The team arrived at 8.00am where there were four lines of cars feeding slowly into the acres of car parks where they then headed to gate No 5 to meet the F1 in Schools Marketing Executive Katie Fabian and collect their winning tickets following winning the 11-14 age group of the “F1 in Schools” National Finals at the NEC. The Year 9 students (Joe Herring, Becky Best and Cheyenne Slater) tell their story in their own words:
“We were soon mixing with the crowds at the stalls, every team had their own stands selling merchandise, shirts, caps, jackets, flags and a lot more. At 10.30 we crossed the bridge over the track to the pits area. We had to have a special pass for this, and we received many envious looks, as we passed through the barrier. We were taken on a tour of the Williams pit area by the pit boss, we saw the cars being prepared for the race, stood on the pits lane looking down where soon cars would be surrounded by frantic teams of mechanics. Then we walked down the main avenue of hospitality suites and rows of brightly painted articulated lorries. The hospitality suites looked like permanent buildings but they would soon be packed into trucks and off to the next racing event.
We spotted drivers from many teams Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Robert Kubica and more. We saw Max Moseley step out of his trailer into a scrum of press reporters and photographers, all desperate for a crumb of information. We had our pictures taken with various celebrities and at the communications desk for the Williams team, then all too quickly the tour was over and we went back over the bridge.
Now it was time to find our seats at the Hangar Lane Grandstand. We were high up with a really good view. The warm up lap began and all the drivers came by, all trying to warm up their tyres. Then the race began and as all the cars hurtled by the air was full of the sound of screaming engines, we then understood why the man, two seats in front had his hood up and ear defenders on top of that!
The atmosphere was electric as we watched the display of raw power under absolute control. Each driver was trying to gain position without giving anything away to the driver behind. As the laps rolled on Sebastien Vettel pulled further and further ahead, after about ten laps he had almost the whole length of Hanger Straight on the car behind, all he had to do was keep going for a certain win. There was no-one to challenge him. There was a giant screen on the other side of the track, relaying the action from other parts of the track, there was a commentary as well but we could rarely hear it.
The race cars continued to howl past our stand, we took pictures of every team car, until Sebastien Vettel crossed the finish line at the head of the pack. It was all over for another year. The Red Arrows gave a brilliant display as-well as a solo display by a jet fighter. We had a fantastic day out and now it was time to head for home and dream of what might be in the future for ourselves!”.RICHARD ROSE CENTRAL ACADEMY’S FORMULA ONE TEAM PUT THE FINISHING TOUCHES TO THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN SEPTEMBER BY LEARNING FROM LEWIS HAMILTON HIMSELF!
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