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Have you met any F1 drivers?


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#51 postajegenye

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 18:03

Originally posted by F1Annie




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






My experiences were totally different... but this just proves the fact that they don't always behave the same way...
I can totally understand any driver who don't sign autographs when there are hundreds of fans around and they're in a hurry - I know I would not like it either.

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#52 joachimvanwing

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 18:09

Originally posted by donald29
Allan McNish

McNish is the nicest driver I even met.

Alesi and Frentzen were very likeable also. Ralf and DaMatta were the worst by far. Didn't like Doornbos' attitude. His 'air' was somewhat predictable for a dutchman. Some journalists had problems with Panis, I always had a very good contact with him. Rene arnoux was a big dispappointment when I finally got interview him.

In general I prefer to interview engineers instead of drivers.

#53 dank

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 18:27

I've met Mark Webber a few months ago. He was at a local pub attending a charity evening (counting coins of all things!), he did seem a bit bemused to be there but did make the effort to get up and walk around talking to folk. Had a brief conversation with him and wished him all the best for this season. Seemed a decent enough bloke. Down to Earth.

Also, I've been invited by his supporters club to an annual go-karting session this August where he takes part and races against job public. Looking forward to that, not too often you can say in life you raced against an F1 driver!

#54 snx843

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 18:39

Originally posted by dank
I
Also, I've been invited by his supporters club to an annual go-karting session this August where he takes part and races against job public. Looking forward to that, not too often you can say in life you raced against an F1 driver!


Milton Keynes? Daytona?

#55 Villes Gilleneuve

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 18:55

Hmmm...
when I was a kid:


James hunt
Niki Lauda
Alan Jones
Danny Ongais
Mario Andretti
Gilles Villeneuve
Jody Scheckter
Hans Stuck

after that:

Manfred Winkelhock
Mika Salo (lately)
Jan Magnussen, Giancarlo Fisichella (in kart racing)
Piercarlo Ghinzani
Nigel Mansell
Riccardo Patrese

#56 Haddock

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 19:13

When I was a kid :

Denny Hulme, Roland Ratzenberger

A couple of years back:

David Leslie (very briefly, seemed a very decent guy, a genuine enthusiast).

Sadly, the moral of the story would seem to be - if you are a racing driver, stay well away from me... None of the three are with us any more.

#57 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 19:18

I can't remember how many I met back when the F1 crowd was at Long Beach back in the day, but I won't forget a practice session where Nelson Piquet had wadded it up coming off Linden Leap and then spent the rest of the session, about 45 minutes, with about ten of us in the corner anaylizing everyone else on track with live commentary for us. Look at his line, check out his braking point, that engine is sick and so forth. Super guy, really opened up to all of us.
I was also there one year when we actually got into the hot pits and were about two feet away when Mario Andretti came in after winning in the John Player Special, climbed out and grabbed the first girl he saw and gave her a huge hug and a smooch. I don't think he even knew her.
Of course back then it wasn't nearly as crowded and controlled as it is now.

#58 Elspeth

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 19:19

long time ago -Richie Ginther (he lived in my hometown when I was in high school).

When he was a team owner in ChampCars - Dan Gurney.

#59 kimbler

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 19:46

I met Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna in the Mclaren pit during Silverstone tyre testing when I was around 14 years old. Alain Prost was my idol at the time and I was completely dumbstruck. I can still remember the intensity in both his and Ayrton's eyes as they were debriefing with their engineers..pure concentration and focus on detail. I was desperate for a souvenir so I had a look in the bin at the back of the pits hoping to find a discarded rear wing or something! No luck though.

I met Mika and DC in person. Mika was extremely friendly and chatted briefly. DC was being friendly until a girl turned up looking for an autograph at which point he ignored me and looked her straight in the eyes and said "How are you?" in a really cheesy fashion!

Alex Wurx and Webber were both really jovial and good natured as other people have mentioned.

Jean Alesi was stomping around being angry.

Michael and the Ferrari pits were completely swamped...

I also met Mansell, he was really lapping up the attention. No surprise there. A walking ego with moustache..

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#60 F575 GTC

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 19:52

Originally posted by kimbler
I also met Mansell, he was really lapping up the attention. No surprise there. A walking ego with moustache..


The guy had two Security Guards following him everywhere at Silverstone when he was in the GT's... :down:

#61 AndreasF1

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 03:40

I have a nice little story as well.

In 1984 at my tender age of 13 my dad took me and my younger brother to watch qualifying for the Austrian GP. We managed to sneak behind the pits into the paddock area. As we were walking past some of the trucks behind the pits, my dad spotted Senna talking to Peter Warr of Lotus. Senna was wearing his Toleman overalls and was getting ready for qualifying. The meeting between the two seemed a secret one as they did not like to be discovered. Nevertheless, I ran up to Senna with my brother and he obliged to take a photo with us. I still have it framed and blown up in my basement. After the photo he continued his conversation with Peter Warr.
We then went on to the McLaren motorhome, as we wanted an autograph from Prost. A very nice PR lady from McLaren told me to hang on for a few minutes as he was finishing a debrief in the motorhome with Lauda. Sure enough within 5 minutes Prost and Lauda came out, and Prost handed me a large black and white picture of him talking to John Barnard at the Silverstone circuit with his autgraph on it. I still have that picture as well.
Of course I have a photo with Prost as well as with Lauda. Both were very nice.
Other drivers that I had the opportunity to take photos with was Jo Gartner, Gerhard Berger, Jaques Laffite, Ricardo Patrese, Nelson Piquet, Elio deAngelis, Jonathan Palmer, Phillipe Allitot, Keke Rosberg as well as Rene Arnoux.
I spoke for a while with Huub Rothengatter who was sitting outside his motorhome all by himself as well as the nicest guy I met that day - Pc Ghinzanni! What a great guy.
All in all this was one of the greatest days in my life that I can remember. For a kid to meet all my heroes close up and walking around the pits and paddock was a dream come true.

#62 MONTOYASPEED

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 04:33

Mario Andretti - Mid Ohio 2000.
Juan Pablo Montoya - Had lunch with him after qualifying for Mid Ohio 2000.
Mark Blundell - Mid Ohio 2000.
Mauricio Gugelmin - Mid Ohio 2000.
Michael Andretti - Mid Ohio 2000.
Fernando Alonso - Met him the week previous to the 2005 Malaysian GP, really cool/relaxed guy.

Not a driver but Jean Todt. Saw him outside the Petronas Towers before a charity event for the Tsunami victims. He was very nice!

Also saw Ralf Schumacher at the Petronas Towers in KL on the same week. He was wearing a pink shirt and was accompanied by an old dude (not Rolf). As soon as he heard me say "That's Ralf Schumacher" he started walking faster and lost in the crowd.

#63 Rob G

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 05:02

Originally posted by joachimvanwing
Ralf and DaMatta were the worst by far.

I bumped into da Matta at this year's Grand-Am race at VIR, where he was hanging around with his new team and getting ready for his racing comeback at Laguna Seca two weeks later. I waited patiently for him to finish his conversation with Ricardo Zonta, and when a mechanic grabbed Zonta to go get breakfast, I took my chance to talk to Cristiano. He was very friendly, open, and excited about returning to racing.

It was actually my second time spending time with da Matta, but my first on a one-to-one basis. I was at Portland when he won the 2005 Champ Car race, and after the race ended I went down to the hospitality area and saw team owner Kevin Kalkhoven sitting up front and greeting his guests. I congratulated Kevin on the win and mentioned that I had flown in from the east coast specifically for the race. He gave me a beer and invited me inside to join in the celebration. I got to listen to the victory speeches, sip champagne, and got the T-shirt I had bought that day autographed. It was terrific, and everybody was very gracious.

The only other ex-F1 driver I was able to spend a decent amount of time talking to was Christian Danner. This was in Cleveland in his first year in CART. He was very pleasant and amicable, and we talked for a good five minutes or so.

Other former and future F1 drivers I've "met" through asking for a moment to take a photo (or in my earliest races, an autograph): Dan Gurney, Jim Hall, Mario & Michael Andretti, Emerson & Christian Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Roberto Guerrero, Jacques Villeneuve, Teo Fabi, Roberto Moreno, Eddie Cheever, Derek Daly, Raul Boesel, Fabrizio Barbazza, Mark Blundell, Mauricio Gugelmin, Max Papis, Alex Zanardi, Andrea Montermini, Stefan Johansson, Johnny Herbert, Hans-Joachim Stuck, Shinji Nakano, Tora Takagi, Sebastien Bourdais, Timo Glock, Tiago Monteiro, Franck Montagny, Antonio Pizzonia, Enrique Bernoldi, Eric van de Poele, and perhaps one or two others.

#64 ensign14

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 06:34

Originally posted by AndreasF1

I spoke for a while with Huub Rothengatter who was sitting outside his motorhome all by himself as well as the nicest guy I met that day - Pc Ghinzanni! What a great guy.

:clap: Yay! Peter Charles. Legend.

#65 Hacklerf

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 06:58

Originally posted by Chiara
Eddie Irvine and Mika Salo.


Did the Swerve try it on Chiara?

#66 dank

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 07:43

Originally posted by snx843


Milton Keynes? Daytona?


It is indeed. Need to get some much needed practice before hand!

#67 Kanzo

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:04

I stepped into an elevator and noticed this short familiar looking guy standing back there. OMG, that´s Mika Salo. But as a typical laconic Finn I just had to ignore him ("don´t give them any attention or they start to think too much of themselves"). :rolleyes:

Goddammit, why didn´t I ask him for a visit to play some Grand Prix Legends or rFactor with me. :mad: :p

#68 Peter

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 10:52

(Sir) Jackie Stewart - I drove him round in a car in a competition in 1970 when he was already a world champion and still at the top. I thought he was a nice guy then, and still do!

#69 UPRC

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 11:11

I thought I saw Giancarlo Fisichella drinking a coffee at Tim Hortons once during the week of the Canadian GP, but seeing how I'm in Halifax, which isn't even remotely close to Montreal... I dismissed it as my eyes playing tricks on me.

Haha, what would the odds be? :lol:

#70 Orin

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 11:41

This is a great thread, unfortunately I have nothing to contribute other than :up: for the stories so far.

#71 BMW_F1

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 12:14

Seen JPM several times in Miami . . Saw him in Canada 05.. Scott Speed, Liuzzi..De la Rosa

#72 FredF1

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 12:27

Originally posted by Orin
This is a great thread, unfortunately I have nothing to contribute other than :up: for the stories so far.




Same here.

I've never met any drivers but came within an arm's length of Olivier Panis at Spa in 2000 after the race. He was walking inside the concrete barrier that runs on the inner curve of La Source and looking bloody miserable even though Hakkinen had just won. Had a brief chat with some Benetton mechanics after qualifying on the Saturday when one of them asked us if we knew the Premiership results, Spurs in particular. There were McLaren mechanics present as well but they refused to talk to anyone and marched along like a bunch of robots.

I also failed to meet Michael Schumacher at the Spanish GP in 2002 - he was leaving the Ferrari garage but, by the time I'd run most of the length of the pitlane, he'd disappeared. I turned around at the Schumacherless Ferrari garage to find that Montoya had been in the Williams garage but that he'd just left as well! :lol:

#73 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 14:06

Gosh, lots I guess. Includes: Alberto Ascari, Juan Fangio, Stirling Moss, Karl Kling, Gigi Villoresi, Nini Farina, Tony Brooks, Mike Hawthorn, Peter Collins, Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Peter Revson, Innes Ireland, Jochen Mass, David Piper, Jonathan Williams, Maria-Theresa di Fillips, Luigi Musso, Brian Redman, Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, David Hobbs, Richie Ginther, Hans Herrmann, Sam Posey, John Surtees, Tim Parnell, George Follmer, Mike MacDowel, Jacky Ickx, Alan Jones, Gilles Villeneuve, Alan Stacey, Chris Bristow, Jo Bonnier, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jim Clark, Masten Gregory, Lloyd Ruby, Roger Penske, Walt Hansgen, Mark Donohue, Phil Hill, Graham Hill, Ronnie Peterson, Hans Stuck Sr. & Jr., John Fitch, and many more, primarily from the Fifties and Sixties and into the Seventies.

Ascari was a huge treat, we almost stumbling over him at the Valentino GP at Torino in 1955. We had a nice chat, maybe 10-15 minutes, me using my schoolbook Italian while to one of the true racing gods of the day. He was absolutely great, taking the time to speak with me. Had a long chat with Jim Clark about farming one year at Watkins Glen, the agreement being that we would not discuss racing. Had supper with Hans Herrmann where he talked about, among other things, his win at Le Mans and The Accident at the AVUS. On my first encounter with Bruce McLaren, I thought he was one fo the mechanics, which he thought was funny. Mario Andretti was lots of fun to talk with, having a wide range of interests. Karl Kling was another great treat, meeting him at a Mercedes dealership right after his victory in Berlin. Only Farina was a jerk, almost literally kicking me out of his way as he was hurrying through the paddock.

#74 snx843

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 17:41

Originally posted by dank


It is indeed. Need to get some much needed practice before hand!


Fun track.

#75 David M. Kane

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 18:06

James Hunt, Jackie Stewart, Roger Penske, Dan Gurney, Jack Brabham, Innes Ireland, Phil Hill, John Fitch, Denny Hulme, Clay Reggazoni, Marc Surer, Hans Stuck, Jr., Tony Brise, Tom Pyrce, George Follmer, Nigel Mansell, Emerson Fittipaldi, Derek Daly, Roger Williamson, Bob Bondaurant, Brian Redman, Vic Elford, Bobby Rahal, Jochen Mass, John Surtees, Ronnie Peterson, Mario Andretti, Didier Pironi and Alain Prost and Ant Davidson...all of them were special.

The two impressed me the least were Pironi and Prost. I found them both arrogant and defensive. It might have just been because I was American and they were afraid of catching some disease from me. They had big chips on their shoulders.

Williamson impressed me the most professionally, that guy was going places. Hunt was the funniest, Surer was the most human, he gave off a sense of inner peace and of inner strength I've never sensed before.
Ant Davidson was the most humble and the most grateful.

Then there's Brian Redman... :up:

I idolize all of them frankly.

#76 Andy35

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 18:14

I once had a piss next to Will Hoy.

He wasn't an F1 driver though I admit.

Regards

Andy

#77 united

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 18:37

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps
Gosh, lots I guess. Includes: Alberto Ascari, Juan Fangio, Stirling Moss, Karl Kling, Gigi Villoresi, Nini Farina, Tony Brooks, Mike Hawthorn, Peter Collins, Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Peter Revson, Innes Ireland, Jochen Mass, David Piper, Jonathan Williams, Maria-Theresa di Fillips, Luigi Musso, Brian Redman, Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, David Hobbs, Richie Ginther, Hans Herrmann, Sam Posey, John Surtees, Tim Parnell, George Follmer, Mike MacDowel, Jacky Ickx, Alan Jones, Gilles Villeneuve, Alan Stacey, Chris Bristow, Jo Bonnier, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jim Clark, Masten Gregory, Lloyd Ruby, Roger Penske, Walt Hansgen, Mark Donohue, Phil Hill, Graham Hill, Ronnie Peterson, Hans Stuck Sr. & Jr., John Fitch, and many more, primarily from the Fifties and Sixties and into the Seventies.

Ascari was a huge treat, we almost stumbling over him at the Valentino GP at Torino in 1955. We had a nice chat, maybe 10-15 minutes, me using my schoolbook Italian while to one of the true racing gods of the day. He was absolutely great, taking the time to speak with me. Had a long chat with Jim Clark about farming one year at Watkins Glen, the agreement being that we would not discuss racing. Had supper with Hans Herrmann where he talked about, among other things, his win at Le Mans and The Accident at the AVUS. On my first encounter with Bruce McLaren, I thought he was one fo the mechanics, which he thought was funny. Mario Andretti was lots of fun to talk with, having a wide range of interests. Karl Kling was another great treat, meeting him at a Mercedes dealership right after his victory in Berlin. Only Farina was a jerk, almost literally kicking me out of his way as he was hurrying through the paddock.


Sir, I am officially impressed. :up:

#78 dank

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 19:03

Originally posted by snx843


Fun track.


I know it's off-topic a bit, but any tips? I'm a bit of a karting virgin. PM if you want, cheers!

#79 f1rules

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 19:15

Originally posted by Orin
This is a great thread, unfortunately I have nothing to contribute other than :up: for the stories so far.


i totally agree, best thread for ages, very good reading, unfortunately i havent meet any drivers

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#80 f1rules

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 19:18

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps
Gosh, lots I guess. Includes: Alberto Ascari, Juan Fangio, Stirling Moss, Karl Kling, Gigi Villoresi, Nini Farina, Tony Brooks, Mike Hawthorn, Peter Collins, Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Peter Revson, Innes Ireland, Jochen Mass, David Piper, Jonathan Williams, Maria-Theresa di Fillips, Luigi Musso, Brian Redman, Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, David Hobbs, Richie Ginther, Hans Herrmann, Sam Posey, John Surtees, Tim Parnell, George Follmer, Mike MacDowel, Jacky Ickx, Alan Jones, Gilles Villeneuve, Alan Stacey, Chris Bristow, Jo Bonnier, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jim Clark, Masten Gregory, Lloyd Ruby, Roger Penske, Walt Hansgen, Mark Donohue, Phil Hill, Graham Hill, Ronnie Peterson, Hans Stuck Sr. & Jr., John Fitch, and many more, primarily from the Fifties and Sixties and into the Seventies.

Ascari was a huge treat, we almost stumbling over him at the Valentino GP at Torino in 1955. We had a nice chat, maybe 10-15 minutes, me using my schoolbook Italian while to one of the true racing gods of the day. He was absolutely great, taking the time to speak with me. Had a long chat with Jim Clark about farming one year at Watkins Glen, the agreement being that we would not discuss racing. Had supper with Hans Herrmann where he talked about, among other things, his win at Le Mans and The Accident at the AVUS. On my first encounter with Bruce McLaren, I thought he was one fo the mechanics, which he thought was funny. Mario Andretti was lots of fun to talk with, having a wide range of interests. Karl Kling was another great treat, meeting him at a Mercedes dealership right after his victory in Berlin. Only Farina was a jerk, almost literally kicking me out of his way as he was hurrying through the paddock.


im seriously impressed, can i ask how you meet all thoose, work or ???

#81 Devero

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 19:36

Mika Hakkinen (1997), Jacques Villeneuve(1998), Nick Heidfeld(2003, I guess).

All of them in Moscow, at the Baltschug Kempinski hotel where I had been working then in room-service.

I wished Mika to win his first race (it was autumn 1997). He said that it would come sooner or later. It was nice to talk to him while serving him blinis, caviar and vodka treatment.

Jacques ordered a huge breakfast and apperaed nice enough to make a photo together.

Nick ordered a small sushi-set. He was very quiet, shy and polite. :)

#82 Chiara

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:32

Originally posted by Hacklerf


Did the Swerve try it on Chiara?


yes right in front of my boyfriend who was distinctly unimpressed!

#83 Mat Rempit

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 11:15

I had met one, Alex Yoong with his wife who is taller than him and his kid at the airport terminal.

It was the Low Cost Terminal for budget flight Air Asia.... :lol: :lol:

no wonder he was a pay driver.

#84 blackgerby

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 13:11

Woman I work with - her parents used to help out Jim Clark with his cars in his early racing days :eek:

#85 niwanda

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 14:33

Never had much talking experiences with the drivers - just short encounters - but from the few that I've met, I thot JPM was the friendliest. I was running towards him at the Oz GP paddock and I said to him, "can i pls have a picture with you, por favor, por favor, por favor?" he smiled and mimicked me "por favor, por favor, por favor" and got the guy who was walking with him to take the pic. I was dressed in all red with Schumi's book in my hand but I'm sure he didnt notice :p

As for Schumi, i waited a long time outside the ferrari garage to get his signature. Todt was there speaking with a guy and saw me. Once he was done he nodded to me so I took a pic with him. He knew who I was waiting for tho :) When Schumi came out, he didnt speak but he signed my book obligingly, and really took the time to sign it before moving on - well, he has to, if not, he'd be mobbed. And Todt looked on curiously when Schumi signed the book. Its like they can't be apart or something :p

Ralf seems nice - but he was onstage at a driver appearance so I guess he had no choice! I managed to get onstage and when asked if I had a question for Ralf i said - can i get a hug? He let me hug him so he's alright in my books :p As he won the Msian GP that year I still believe it was my hug that was the good luck charm :p

I get to see Massa, Nick and Kubica quite a lot in PETRONAS sponsored programmes when the calendar moves to KL - they're alright but dont really talk much. Massa's gf follows him everywhere! Kubica is very laidback and funny. Definitely more people oriented. Nick sticks more to himself in my opinion.

#86 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 14:34

Originally posted by f1rules
im seriously impressed, can i ask how you meet all thoose, work or ???


Part from work as a historian and part from growing up in paddocks way back....

#87 Imperial

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 18:13

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. Although as i was working and they were the customers (in a hotel) then i guess i couldnt really expect anything else.


Met him in the tunnel under the Rockingham circuit walking along with Jason Plato (another ****ing nice bloke) and Colin was very nice and not at all superstarry or "do you know who I am at all". I am assuming you must have caught him on a bad day or something.

The best crew/team I've ever met was the Ganassi crew at Rockingham who actually came up to me (when they noticed me having a look around on the racetrack after the 2001 CART race) to start up a conversation. They were looking for any big bits of car from Bruno Junqueira's crash in the race. They didn't find anything significant so gave the little bits they'd found to me (small bodywork pieces, still have them in a box) Really really great bunch of guys and they were seriously absolutely on-fire in terms of being in a great mood and all because Juan Montoya had dropped in on them for a little bit during the day. It spoke volumes of how much they respected and basically loved JPM.

#88 Imperial

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 18:38

One's I remember (there will be some insignificants I've forgotten):

Enrique Bernoldi - well actually I don't even ****ing remember meeting this guy but I must have at some point cos I have his autograph in a book!!!

Kimi Raikkonen - met him before he was in F1, but just after the FIA had relented and issued his Superlicence. Very quiet, very shy, but very polite. The thing that struck me the most was...he looked about 10 years old and was going to be driving an F1 car in a few months time as his dayjob!

Juan Pablo Montoya - Met him a few times at various places. The guy is an absolute blast and bundle of energy and a lot of fun. Funnily enough I met him pre-F1 and he had shit loads of massive security-men with him. I met him another time a couple of years into his F1 career when he really was massively famous and...no security! I think someone on this forum (Neo maybe. Where's he gone by the way?) met JPM in a motorway service station after the Silverstone race one year and also remarked how nice JPM was IIRC.

Johnny Herbert - another really great bloke who seemed more interested in asking about or talking to other people, rather than waiting or hoping for the opposite to happen to him. Nice.

Michael Andretti - noticed he'd been spotted by a few of us and that we were aiming straight for him so he started running (towards us) and straight past! It might have been annoying had it not been for the amusing site of his floppy curtains-style hairdo bouncing up and down as he jogged past us! Clearly not a guy who wants to talk much.

Darren Manning (tester) - an absolutely top bloke who would give up as much time as you want of him. Now he's an Indycar regular he still seems like the same nice lad.

Jenson Button - he was buzzing around the Autosport International all day Saturday this year. He was being bugged a hell of a lot by people and understandably could only give up so much time, but he also didn't seem scared to go off and wander amongst the crowd. He even went to take a piss in the public toilets, in which there was a bit of a queue for the urinals, so I thought that was a good thing of him to do. Most of the drivers barely come out of their hiding places to appear on stage at Autosport, nevermind mingle with the public and use the public loos. I didn't see anything pretentious about the guy at all.

Nigel Mansell - absolutely the best bloke ever. I seriously can't understand it when people say they have had bad experiences with him. I thought the guy was brill. Yes he is a proper showman and knows how to deal with a crowd, but he's a genuinely great bloke. He seemed over the moon when he found out it was the day of my birthday when I met him and he was asking questions about that, let me get as many photos with him as I wanted. He had his arm round me for the photos and is a powerful bloke. It was like getting a proper bear-hug from Nige! Ha ha, awesome! Good proper man's-man style handshake. Got a fantastic signature from him too, he wrote a good birthday dedication as well as signing it and popping on "Red 5" to boot. Best signature ever.

I'm sure there's other F1's but I'm struggling to remember. Definitely just along the lines of Bernoldi-level though!

Many and various non-F1 drivers have been met over the years, but sadly this thread isn't about that. A shame.

#89 Cplu

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:23

I’ve got a few stories.

Alan Jones – met him in a strip bar on a Friday night in Adelaide. We were out for a bucks show – he was out with some random bloke for a drink and a sample of the local night life. I remember chatting about something random to his mate when together at the bar and AJ started adding to the conversation. We then discussed how ordinary the entertainment was :D

Jenson Button – met him at the startline of the Gumball. He was waving the flag to start and then he was getting in my way while I was trying to take photos. I promptly told him to get out of my shot! I was snapping a few shots of the farboud, and he asked me if I knew what it was. Mindless chat about the cars going past then ensued for a bit. Nice bloke.

Mark Webber – again when taking photos – this time at GFOS, I ended up at the turn around section at the top of Lord March’s driveway I was talking to some Williams pit blokes and MW recognised my accent – I asked if the lack of burnouts for the crowd was due to lack of confidence in the dodgy gearbox in the back – they both smiled away. As much as I was busting to get him to talk to him about his upcoming contract issue (‘bout a month prior to RBR announcement) he was more interested in what I was doing at Goodwood. He gave me his Balaclava just as he got back in the car which was pretty decent of him. Two years later – this year – I got him to sign it for me at Melbourne. I mentioned how I got the balaclava when he signed it – he said he remembered – pretty sure he was just being nice :)

Antonio Luizzi – was doing an article for a magazine on RedBull for an aussie mag and got to have a bit of a convo with Luizzi about what the day involved. He was pretty chatty – we talked about where to go and eat in London among other things.

#90 GNT4ME

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 11:24

Before it became so popular GFOS was always a great place to meet and chat with drivers.
I found E. Fittipaldi wondering around the paddock like the rest of us just admiring the
the large variety of cars on display. He was quite happy to stand and chat about how the cars and racing had changed over the years.

J Herbert and J Button both seem to be genuinely nice guys.
J Surtees a real gentleman.
D. Hill took time to chat.
However.
S Moss – arrogant IMO.
DC kept his distance every year and only spoke to his mechanics.

Chatted to J Hunt for over half an hour at Wimbledon 75.
He had won a GP the day before (if memory serves me right) – but still most people did not seem to know who he was, which was great news for me.
Charming, funny and VERY attractive is how I remember him.

#91 Dalton007

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 14:16

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


You f**king idddiot. Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;)

#92 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 14:55

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps
Gosh, lots I guess. Includes: Alberto Ascari, Juan Fangio, Stirling Moss, Karl Kling, Gigi Villoresi, Nini Farina, Tony Brooks, Mike Hawthorn, Peter Collins, Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Peter Revson, Innes Ireland, Jochen Mass, David Piper, Jonathan Williams, Maria-Theresa di Fillips, Luigi Musso, Brian Redman, Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, David Hobbs, Richie Ginther, Hans Herrmann, Sam Posey, John Surtees, Tim Parnell, George Follmer, Mike MacDowel, Jacky Ickx, Alan Jones, Gilles Villeneuve, Alan Stacey, Chris Bristow, Jo Bonnier, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jim Clark, Masten Gregory, Lloyd Ruby, Roger Penske, Walt Hansgen, Mark Donohue, Phil Hill, Graham Hill, Ronnie Peterson, Hans Stuck Sr. & Jr., John Fitch, and many more, primarily from the Fifties and Sixties and into the Seventies.

Ascari was a huge treat, we almost stumbling over him at the Valentino GP at Torino in 1955. We had a nice chat, maybe 10-15 minutes, me using my schoolbook Italian while to one of the true racing gods of the day. He was absolutely great, taking the time to speak with me. Had a long chat with Jim Clark about farming one year at Watkins Glen, the agreement being that we would not discuss racing. Had supper with Hans Herrmann where he talked about, among other things, his win at Le Mans and The Accident at the AVUS. On my first encounter with Bruce McLaren, I thought he was one fo the mechanics, which he thought was funny. Mario Andretti was lots of fun to talk with, having a wide range of interests. Karl Kling was another great treat, meeting him at a Mercedes dealership right after his victory in Berlin. Only Farina was a jerk, almost literally kicking me out of his way as he was hurrying through the paddock.



I was never lucky enough to be kicked out of the way by the great Giuseppe Farina but he scowled at me in the Silverstone paddock once...it made my day!.

#93 Jerome

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 15:02

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps


Part from work as a historian and part from growing up in paddocks way back....


And do you think the general population of racing drivers has changed? I myself noticed (though I've only met a few) that like tennis, motorracing attracts a different kind of person these days. While soccerplayers haven't changed at all, to my opinion.

#94 SeanValen

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 15:14

:p Michael Schumacher


Albert Park 2005

About 20 seconds he won't remember, but it was cool meeting the main man after watching him, debating about him, cheering him on, but at the end of the day, he's a regular man like alot of others out there, but the media/PR can disort the real man, especially if he's likely the biggest star f1 has ever had, it can be misleading.

But as to his fans, one guy ran from his hotel to MS's car's window, and MS saw it and opened the window and signed, so given the amount of attention he gets, I think MS did a decent job for his fans with his time.
He's shy, and has menstioned often he doesn't like the media side of things, and this reflected his eura.

But as for the MS mysticism aura of confidence he beams to everyone and his team, the reason for his many wins, he was full of confidence, as if he's the king of motivation, I was lucky to meet this legend, trust me, 20 seconds is a long time depending on the person, I probabley don't think there'll ever be a f1 driver/star like him again, so this made the meeting pretty special, but at the same time, I just came across as another guy who wanted a autograph, his race that weekend wasn't good, but meeting him was like the main event for that holiday, everything else was a bonus.

I've met other drivers, but MS was the man, everyone else was like insects after meeting MS, the ruthless champion do or die mentality, the red baron. Any other driver I would of liked to have met? Of cource Senna, but the closest I got to Senna was visiting Imola, his spirit is kinda engraved within that Italian small town paradise.

Win at all costs drivers come once or twice in a century. :smoking: :up: MS is like almost Japanese Zen like Indian spiritual ambassodor of calm, he had to be operating to the margins he did in the races to outflank rivals, a competitor designed by the racing gods themselfs, as close to perfection while being human. Fastest Lap after Fastest Lap after Fastest Lap :eek:

#95 yr

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 16:33

Originally posted by Kanzo
I stepped into an elevator and noticed this short familiar looking guy standing back there. OMG, that´s Mika Salo. But as a typical laconic Finn I just had to ignore him ("don´t give them any attention or they start to think too much of themselves"). :rolleyes:

Goddammit, why didn´t I ask him for a visit to play some Grand Prix Legends or rFactor with me. :mad: :p


:lol:

That´s exactly what I would have done. :rotfl:

#96 mursuka80

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 17:02

Originally posted by Kanzo
I stepped into an elevator and noticed this short familiar looking guy standing back there. OMG, that´s Mika Salo. But as a typical laconic Finn I just had to ignore him ("don´t give them any attention or they start to think too much of themselves"). :rolleyes:

Goddammit, why didn´t I ask him for a visit to play some Grand Prix Legends or rFactor with me. :mad: :p


Its funny that great number of us Finns think that way :p ps.whats wrong with us :lol:

#97 D.M.N.

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 17:17

Some had said differing views about several people. Not a complaint or anything, but it would be nice if some said round about when they met them; for instance Hungary; August 2007 or Spa; September 1998. This would help us engage their mood.

For instance Hamilton at Hungary 2007 wouldn't be in a talkative mood to say Canada a few months earlier.

Same with Michael he wouldn't of been in a good mood in early 2006 as Ferrari were underperfoming but in 2002 he would be fine.

It's the same with every driver at some points in their career they would be pissed off, but at others they'd be happy. It's a matter of lucky or not lucky.

#98 postajegenye

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 17:24

Originally posted by D.M.N.
Some had said differing views about several people. Not a complaint or anything, but it would be nice if some said round about when they met them; for instance Hungary; August 2007 or Spa; September 1998. This would help us engage their mood.


I saw Alonso last year on the Saturday evening of the Hungarian GP, he surely was frustrated then (although his penalty was only confirmed later in the evening) but he was all smiles and laughs.
Also saw Jenson Button the evening after the Hungarian GP in 2006, his first GP victory and he looked kinda upset and shook his head and said sorry when someone wanted to go up to him, as if he had just heard some bad news.

#99 IOU 16

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 20:52

My father worked for 8 years in Formula One with Ferrari and Jordan GP.

I have met every driver on both squads from 1994-2001.

DC at Monaco about 10 times.

Saw him Monday after the Canadian GP and he had this wide smile. He was just ecstatic.

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#100 Crazy Ninja

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 13:03

Originally posted by postajegenye


Also saw Jenson Button the evening after the Hungarian GP in 2006, his first GP victory and he looked kinda upset and shook his head and said sorry when someone wanted to go up to him, as if he had just heard some bad news.


Well in the season review dvd Jenson says he wanted to celebrate and party but his PA or the teams communications manager (something like that) siad he had to fly to China or somehwere to do some promotion so he was probably well annoyed at that lol