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Drivers- your personal experiences


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#1 zepunishment

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 17:32

What are your own personal experiences of drivers you've met? Have you ever bumped into a driver in unusual circumstances? Were they all they expected you to be, or did you think they were a complete $£%&^***?


To get the ball rolling, I worked in an airline call centre once and Antonio Pizzonia called wanting to change a flight. Came across as a friendly person, although he didn't have to be.

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#2 phil1993

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 17:42

No drivers but Ross Brawn came across as a very friendly and calm person.

#3 marcoferrari

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 17:44

A very interesting topic...

#4 paulrobs

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 18:30

I've been to the Goodwood Festival of Speed a lot over the past 15 years and we have met some drivers. Here are a few of our experiences.

Couldn't get close to Hamilton last year and my poor daughter, 15 at the time, nearly got trampled underneath the rush when he went from the paddock area to the house. He then came back and got into a McLaren SLR for the supercar run. He was signing autographs and started to walk away to get in the car when my daughter shouted his name out. He turned around, spotted her and walked all the way back and signed her programme and just made her day. Well done Lewis!

Another year Eddie Irvine was walking just in front of us and my wife called out "Eddie". He turned around and signed her programme and was very nice about it. Good looking swine too - imagine being minted and having driven for Ferrari and being good looking too, not fair really is it. Anyway after he'd gone my wife turned around and proudly claimed she'd just got Eddie Izzard's autograph....... :rotfl: Sorry Mr Irvine!

Last year (I think it was) I also spoke to Christian Horner outside the VIP area. He was obviously in a rush but when I called out to him he took the time to stop and shake my hand. I congratulated him on Vettel winning the previous race and the speed of his cars and the work of his team. I then said that I hoped Webber would also win a race soon too. He seemed genuine and very polite and I was chuffed that he took the time to speak to me. Blow me down if Webber didn't win the very next race - you'll have to excuse my memory if I'm not quite right on that. It was either the very next race or soon after that. I'm sure it was but I'd hate to get flamed. So I take some credit for Mark winning his first race!

I've watched all the drivers put on a show in all manner of cars up the hill but the two that really stood out were Colin McRae and Richard Burns. I recall how they were throwing their rally cars around, McRae in his Focus and Burns in his Impreza, with scarcely unbelievable skill and, in particular, the speed at which they both took the first 90 degree right hand corner was breathtaking and both were completely on the grass on the inside (fastest line apparently!). I never got to speak to them that year - sadly now when I think about it - because I really wanted to congratulate them both for putting on such a show.

I've met Johnny Herbert too. Really enthusiastic character and seemed very nice. He was just mixing with people in the paddock area.

I've also briefly spoken to the likes of John Watson and others from his era when they've all been waiting at the starting area just below the paddock. They all seemed relaxed and very very nice. It's a good weekend though and they don't have the pressures they'd normally have at other race meetings.

I've never met Nigel Mansell though. I'd have loved to have done because I was a big fan and followed his career from almost his first F1 race for Lotus. I know he wasn't everyone's cup of tea but personally I'd have liked to have met him. I've never felt quite as emotional watching the end of an F1 race as when he won the championship in 92. The reason for mentioning this is that I was so excited and happy when he won the WDC that about 30 minutes after the race finished I decided **** it I'm going to ring Williams GP up and congratulate them. The conversation went something like this:

"Hi, sorry to call you but I've just watched the race and I wanted to ring you guys up and congratulate you on the championship, well done!"

"Er sorry, the championship, sorry, oh yes, the drivers championship. Thank you"

I tell you I've never been as disappointed when talking to someone involved in F1 as I was then. That's why I'm never suprised when I hear people talk about Patrick Head and Frank Williams and their apparent disregard for their drivers (because none of them were Alan Jones....!). On my kid's lives, that is exactly what happened. Shame on you guys...



#5 Louis Siefert

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 18:33

Prost was very cordial for being alone at 11 p.m. on a Montreal sidestreet

#6 Andrew Hope

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 18:40

I've never met any drivers or even been to a GP, and I'm not that bothered if I ever meet any of them. Would love to go clubbing with Petrov and Sutil though, I'd look like Eddie Irvine alongside those two.

#7 Louis Siefert

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 18:44

I've never met any drivers or even been to a GP, and I'm not that bothered if I ever meet any of them. Would love to go clubbing with Petrov and Sutil though, I'd look like Eddie Irvine alongside those two.


are you saying that you possess a "rich douche" air about you?

#8 tze

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 18:56

What are your own personal experiences of drivers you've met? Have you ever bumped into a driver in unusual circumstances? Were they all they expected you to be, or did you think they were a complete $£%&^***?


To get the ball rolling, I worked in an airline call centre once and Antonio Pizzonia called wanting to change a flight. Came across as a friendly person, although he didn't have to be.



1.5 times actually...

1. 2000 Dec Mikka H down the steps of Monaco palace with his wife and pushing a pram. I was so shocked that all I could do as I walked pass was grin at him and given him a thumbs up!

2. 2006 After Aust GP qualifying on Saturday, walking out of Albert Park with my mate and I see JPMontoya in a burgandy S-Class driving. We hop on a tram and in Bourke St Mall and then see the same car, and we run after him but then he took off!

#9 inaki

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 19:35

Met with some:

1.- Montoya at Monaco GP 2005.- In McLaren boat in front of the swimming pool portion of the track. Not as warm guy as expected, some distant arrogance. He had a penalty for an incident during practice (with Ralf Schumacher i think) and was slightly pissed off.

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2.- Alonso at IndyGP 2001. Funny. Actually told me a joke.
3.- Allan McNish, VIP room of American Airlines (Admiral's club) in Miami, Florida. I recognized him, shaked hands and drank a beer together and we talked about 10 minutes. At that moment he was 3rd driver at Renault (2003 season)

We talked about various things:

- Ferrari problems with tyres (remember that there were 2 brands Bridgestone and Michelin)
- Told me that Briatore was an excellent team leader. Extremely intelligent. Big factor of Renault´s success. Straightforward and honest in giving its opinion and does not tolerate failure.
- Trulli was great when the whole car was perfectly setup and everything worked fine, but at the slightest derangement much their performance drops dramatically.
- His opinion about Kimi, Fisico, etc.

Alan pleasantly surprised me by its simplicity and how accessible was a great guy. He had to go to his plane and said goodbye. It was a great experience. Not every day you can chat openly with an F1 driver.



#10 T-Mobile

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 19:52

I met Mario Andretti recently at a Firestone tire event. I got there early before a crowd, so I was actually able to speak with him for a few minutes. Strangely enough, among all the people wanting to meet him, I was the only person talking about racing. Everybody seemed to be curious of what he thought about the weather.

Also, everyone seemed to forget he was a WDC, in the US they only remember his success at Indy. So I was able to get a discussion going about Formula 1. I mentioned the recent Canadian GP and he actually contributed to the conversation saying that he was in Canada and it was a "damn good race." I also briefly mentioned F1 coming back to the US for which he replied "It should have never left." So apparently he is still very interested in F1, and I told him that I would love to see his grandson Marco make the switch sometime soon.

Overall, a great guy. Very approachable, even though he was being paid to be there.

He also drove a pretty badass Corvette with the license plate "MA 500". :)

#11 rm111

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 20:28

I have seen a few drivers but am not the type to approach them or ask for autographs. But one time that sticks is when i was once at a car show standing by a woman who was trying to get people to sign up for some credit card, with some crappy little screwdriver sets as a free gift. She grabed a passer by who just so happend to be Robert Doornbos, who was in F1 at the time, and proceeded to go into her sales pitch while thrusting this screwdriver set at him, totaly unaware of who he was. In the complete opposite to me he politely listened to here pitch, smiling and nodding before graciously declining and continuing on his merry way.

#12 condor

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 20:53

I'm at Goodwood for the FoS and Revival most years. Nearly all drivers go out of their way to be friendly and approachable to the fans.
The main exception I found (last year FoS) was Mark Webber - whereas Lewis and Jenson were more than happy to sign autographs in the top paddock, for more than 15 mins after the F1 run, he just dissapeared into the drivers area.
It's not the first time he's been fan 'unfriendly' - and although he scores points for having his main base in Buckinghamshire - his attitude to others needs to be addressed.








#13 Bonaventura

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 20:54

Monza this year, I watched some drivers and team members arriving at their car park
I'm not an autograph- hunter, but had a few words with some of them (only, hello how are you, good luck etc).
Horner & Newey took some time for the son (7) of a friend of mine,
especially Horner was very friendly, and signed everything the little boy gave him
One of the nicest guys there was Sutil
very friendly , very patient, gave autographs let the people take photos with him


#14 JustinCider

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 21:08

I'd arranged to meet the world sport 250cc kart supersport champion to discuss redesigning his site back in 2003. He suggested we meet at the back of the Ferrari transporters at Silverstone during the lunch break of a testing session - coincidentally it was the very first time the ill fated MP4-18 made it's track debut in the hands of Raikkonen.

I duly headed over to the pits at about 12:45pm for my meeting. There were around 150 people hanging around the back of the Ferrari transporter - fervent Michael Shumacher fans who had paid for their day out to see their hero in action. It transpired they had arrived at about 7.30am, hung around the entrance at Silverstone to wait for their deity to serently drive past them in his black Maseratti. Instead of sitting down and enjoying a morning's testing from which only Sauber and Minardi were missing at the time, the fan club chose to miss the buzz and head directly to the pitlane and hang around for almost five hours to catch a glimpse of their hero. Approimately 1.15pm, Schumacher walked from the back of his garage to screaming cries of "Michael, Michael", only for him to completely ignore everyone and walk into his transporter. There was a massive look of despondency amongst the people who had gone to so much effort and expense to try and capture a few seconds talk time or an autograph from the reigning WDC. It didn't happen, and although i thought "silly ****'s", i genuinely felt for them, but i headed off for my meeting, irrespective. I was happy to find out that some time after Schumacher had ignored his worshippers, a member of the Ferrari team had picked up upon this, resulting in the man himself turning up and signing a few autographs.

Every other driver i met in the pitlane that day was perfectly accessible, funnily enough all barring Mark Webber, who i was reliably informed by a marshall at the time was "a bit of a diva".

#15 MightyMoose

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 21:18

Two stories from me, 1 is from my dad, basically backing up the positive comments about Allan McNish. His employers are personal sponsors of Allan and he is apparently brilliant, knowledgeable & enthusiastic. He has even persuaded the CEO of the company that motorsport sponsorship is a positive thing and this company will continue sponsoring Allan until he quits apparently.

When onsite at the company HQ he encountered a school class, who were most impressed to be given the opportunity to sit in the Audi R8 and get photos and 15 minutes with him, none of it pre-arranged and all done with good grace. Top bloke. :clap:

Not a top bloke is Stirling Moss who decided he was in such a hurry at the Motor Sport show he neglected to stop and check on the well being of the 6 year boy he'd just barged out of the way & flattened in his haste to escape the crowds. Had my Dad not been busy picking me up and dusting me down, I expect Mr Moss may have been flattened himself. In fact, my Dad introduced me to a new phrase at that time, "ignorant ****er" became popular on the playground on the Monday :lol:

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#16 Talking Point

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 21:23

Without trying to sound boastful I've met about 75% of all the living f1 drivers, usually on multiple occasions including all from the past 5 years or so.
Inevitably, some are more friendly/chatty than others, some have more time for fans than others, etc. So whilst I couldn't comment on all of them, the only one who really stands out as an ultra-arrogant tosser is Juan Pablo Montoya. Schumacher isn't very fan-friendly at all, but Montoya's in a league of his own for rudeness. :down:

#17 saudoso

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 21:24

-Had Ricardo Rossetti giving me a lift and scaring the s**t out of me in a MB C63 in the streets here in São Paulo.
-Seen Piquet father and son (then around 10 yo) walking the rocks on the coast line in Ilha Bela, here in Brazil.
-Been to Burti's anouncement party when he was hired by Jaguar. Have a pcture with him and a Jag mockup somewhere around.
-The best one, borrowed a paddock pass from a driver's family member for some 15 minutes in 2000. That was a thrill. Too many names to remember.

Edited by saudoso, 12 November 2010 - 21:28.


#18 ben0058

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 21:26

In the Buisness class lounge at Abu Dhabi airport (strait after the 2009 race), martin brundell sat down next to me and was
talking on the phone to his son Alex who was competing in gp2. never really had the chance to talk to him. but i did sit right
beside him if it means anything :S
Also sitting across from me in the lounge was about 9 members of torro-rosso engineers one of them spoke to me in italian
but i have no idea what he said sadly, i think he was inquiring about the race program i was reading but i dont know wish i
knew some italian.


#19 domhnall

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 21:32

I tried to say hello to jenson last weekend but sadly he drive off before I got to him.

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#20 JustinCider

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 21:34

I tried to say hello to jenson last weekend but sadly he drive off before I got to him.


You should have put his parking ticket on faster....lol

Only kidding mate !

:rotfl:

#21 ben0058

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 21:41

I'm at Goodwood for the FoS and Revival most years. Nearly all drivers go out of their way to be friendly and approachable to the fans.
The main exception I found (last year FoS) was Mark Webber - whereas Lewis and Jenson were more than happy to sign autographs in the top paddock, for more than 15 mins after the F1 run, he just dissapeared into the drivers area.
It's not the first time he's been fan 'unfriendly' - and although he scores points for having his main base in Buckinghamshire - his attitude to others needs to be addressed.


you need to remember that webber is 34 and Hamilton 25, webber been signing autographs in f1 for what 8-10 years. Hamilton 4 years max. webber just getting tired it happens ive heard story of webber spending alot of time to give autographs and talk to people even one story about a hotel bar were a fan asked for a chat and they talked for like 1 hour or somthing that would have been a good conversation alot of the young driver still have the energy to sign alot of autographs as you get older you get tired thats all.

#22 HAM

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 21:54

you need to remember that webber is 34 and Hamilton 25, webber been signing autographs in f1 for what 8-10 years. Hamilton 4 years max. webber just getting tired it happens ive heard story of webber spending alot of time to give autographs and talk to people even one story about a hotel bar were a fan asked for a chat and they talked for like 1 hour or somthing that would have been a good conversation alot of the young driver still have the energy to sign alot of autographs as you get older you get tired thats all.


Mark always acts arrogant towards fans. He just acts like he does the press interviews after he finished 2nd or lower, he sigh a lot. Maybe he feels fans and press should not ask too much. :p

#23 Talking Point

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 22:03

Mark always acts arrogant towards fans.

No, he doesn't. :well:

#24 scheivlak

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 22:14

you need to remember that webber is 34 and Hamilton 25, webber been signing autographs in f1 for what 8-10 years. Hamilton 4 years max. webber just getting tired it happens

Funny you don't say anything about Jenson who is longer in F1 than Mark.

#25 Crafty

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 22:22

you need to remember that webber is 34 and Hamilton 25, webber been signing autographs in f1 for what 8-10 years. Hamilton 4 years max. webber just getting tired it happens ive heard story of webber spending alot of time to give autographs and talk to people even one story about a hotel bar were a fan asked for a chat and they talked for like 1 hour or somthing that would have been a good conversation alot of the young driver still have the energy to sign alot of autographs as you get older you get tired thats all.


So just because the guy has been driving in F1 for a while it gives him the right to act like an ass ? :rolleyes:

#26 rm111

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 22:28

I tried to say hello to jenson last weekend but sadly he drive off before I got to him.

It wasnt in a Brazilian shantytown was it? :lol:

#27 BarryJohnson

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 22:29

I asked James Hunt for his autograph when he was deep in conversation with JJ Lehto who was in F3 at the time.

Hunt had obviously been retired for a long time and simply suggested it should Lehto's autograph I should be asking

for.Contrary to all the stories you hear he was charming as was Lehto who signed and wrote The Finn in brackets after his name.

#28 gerry nassar

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 22:39

I tried to say hello to jenson last weekend but sadly he drive off before I got to him.


:up: :lol:

I agree about Montoya. Bit arrogant. Approached him in the paddock in Melbourne 04 and he looked up at my hat (Kimi Mclaren hat) and then walked away. Must have predicted his fate in F1 there and then :p Trulli, DaMatta, Wilson, Ralf Schu have all been friendly enough.

#29 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 22:40

I tried to say hello to jenson last weekend but sadly he drive off before I got to him.

The machine gun probably wasn't the best thing to try to attract his attention with ...

I've been standing in Croydon High Street waiting for Lewis. I seem to be growing roots.

Edited by Vitesse2, 12 November 2010 - 22:40.


#30 engel

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 22:52

I came across a number of people from Croydon the other day, they were all mad at Lewis Hamilton for some reason. I m afraid I didn't really understand why, but I gather he did something very arrogant and dissed Croydon

#31 Radoye

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 23:05

Sato Takuma-san was quite friendly when i met him once...

#32 jj2728

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 00:22

I'll mention just a few of the many I have met thru the years, and they have all been gentlemen..... Clark, Rene Dreyfus, Graham Hill, Surtees, Mario Andretti, Senna, Amon......and on and on...

Edited by jj2728, 13 November 2010 - 15:37.


#33 F575 GTC

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 00:38

I've met quite a few drivers from the other series of racing - FIA GT, LMS, BTCC etc; and the only one that i've ever found to be a bit aloof and a bit of a tool was Jason Plato; this was back in the Renault days though. Two others that spring to mind for the opposite reasons are Matt Neal and Ben Collins; think me and a friend ended up talking to Matt for about an hour at the Media day at Donington a few years back, proper gentlemen. :up:

For the record though, i've always thought that motorbike riders are way more pleasent and talkative; certainly all the guys in the British Superbikes are alot more friendly and chatty than those in say, BTCC.

#34 jez33

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 00:41

I met Anthony Hamilton in the airport security line in Frankfurt after the Hockenheim race a couple of years back. Really friendly and down to earth guy. We chatted briefly about Lewis' victory, which incidentally neither of us caught as we were rushing to catch the flight out. He told me he gets genuinely stressed when Lewis is leading a race.

Would love to meet Lewis in person. He always seems genuinely happy to meet the fans and always shows great enthusiasm when waving to the fans on the pre-race drivers parade.

#35 chrisblades85

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 00:46

I've seen a few drivers after the race at Silverstone a few years back. I spoke to a few team members about stuff. Left the drivers as they were getting too much hassle. Met Alonso after Spain had won the World Cup. He seemed like they had lost it rather than won it. I know he had a bad race and all that. But he looked liked he wanted to cry.

As for some drivers avoiding people. After seeing what some "fans" do just to get an autograph, I don't blame them. Seeing middle aged fat men and woman run up to them and nearly knock them over is embarrassing. And sad.

Edited by chrisblades85, 13 November 2010 - 00:48.


#36 DILLIGAF

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 00:47

Every other driver i met in the pitlane that day was perfectly accessible, funnily enough all barring Mark Webber, who i was reliably informed by a marshall at the time was "a bit of a diva".


Not a very reliable marshall you have there imo. I've been fortunate enough to meet a few drivers over the years & Webber is far from a diva imo. Of the 5 or 6 times myself or my children have had the chance to talk with him, only once did he say "can't talk, gotta go". Mostly friendly & obliging every other time imho.

One other driver i met this year who i thought would be a diva was Hamilton. But he was very friendly & is a geniunely likable lad. :up: So much so that my son has gone from hating Lewis to being a bloody fanboy. It's a disgrace i tell ya, a bloody disgrace!! :( But he's my son, i can't disown the boy & kick him out, he's only an 11yo. :kiss:

#37 Lennat

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 00:58

- His opinion about Kimi, Fisico, etc.


Tell us more, please! :)

#38 Dan333SP

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 01:59

I've had a few encounters, all of them pleasant. My first GP was Montreal 1999 (been each year since), and on my flight the next morning back to Miami I noticed that Rubens was sitting in first class as I boarded, probably flying through Miami on his way back to Brazil. I nodded to him and said something about his race, which ended in a DNF IIRC, and he thanked me for the good wishes. Seemed very polite and warm. I've met many F1 refugees on the grid of American Le Mans races here in the US, as they all stand with their cars and talk to fans during the open grid time before each race. Of those drivers, McNish is absolutely the best. Very intelligent, very talkative, and very approachable (his diminutive stature certainly helps there). The best encounter I've had was this past year in Montreal. My mom always makes the pilgrimage to the GP with me, and we were having dinner together in a nice restaurant on the evening after the race. Halfway through the meal, she spotted Jackie Stewart coming into the restaurant with a few people. He sat at a nearby table and my mom was almost hyperventilating because she grew up watching F1 in the 1960s idolizing JYS and Clark. I didn't want to interrupt his meal, but she decided she wanted to buy him a bottle of wine, so she found his waiter and quietly asked him to tell Jackie that their next bottle was on us. When the waiter brought the bottle, Jackie actually stood up and came over to us to thank us. Such a gentleman! He spoke to us for a couple minutes and my mom, who is just a bit younger than him, was completely charmed. Very nice guy. My mom gave him her card, and to her surprise a week later she received a signed 8x10 picture in the mail of Jackie's 1973 Tyrell sliding around the swimming pool in Monaco, along with a signed letter thanking her for the "generous gift". Classy! They don't make them like that any more...

#39 DILLIGAF

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 02:05

I've had a few encounters, all of them pleasant. My first GP was Montreal 1999 (been each year since), and on my flight the next morning back to Miami I noticed that Rubens was sitting in first class as I boarded, probably flying through Miami on his way back to Brazil. I nodded to him and said something about his race, which ended in a DNF IIRC, and he thanked me for the good wishes. Seemed very polite and warm. I've met many F1 refugees on the grid of American Le Mans races here in the US, as they all stand with their cars and talk to fans during the open grid time before each race. Of those drivers, McNish is absolutely the best. Very intelligent, very talkative, and very approachable (his diminutive stature certainly helps there). The best encounter I've had was this past year in Montreal. My mom always makes the pilgrimage to the GP with me, and we were having dinner together in a nice restaurant on the evening after the race. Halfway through the meal, she spotted Jackie Stewart coming into the restaurant with a few people. He sat at a nearby table and my mom was almost hyperventilating because she grew up watching F1 in the 1960s idolizing JYS and Clark. I didn't want to interrupt his meal, but she decided she wanted to buy him a bottle of wine, so she found his waiter and quietly asked him to tell Jackie that their next bottle was on us. When the waiter brought the bottle, Jackie actually stood up and came over to us to thank us. Such a gentleman! He spoke to us for a couple minutes and my mom, who is just a bit younger than him, was completely charmed. Very nice guy. My mom gave him her card, and to her surprise a week later she received a signed 8x10 picture in the mail of Jackie's 1973 Tyrell sliding around the swimming pool in Monaco, along with a signed letter thanking her for the "generous gift". Classy! They don't make them like that any more...


Great story Dan. :up: Sir Jackie is all class.

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#40 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 02:19

Many years ago I was flying out of Adelaide Airport when I saw entertainer and sometime movie star Barry Crocker being asked for autographs. While that was happening Jack Brabham neatly bypassed the skirmish and got onto his plane with nobody paying any attention. As I walked out of Melbourne terminal I saw him again being picked up in the cab zone by somebody in a late model Benz.
Never met him but have been on the same plane!! Though I saw him a few times being a spectator in the pits at the Adelaide GP.

I almost got run over by Alan Jones coming back into the Mallala pits during a ATCC round. I wasnt watching where I was walking and I dont think he was stopping!!

#41 OssieFan

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 04:57

I managed to talk to Murray Walker at Bathurst in 1997. My Dad said he'd spotted him near the grandstand so I rushed down. I plucked up the courage to ask him how the race would go and he predicted right that the BMW's would win.

I have a couple of other autographs although have never been able to have a chat with any drivers.

#42 wepmob2000

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 05:20

I briefly met Mario Andretti three years ago, he was exiting a gents toilets when he was ambushed by some obvious professional autograph hunters..... they both had literally dozens of pictures for him to sign (which were all probably on Ebay the next day). Despite this, he had the good grace to sign everything but seemed pleased to meet a couple of starstruck fans (me and my mate) who merely had a programme each to sign(!)

Also met Martin Brundle and son Alex, who were both very approachable and friendly, Martin was looking forward to flying out to Monaco a couple of days after to cover the race.

I've also been fortunate enough to meet Tony Brooks - a really nice guy who exudes the class you might expect from him. It was interesting to hear how he really regards Alain Prost as the most underrated F1 Champion, and how he admired Prost's on-track sportsmanship.

FWIW, I'd love to meet Sir Jackie Stewart, he embodies so many qualities which are worth aspiring to, the same could be said of Damon Hill.

Edited by wepmob2000, 13 November 2010 - 05:36.


#43 Mary Popsins

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 05:48

Met with some:

../..

2.- Alonso at IndyGP 2001. Funny. Actually told me a joke.



"I feel that my Minardi has a great potential"..?

#44 solochamp07

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 05:57

Years ago I was employed as a part time news and sports cameraman and got a brief gig working in the F1 paddock.

So there I was, Magny-cours I think it was, shooting Bernie as he went into the Ferrari trailer with a suitcase (full of cash, no doubt), when out of nowhere along comes Montoya and walks head first into my camera. I tried to apologize but he was already in a full lather, calling me a f**kin' idiot and ranting that I broke his head. I was ready to go a few rounds with the shrimp but luckily for him his wife stepped between us and saved his arse, then a couple of the Williams boys dragged him away crying like the little baby he is. What a tw*t! Then, Ralf and Trulli come over and say I'm a f**kin hero and how come I clocked him only one time? Bloody camera never worked properly again...












ps.;)

#45 kanishkl

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 06:17

Got the opportunity to meet quite a few of the drivers at Amber Lounge, Singapore GP 2008:

Jenson & Ross (at the time Honda): Both very extremely polite. Told Jenson I wanted him back fighting at the front, and he replied saying that if he isn't he'll kill himself. Ross was very different to my expectations of him and I was truly surprised by how polite he is. Jenson was WDC the very next year :)

Mark Webber: Awesome guy. Tried spinning, and then came back on the dance floor to chill out with Coulthard. Kept passing by him throughout the night and he would always acknowledge me whenever I did. Did shake his hand and wish him all the best to which he was also very receptive.

Kubica: Seems like a pretty humorous guy. Asked him if I could take a photo with him and he said no... it wasn't done in bad taste though, he just genuinely seems like he hates photos. He was more than happy to shake hands and exchange a few words

Trulli: Kept to himself, wouldn't talk to anyone.. a bit surprising really

Rosberg: He was there with his GF and a couple of his friends who had flown down. Really nice guy who loves to party.

Kimi: One of the only drivers to have an area blocked off for him. Was there with another guy and 2 girls. Was having a cigg.

Tony Fernandes: One of the most humble people I have ever met. Would talk to the security guards at the hotel, crack jokes and really has no airs. Whatever happens, will always have a soft spot for his team :up:

Martin Whitmarsh: Very impressive man to meet. Confident and genuine.

Edited by kanishkl, 13 November 2010 - 06:18.


#46 Murl

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 06:27

Great thread :up:

#47 Craven Morehead

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 06:39

I've had a few encounters, all of them pleasant. My first GP was Montreal 1999 (been each year since), and on my flight the next morning back to Miami I noticed that Rubens was sitting in first class as I boarded, probably flying through Miami on his way back to Brazil. I nodded to him and said something about his race, which ended in a DNF IIRC, and he thanked me for the good wishes. Seemed very polite and warm. I've met many F1 refugees on the grid of American Le Mans races here in the US, as they all stand with their cars and talk to fans during the open grid time before each race. Of those drivers, McNish is absolutely the best. Very intelligent, very talkative, and very approachable (his diminutive stature certainly helps there). The best encounter I've had was this past year in Montreal. My mom always makes the pilgrimage to the GP with me, and we were having dinner together in a nice restaurant on the evening after the race. Halfway through the meal, she spotted Jackie Stewart coming into the restaurant with a few people. He sat at a nearby table and my mom was almost hyperventilating because she grew up watching F1 in the 1960s idolizing JYS and Clark. I didn't want to interrupt his meal, but she decided she wanted to buy him a bottle of wine, so she found his waiter and quietly asked him to tell Jackie that their next bottle was on us. When the waiter brought the bottle, Jackie actually stood up and came over to us to thank us. Such a gentleman! He spoke to us for a couple minutes and my mom, who is just a bit younger than him, was completely charmed. Very nice guy. My mom gave him her card, and to her surprise a week later she received a signed 8x10 picture in the mail of Jackie's 1973 Tyrell sliding around the swimming pool in Monaco, along with a signed letter thanking her for the "generous gift". Classy! They don't make them like that any more...


that is fantastic :up: :up: Ya just gotta luv JYS. And good on yer mum!

#48 vivafroilan!

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 07:39

When I was a teen I met Al Unser briefly in the orthodontist's office. A perfect gentleman, he introduced my mom and I to his son, who was about 10 or 11 then (that'd be 6 Indy 500 wins right there at the reception desk!).

A friend of mine somehow qualified for one of the first Superbowls of Motocross in the L.A. Coliseum, so I went along as his mechanic. During practice I was standing up top in the pits with my head up my ass just surveying the action below, when Bob Hannah came flying into his pit and (true truth) ran into me with such consummate skill that his front wheel and handlebars very cleanly and efficiently catapulted me out of his pit without it hurting at all. I was very impressed by that, and didn't stand there again!

The best, though, was Don Garlits. He had one of the Swamp Rats on display in an Albuquerque mall when we just happened to be there. When my mom (who hadn't known who he was though I was almost wetting my pants with awe) asked if her kids (my sister about 8 and me about 12) could have his autograph he completely stopped what he was doing though he was obviously very busy, rooted around in his truck for 2 very nice 8x10 photos, signed these, then sat and talked with us for 5 or 10 minutes, asking my sister and I about our lives, school, etc., then shook our hands, having remembered our names, and we walked away from there really feeling like we mattered. That man embodies class.

Edited by vivafroilan!, 13 November 2010 - 07:41.


#49 alfa1

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 08:21

While that was happening Jack Brabham neatly bypassed the skirmish and got onto his plane with nobody paying any attention.



That was my experience too.
At the Melbourne GP a few years back (2002), Sir Jack was to do an autograph signing because he'd been honored with a set of postage stamps with his image (and car) on them.
http://www.sossi.org...ers/brabham.htm
Apart from myself, nobody else recognized or cared about the anonymous old man who walked out of the Grand Prix Paddock Club towards the autograph signing area.
Chatted to him for a few minutes, got an autograph.
:)

Walking back to my seat, so I could brag to my friends about this wonderful autograph, I almost literally bumped into Alan Jones. Got his autograph too!

:) :)

Alan Jones mentioned that JYS would be coming along soon, so I waited another minute or two... but dammit my pen didnt work! A tiny little scratched dot is all
I have to show of three world champions on the back of my ticket holder.


Edited by alfa1, 13 November 2010 - 08:25.


#50 grandmastashi

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 08:27

I've met quite a few of the drivers and have to say I've found the vast majority to be happy to chat, sign autographs and be extremely generous with their time. The most surprising of all for me has to be Ralf Schumacher; met him at a test at Silverstone in 2004 and he was entirely different to the persona the media had painted for him. He greeted the fans standing outside the Williams motorhome warmly, came over to chat for ten minutes and describe his recovery from his Indianapolis accident. I was very impressed by him.

At the same test I'm sorry to say Kimi Raikkonen was less impressive. Two children who can't have been older than 10 were stood outside his motorhome patiently waiting for him, both wearing Mclaren caps and Kimi t-shirts. They'd obviously been there a while, so I hung back and waited to see if he'd emerge. After about 10 minutes he appeared, came down the steps and barged past the two kids nearly knocking them over, completely ignored them' didn't apologise then stepped into a waiting Mercedes and sped off. If this had been during the middle of the day with a program still to run I could maybe understand him being busy, but he was in civvies and heading off... I just remember thinking well done on losing two fans Kimi :rolleyes:

Just a couple of other mentions, went to the disastrous Champ Car race at Rockingham in 2001, when nothing happened for two days because of the rain. Because of the lack of running, the organisers eventually relented on the Saturday and let the fans into the pits. After collecting some autographs we were heading back to the tent, went my Dad spotted Paul Newman heading to his helicopter. Being a spritely 18 year old, I sprinted after to him and politely said 'excuse me Mr Newman', he stopped, turned around and said: 'kid f*** off, I'm on vacation...'. Never meet your heroes, you'll only be disappointed!

Also special mention to Tommy Erdos, possibly the nicest man in motorsport. Worked at RML for a couple of seasons a few years back and the guy is a class act.