Take a look inside the hugely complex and large world that is F1...
It’s easy to forget how much the watch industry impacts other established industries. Football is heavily connected thanks to brands like Hublot. Tennis has a range of brands represented including Seiko, Tissot, and Rolex. But it’s motorsports who take the number one spot. Brands such as Bell and Ross, Richard Mille, IWC, Rolex, Hublot, and Tag Heuer all have a presence and thrive off the association.
With this in mind last week, Ben and I found ourselves standing at the paddocks on the very first day of the Formula 1 testing with the pleasantly warm Barcelona sun beating down on us. If we were not enamoured by the cars, the environment and atmosphere would have made up for it. We found ourselves right between each team's hospitality suites and working garages, with all manner of people running around from team drivers, lead technicians, TV presenters and members of the press all with a task at hand. Think Baselworld but fewer watches, more engines.
I’ve been fortunate enough to experience some incredible cars being thrown around a track in recent years but this was actually my first experience of F1 cars not behind a television screen, and it was almost unexplainably incredible. The way these lightweight machines shift around a track is mind-bending. Calling them cars feels almost inaccurate, they closely replicate a jet more than something that is pinned down to the ground thanks to an immense amount of downforce, just 700kg in weight and right around 1,000 bhp.
The cars create such an atmosphere. The noise is simply deafening, the smell of Pirelli tires and roaring engines sitting at 11,000Day 1 at Barcelona Formula 1 F1 testing 2020 - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine RPM. It really is intoxicating.
Going down to the pits is a whole new experience in itself as well. It’s one thing seeing these vehicles, another thing hearing them, but leaning against the barrier taking a series of images just a couple of metres away from a multi-million-pound mechanical wonder thumping past you is like no other. And then you notice the feeling. The feeling of the car’s engine throughout your body. It was only then that Ben and myself felt closely connected to the drivers, endlessly wondering how they must be feeling with the 20-degree Spanish sun beating down on them.
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