Formula One and corporate are words often found in same sentence together. You see all the stickers on the sides of the car and enviously wonder whether the VIP guests are drinking the ten-year old red or white back in the hospitality suite.
Yesterday, I crossed over to the ‘dark side’ and took my first tentative steps in the corporate side of Formula One. It was a situation I never really expected to be in when I grew up watching the likes of Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve and Mika Hakkinen go head-to-head on a fortnightly basis.
I was the guest of Mobil 1 for the day on a tour of the McLaren Technology Centre, where we got to see the inner workings of one of F1’s most successful teams.
On a personal level as a lifelong F1 fan, it was awe-inspiring. Particular highlights included seeing the all-conquering 1988 car (which won 15 out of 16 races) and Hakkinen’s 1998 title winner. I can vaguely remember sobbing as a nine-year-old as Mika defeated my boyhood hero Michael Schumacher at Suzuka with that very car. To see it in the metal gave me the goosebumps.