Posted 07 April 2004 - 14:53
39 years-old from Madrid, Spain, so sorry in advance for the grammar.
My interest on racing begun after spent some childhood Sundays at Jarama, I started in karts, but after a big a crash (fortunately, nothing serious) my parents’ decision were clear: “Better play football like everybody”. Kart sold, end of a not very promising career.
My first F1 race was the 1972 Spanish GP. My dad was a member of the Organisational Committee (and the guy who built the half-tyre Firestone’s bridge at rampa Pegaso) and so I had the privilege to walk around the paddock at a tender age. Two years later, somebody introduced me to Sir Frank Williams, when he was the target of many cruel jokes around the paddock and he had to find sponsors on practice days for the race. He was very polite and loving, gave me a cap and some stuff, and so, definitely, I become a Williams fan against the logic (Ferrari, Lotus, McLaren…)
Later I’ve been involved in the press department doing quality jobs like make photocopies and give the time sheets to the press, under the hand of Javier del Arco (the best spanish F1 journalist ever) and doing some press jobs and PR until 1990.
In 1977 I was close to the “de Villota horror show all over Europe”, especially in Dijon, France, his highest point, and that was my first GP abroad (that one who Andretti pinched the victory to Wattie at the very last lap). So, I realised that becoming a F1 patriotic fan in Spain was like to be a bullfighting fan in Finland… until the Alonso’s impressive arrive.
In 1981, I met Nigel Mansell, after a short chat and a good laugh, he signed, with a nice dedicatory, an own photograph to my nanny (who was from Worcestershire like him) and, against the logic, I became Nige fan.
In 1986, working in advertising, I had the privilege to know Mr. Franco Gozzi, who invited me to met Maranello for the official tour, but the F1 ones were testing at Imola. Unforgettable feeling, three laps flat-out by a factory tester in a Testarossa at Fiorano. Interesting place Maranello, there was an fodder company advertising show all over the town, the logo was exactly like the Ferrari’s one, but change the pricing horse for a pricing and smiling pig.
I’ve attend, as well, some British GP and the Portuguese ones, and even a CART race at Homestead. Despite four of five, I’ve watched every Grand Prix on the telly, since the last three decades.
In my opinion, there’s two kind of F1 websites and forums: Atlas F1 and the rest. Simple as that.