I have been to 4 Hungarian GPs and the place where I stay at Budapest (the flat of an old friend) is basically in the same street as three big hotels where the drivers stay. So you can bump into drivers everytime you go out to the street...

Talking to Alonso was a pleasant surprise for me in 2006. It was before 7am in the morning (Friday or Saturday on race weekend), I went to a nearby shop to buy some food. There wasn't any crowd yet in front of the hotels (there are always lots of fans there as you can imagine, mostly fangirls...) and as I was walking past the hotels Alonso came out with two other team members. There were 3 or 4 other people on the street but none of them payed any attention... So I went to him and desperately searched for a piece of paper as I though an autograph from a WDC would be nice. I found a bit of a newspaper in my bag and asked Alonso if he could sign it, "Sure" he smiled "do you have a pen?" I didn't realize he needed a pen to write as well. :D Fortunately one of the Renault men had one and so FA signed it for my name. I asked him whether he always left the hotel so early. He replied along the lines of "No, but we have some stuff to discuss today, and we'd like to avoid traffic, too. But I don't like leaving this early, I'm so sleepy!" I asked him a couple of other questions about the season etc (a typical case where a fan talks to a driver and asks irrelevant things just because he has the chance to do so :p ) And then came the real surprise - he asked me if I was Hungarian and whether I could help him. He then showed me a piece of paper with a Hungarian word on it - the word was "main road" - and asked me what it meant, and when I told him he just said "ah, ok, thanks". He didn't explain why he needed that word :D Then they said goodbye and left in the Megane. The whole conversation took no more than about 3 minutes but he came across as a really nice guy to me, absolutely down to earth. And it was quite amazing that I set off for a trip to a small shop and met a WDC, with no other fans there.

When I got back from the shop about 30 minutes later, fans were already gathering, waiting for the drivers. I told Alonso fans that he had already left but they didn't believe me.

I haven't really spoken to any other drivers, but saw lots of them; in fact, MS was the only one who never signed anything to fans when he come out of / into the hotel, he never even looked at the fans.
Lewis is nice, he signed anything for anybody last year, also Kova, Massa, Kubica, Button, Sato, Davidson... With Fisi, it depends on his mood :D

Ah, and last year at World Series by Renault at the Hungaroring; you know it's an event when fans can come into the pits and paddock whenever they want (excpet during session and races of course). And it's free too, so there were lots of people there but the majority only knew Vettel was (who had already made his debut in F1 with BMW then -it was in July). So everytime he came out of his truck fans went to him, he was ok, signed things but didn't stop to talk to anybody.

Parente was an extremely nice guy though. :)


:clap: :clap: :clap:

#21 SevenTwoSeven

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 13:36

Not an F1 driver, but i think he did drive an F1 car at some point - The late Colin McRae..

Sad to say, him and his Subaru colleagues where very much of the 'do you know who i am...' types. Although as i was working and they were the customers (in a hotel) then i guess i couldnt really expect anything else. But people who work in industrys others rely on when doing recces and taking rally cars to bits on hotel carparks can be motorsport fans as well and i got the impression this maybe was forgotten so i gave him the benefit of the doubt : Not my fault all you guys subaru credit cards where refused by our machine :rotfl:

Ari Vatanen, Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen (sp?) Malcolm Wilson et al were all nice blokes though :clap:

#22 potmotr

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 13:39

Originally posted by SevenTwoSeven
Not an F1 driver, but i think he did drive an F1 car at some point - The late Colin McRae..

Sad to say, him and his Subaru colleagues where very much of the 'do you know who i am...' types.


Hate to say it, and don't like to speak ill of those who've passed, but I met Richard Burns on two consecutive occassions and have to say he was perhaps the most arrogant and objectionable person I've ever met associated with any sport anywhere.

#23 F575 GTC

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 13:48

Bumped into Jenson at Silverstone for either BTCC or BGT back in 2006, one of the two; Met Nigel Mansell at the FIA GT's at Silverstone in 2007 where he was driving for Scuderia Ecosse - And Jean-Denis Deletraz at Silverstone last year. I've not really met many Formula 1 drivers but mainly GT drivers. Didn't know Bas Leinders had driven F1 but i've met him with him driving the Gillet Vertigo G2.

Met Colin at the LMS round at Donington in 2006 when he was driving the Radical SR3, top bloke who found the time prior to one of the races to stop and talk to us and sign Autographs. Legend :up:

#24 ensign14

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 13:48

Met a few, mainly from the past at places like Goodwood, of those on the current grid OTTOMH only LH and DC nearly all of them were perfectly affable, a certain German driver who was not as successful as his brother was, er, not. Maybe didn't want to be "there".

The absolute nicest motorsport people I have met were John Watson (encyclopaedic knowledge), Whizzo Williams, Damon Hill and Richard Petty (archetypal Southern gentleman). And even in his seventies Sir Jack Brabham has an aura of intimidation. :lol: But charming.

Also a gentleman: Andy Green. Incredibly modest and seemed to be genuinely interested in whatever anyone was saying.

#25 Dave Ware

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 14:12

Talked to Brian Redman a few times for 10-15 minutes each time. Very polite, friendly, approachable, a totally good guy.

Shared a brief joke with David Hobbs and Sam Posey and they impressed me as down to earth, friendly, approachable, etc.

#26 kar

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 14:12

Jenson Button (Couldn't have been more chilled out. Had a beautiful girlfriend with him at the time -Australia 2004- who was also really lovely. Both smiled heaps and made jokes. They loved being in Aus.)


Louise Griffiths, a good Herts girl :-)

#27 grocons

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 14:18

I met Andy Green at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year and chatted to him for about half an hour about Thrust SSC and the JCB diesel car. I would agree with ensign14 in that he was modest and seemed to be genuinley interested in what i was syaing. I was asking him about the design of Thrust SSC to which he replied, "you need to talk to this chap here" and introduced be to Glyn Bowsher the designer, to whom i chatted to for anether half an hour or so. It certainly made my day to speak to the fastest man on earth and the designer of his vehicle.

#28 donald29

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 14:35

Allan McNish lol

Seen and been close to but not spoken JPM, Felipe, Johny Herbert, Takuma Sato and a whole lot more.

Was GoodWood 2003.

#29 Bloggsworth

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 14:43

Yes.

#30 F1Johnny

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 14:49

All sightings were on Montreal weekend

Rubens Barrichello - 2000 and 2001
In 2001, sat and chatted with him in Miami airport while we waited on the flight to Montreal - we spoke about the fuel tank size issue at the time. When we got to Montreal, he actually had to get his luggage by himself. I let him in the line to exit the customs hall and he started a conversation again - where are you from, where are you sitting (he spun right in front of us at the hairpin)

Giancarlo Fisichella - 2000
At a restaurant in Montreal and said Hi. He did not want to hang around. Flavio and Bernie were having dinner, so maybe that was why Fisi skipped quickly.

Niki Lauda
Same restaurant as Fisi in 2003. Red cap and a suit

Sightings or interviews
Ralf Schumacher
Juan Pablo Montoya
Gerhard Berger
Ricardo Zonta

#31 brunopascal

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 15:10

Met Reine Wisell (drove for Lotus and March in the 70s) in Sweden on a car exhibition in 1988.

Satoru Nakajima's 1987 Lotus was there, and I had my mother ask Reine if I could sit in it, and he said yes!
He asked me if I followed F1 and which drivers I liked etc.

#32 snx843

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 15:15

Raced Mark Webber in Karts (nearly beat him) :)

0.175s off him in qualifying and lead him for 28minutes of a 40min race, then his fitness showed to be 100% better than mine :) He beat me by 8seconds.

We went for some drinks after.

He's just a guy, like most other guys...

No big-deal.

He complemented my driving and we talked about racing simulators and racing!

I didn't get his autograph, I find that creepy...I hate celebrity'itis.

I did make the Daytona Karting newspaper, with my picture on the podium and a write up about how I destroyed all my work mates, some lapped over 15times! and NOONE even within 2laps of me and Mark.

Mark was signed for Benetton by Flavio just before this meeting.

#33 snx843

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 15:20

Also some minor drivers at work.

Herbert, Plato, Pantano, Muller, Pizzoinia, I forget the others...

#34 Tomecek

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 15:21

Yes :) I am regular visitor in formula one paddock this year ;)

#35 BuonoBruttoCattivo

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 15:27

Ralf Schumacher: Funny, expansive, witty and mad-cap...Had plenty of time to chat.
Taku: Pissed off (Honda engine just blew).
Lafiite: Surprised I knew who he was.
Berger+Lauda on a boat in Italy: I gave them both the finger. :up:

#36 steelyman

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 15:30

snx843 - that's awesome. great story and you must be very quick!

#37 ensign14

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 15:32

Originally posted by BuonoBruttoCattivo

Lafiite: Surprised I knew who he was.

That reminds me...when I bought Lafitte's book at Goodwood to get it signed, a young 'un said to me excitedly "you're buying that book? Wow! You know Jacques is sitting over there?" :lol: Jacques thought it was funny too. :)

#38 Galko877

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 15:38

Originally posted by postajegenye

in fact, MS was the only one who never signed anything to fans when he come out of / into the hotel, he never even looked at the fans.


I'm also Hungarian and that is quite simply not true ( http://img213.images...6/500018rq9.jpg ).
Actually I know MANY people who have very nice personal stories with MS, photos, autographs and stuff.

But the hysteria of the fans was always the biggest around him, so in his last years in F1 he tried to avoid the crowds by going right in the garage on his car, not getting out in front of the hotel like others.

The key to MS is very simply being polite. He appreciates that and respects you if you respect him.

By far the most difficult guy to get an autograph from is Kimi Räikkönen.

#39 glorius&victorius

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 15:43

We met Connie Montoya and spoke about 30 seconds with her :love:

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#40 F1Johnny

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 15:45

Originally posted by glorius&victorius
We met Connie Montoya and spoke about 30 seconds with her :love:


There's something about Connie.

#41 Galko877

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 16:12

Originally posted by potmotr

Lewis Hamilton (Great guy. Not in the least bit cocky or arrogant as is so often posted on his freaking forum. Happy to pose for photos. Heaps of fans around and he was totally unflustered. Was with his old man who was equally polite. Don't believe the garbage you read. These are genuine people made good.)


I have also met Lewis in 2007 and I can only agree with you: he is very professional with the fans and rather polite.
But just because he gave autographs and was great with fans, that doesn't mean I cannot think many of his comments are cocky and he is arrogant and phoney. I do think that despite of meeting him and despite of the fact he is great with fans.

#42 postajegenye

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 16:34

Originally posted by Galko877


I'm also Hungarian and that is quite simply not true ( http://img213.images...6/500018rq9.jpg ).
Actually I know MANY people who have very nice personal stories with MS, photos, autographs and stuff.

But the hysteria of the fans was always the biggest around him, so in his last years in F1 he tried to avoid the crowds by going right in the garage on his car, not getting out in front of the hotel like others.

The key to MS is very simply being polite. He appreciates that and respects you if you respect him.

By far the most difficult guy to get an autograph from is Kimi Räikkönen.


OK I was referring to what I have seen, I admit I didn't clarify it... I've seen him 5 or so times and never signed anything, I mean when away from the circuit - in 2006, he came out to the fans during the Thursday pitwalk and gave some autographs.

#43 postajegenye

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 16:38

Originally posted by Galko877


I have also met Lewis in 2007 and I can only agree with you: he is very professional with the fans and rather polite.
But just because he gave autographs and was great with fans, that doesn't mean I cannot think many of his comments are cocky and he is arrogant and phoney. I do think that despite of meeting him and despite of the fact he is great with fans.


:up:
Same here. Met him in 2007, he smiled at everyone, even said thanks to those who asked for autographs. If I only saw this part of him, I would like him. But his recent comments...

#44 blackgerby

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 16:41

Alex Wurz - very nice guy

#45 Galko877

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 16:52

Originally posted by postajegenye


:up:
Same here. Met him in 2007, he smiled at everyone, even said thanks to those who asked for autographs. If I only saw this part of him, I would like him. But his recent comments...


Some people, if they get an autograph and a smile from a driver they become fans. And vica versa they get disappointed in a driver if they meet him and he doesn't give them an autograph. I'm not like that. I got a couple of autographs but that's not so important to me and I know I won't see the real self of any driver in a 5 or less minutes chat. I have heard good and bad stories about most of the drivers. Depends on their mood I think or if they are in a hurry etc.

#46 postajegenye

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 17:02

Originally posted by Galko877


Some people, if they get an autograph and a smile from a driver they become fans. And vica versa they get disappointed in a driver if they meet him and he doesn't give them an autograph. I'm not like that. I got a couple of autographs but that's not so important to me and I know I won't see the real self of any driver in a 5 or less minutes chat. I have heard good and bad stories about most of the drivers. Depends on their mood I think or if they are in a hurry etc.


Yeah... and it also depends on how much people from the media are around... I mean, a friend of mine bumped into Niki Lauda (who was with two other guys) outside the Hungaroring last year and went to him for an autograph, and Lauda just waved him away with his hand, looking annoyed.
The next day at the circuit, as soon as he ended his piece to camera with RTL, he started writing autographs smiling (with all the cameras around, it would have been strange if he had waved them away...).

Of course you don't get to know their personalities based on these expericences... but still, I've quite liked Alonso since our little chat (which I wrote about earlier in this thread) :D

#47 jimm

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 17:04

I met JJ Lehto when I was doing a support race for Cart in 1995. He was so happy someone reconginzed him, he followed us around as we walked throught the pits. I was trying to drum up sponser money and maybe a test and actually began to get annoyed a little. Ended up having lunch (after which I found a reason to loose him). He did have interesting things to say about Schumacher, Senna and Micheal Andretti though.

Talked with J Villineuve for about 15 mins after his Williams test and he told me he was gone. Spoke with Gil de Ferren for a while also. My uncle's company used to run a car at Indy and had Mario Andretti, and AJ Foyt (I know not F1) at the house where they raced go-karts with my uncle and the driver that he was using(and crashed each other BTW).

Other than that, I ran in to Montoya when he was doing Barbers before going to Europe. Did not remember that was him until my engineer at the time (who currently works in F1) reminded me after JPM made it to F1.

Edit: Almost forgot, I met Bobby Rahal at Cleveland one year and raced (and handily beat) Danny Sullivan in a go-kart race for charity.

#48 F1Annie

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 17:21

Originally posted by postajegenye
My own experiences:

I saw many of the drivers as I have been to 4 Hungarian GPs and the place where I stay at Budapest (the flat of an old friend) is basically in the same street as three big hotels where the drivers stay. So you can bump into drivers everytime you go out to the street...

Talking to Alonso was a pleasant surprise for me in 2006. It was before 7am in the morning (Friday or Saturday on race weekend), I went to a nearby shop to buy some food. There wasn't any crowd yet in front of the hotels (there are always lots of fans there as you can imagine, mostly fangirls...) and as I was walking past the hotels Alonso came out with two other team members. There were 3 or 4 other people on the street but none of them payed any attention... So I went to him and desperately searched for a piece of paper as I though an autograph from a WDC would be nice. I found a bit of a newspaper in my bag and asked Alonso if he could sign it, "Sure" he smiled "do you have a pen?" I didn't realize he needed a pen to write as well. :D Fortunately one of the Renault men had one and so FA signed it for my name. I asked him whether he always left the hotel so early. He replied along the lines of "No, but we have some stuff to discuss today, and we'd like to avoid traffic, too. But I don't like leaving this early, I'm so sleepy!" I asked him a couple of other questions about the season etc (a typical case where a fan talks to a driver and asks irrelevant things just because he has the chance to do so :p ) And then came the real surprise - he asked me if I was Hungarian and whether I could help him. He then showed me a piece of paper with a Hungarian word on it - the word was "main road" - and asked me what it meant, and when I told him he just said "ah, ok, thanks". He didn't explain why he needed that word :D Then they said goodbye and left in the Megane. The whole conversation took no more than about 3 minutes but he came across as a really nice guy to me, absolutely down to earth. And it was quite amazing that I set off for a trip to a small shop and met a WDC, with no other fans there.

When I got back from the shop about 30 minutes later, fans were already gathering, waiting for the drivers. I told Alonso fans that he had already left but they didn't believe me.

I haven't really spoken to any other drivers, but saw lots of them; in fact, MS was the only one who never signed anything to fans when he come out of / into the hotel, he never even looked at the fans.
Lewis is nice, he signed anything for anybody last year, also Kova, Massa, Kubica, Button, Sato, Davidson... With Fisi, it depends on his mood :D

Ah, and last year at World Series by Renault at the Hungaroring; you know it's an event when fans can come into the pits and paddock whenever they want (excpet during session and races of course). And it's free too, so there were lots of people there but the majority only knew Vettel was (who had already made his debut in F1 with BMW then -it was in July). So everytime he came out of his truck fans went to him, he was ok, signed things but didn't stop to talk to anybody.

Parente was an extremely nice guy though. :)


:clap: :clap:

What a great story.

I've been to the Hungarian GP & stayed in Budapest (beautiful city) & know which hotels you mean.

But can't agree on your experience with Michael. This was at testing at Silverstone in 2003.

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#49 MarkWRX

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 17:33

I too met Brian Redmon at a histroic race car event at Summit Point W VA - several times. He was particularly nice to the SCCA corner workers who volunteered their time (I was one of them). During the lunch time "ride arounds" one year, he drove the very same Porsche 908 that he won the 1000 KM of Nuburing in. The drivers were supposed to limit their top speed to 80 MPH and we had a guy with a radar gun at the end of the main straight. I was working the pits, helping the paying passengers (money went to a local charity) get in and out of cars and getting them strapped in when necessary.

Anyway, I decided to buy a ride and after I got my ticket, I saw the light brown Porsche pull in. I helped the passenger out and then decided to cut the line.

I got in and started to put the four point harness on and Mr. Redman asked if I liked working the pits. I told him that I was working Turn 3 and was just helping at the pits on our lunch break. He appreciated that I had skipped lunch and thanked me for volunteering. By this time, we were ready to leave the pits and he said something like "You aren't a nervous passenger are you?" and then tore out of the pits like a scared rabbit.

In order to keep the speeds down, no one was supposed to take a flying lap - pit in on every lap, even if you bought two or three laps. We went pretty fast to turn 1 and then through the back third of the track, faster than I have ever been before at Summit Point. When we got to turn 10, I expected him to back off to go into the pits but he didn't and we took another flying lap with what I thought was impossibly late braking for turn 1.

He was very smooth with steering and shifting. He wasn't pushing it so there was no drama, but I could see him working the wheel on the some of the more understeer producing turns at the track. We couldn't talk due to engine noise but he would look over and smile a few time - giving me a thumbs up and raised eyebrows to make sure I was enjoying it.

At the end of the flying lap we went into the pits and I climbed out. When I got back to my corner I asked the guy on the radar gun how fast we went - 100 MPH on the first lap and 140MPH on the second. Quick enough for me in a 30 year old race car!

#50 jimm

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 17:43

Originally posted by MarkWRX
.....


What year WRX?