Over the weekend, I had two very different experiences of meeting people I’d never thought I’d get the chance to see in the flesh.
Both are part of the Formula One community and have massively important roles in the port, but when it comes to recognition, they’re in a different league.
When I was growing up, I always fancied the idea of being part of the F1 circus, following the world’s most glamorous sport around the world. The guys I thought had one of the best jobs (asides from the drivers) were the mechanics in the pit lane.
These guys are the real unsung heroes, I thought, working hard on the car for three days every other weekend and then basking in the team’s success in some exotic locations for the rest of the time. In truth, I’ve know this wasn’t the case for a very long time, but to hear just what the reality was like has rubbed off even more of the glamour for me.
I had a chance meeting with the man who operates the wheel changing gun on the front right wheel for Ferrari (one of the longest job titles in the world), although I didn’t catch his name. Expecting to hear stories of how the job was filled with glamour and success, instead it was more about faceless hotels, characterless airports and generic pit garages.