Formula 1 fan, Richard Drew was at the recent testing in Barcelona with Caterham F1 and had, by all accounts, the time of his life.  We had a chat with him when we saw him in the paddock looking for lunch and he’s sent us this ‘postcard’ from his time in Barcelona.  Another example of just how fan-centric the Caterham outfit are – good work folks.  Read on to learn about Richard’s experience…

Richard-and-heikki

“Over the last 10 years, I have passionately watched F1 with my family every race weekend. But over the last 2 years, motor racing has grown into more of an addiction for me. When I saw Caterham F1 were offering 10 lucky people the chance to go to the Barcelona F1 testing, I just couldn’t refuse the opportunity. After a few emails back and forth with their marketing manager, I was set to go to Spain.

The morning of the 22nd of February started off well. First of all, it was my 23rd birthday. But secondly, I opened my track side hotel window to hear the screaming engines of F1 cars no more than 100 meters away. Breakfast was rushed as you can imagine, and after hurriedly packing up my belongings I met Cyril, the Caterham F1 marketing manager. From then on the day really just got better and better.

Being treated to a 5 star breakfast, my second and best of the day, in the Caterham motor home was great. What made it even better were the three beautiful waitresses serving with a smile. Meeting Heiki and chatting about the upcoming season was fantastic. After discussing his favorite track, Suzuka, and giving him a bit of banter about golf, we all had photos and autographs of the star man himself. As much as the drivers look like superheroes from the outside, they really are just down to earth guys with an amazing talent for driving.

For the next few hours we were spoilt rotten. We all stood in the Caterham F1 garage literally meters from the new car. The mechanics and staff were chatty, talking to me about the new car and forthcoming seasons expectations. All the other teams chose to do controlled burnouts right outside the garage we were in, making for brilliant photo opportunities. After a visit and guided tour around the Pirelli tyres area, the day was drawing to a premature close.

But…there was one final twist to the day. There was a competition between all of the lucky guests where we had to answer a few F1 related questions. Somehow, I won! I was presented with the prize of a part off last years Caterham F1 car. This was an air vein made of carbon fibre that was attached under the nose of the car, signed by both drivers. Getting this back in hand luggage proved slightly difficult, but after arguing at the airport that it was “a piece of racing history” and not a weapon, I was granted my way back to England.

A short trip I will never forget, and the best birthday present any F1 fan could ask for. Thank you Caterham F1 for your hospitality. A top group of professionals.”