See you all again Saturday 🙂
Love Ben & Sandra
© Ben & Sandra Hebbourn 2015
See you all again Saturday 🙂
Love Ben & Sandra
© Ben & Sandra Hebbourn 2015
Now I’ll hand over to Ben for the other side of the coin.
All things in life have there ups and downs and going away to a race is no exception.
To work and enjoy working within any motor sport environment I would say that you have to have a passion for the sport. This means that there is no place you would rather be than trackside contributing in some way toward a successful race.
However, when you have built a family at home there is no place you would rather be than home, making a success of your family.
This poses a paradox of life that has to be juggled and in many ways split in two. You could say that you have to lead a double life. Not in the sense that you become a different person but in the way that you live, socialise and work.
Motorsport is a committed working environment where, in most cases you have to get the job done whatever the cost. If this means staying up and working all night then thats what has to be done. Either that or your taking an early bath and that is not what you arrived at the circuit for.
Demands such as this means that you are often either at the circuit or in bed with not a lot of time in between for other activities such as eating for example. The team in which you work become a ‘remote’ family. You do everything together. Room sharing is common among many teams not just in F1 so even relaxing time is done with one member of the team.
This sounds and is in some ways very demanding on working relationships but in another way it is this bonding that makes a great team a great team. To share the good times and well as the bad is important but with all this going on you still have to consider the people you have left behind. They are the people that are on your mind everyday and taking time to communicate with them is also important especially when you have a baby that is changing every day. Thankfully modern technology allows you to not miss out entirely and you can take comfort in knowing that soon you will be on a plane home.
So having a family and working in F1 is a challenge that takes time and understanding on both sides to make successful. To find the right balance between two passions that can in a ‘normal’ world take up all your time is where the secret lies.
It may all sound quite a lot to take in and probably very different to what you expected, but its also the most amazing thing to be involved in too!!
love Ben & Sandra
Next post Saturday 9pm
get in touch with the subject you’d like to know more about.
For each team every race means that more than just a car and some drivers need to be go the circuit. F1 is sometimes referred to as ‘the circus’ and if you were to see all the trucks and cargo that is needed traveling down the road you could understand why. However, it is not just the road that see’s F1 goods. The air and sea also get a look in. For those races outside of Europe (fly aways) everything has to travel by plane and in some cases by boat.
Due to the distance of most ‘fly aways’ the logistics are, in some ways more simple as everything goes mainly by plane. The cars, the garage and all the equipment are loaded into purpose built freight crates and sent to the next circuit. A lot of non-essential items such as consumables etc are sent in advance by sea. This takes a lot of planning as you may well pack up more than one set of sea freight at once and send it off weeks maybe months in advance. Don’t forget anything because once in Japan for example you can’t ‘pop back’ and get it! For a European race however this is kind of possible for a lot of teams have dedicated vans that travel from the factory to the race to deliver last minute upgrades any time up until friday! Traveling team members are not safe from having to deliver items ‘hand luggage’ in extreme cases either.
The garage is made on a sunday or monday before the race by a few members of the support crew on the race team and once this has been done all the equipment, the car and the rest of the race team arrive to begin work. Often driving straight to the circuit from the airport. Every second counts!
On the other side of the paddock there is the hospitality units or as they are still referred to the Motorhomes although most do not look like a Winnebago these days!
These motorhomes are a home from home to the team members and a place where the media can do there work with the team and drivers on home turf as it where. A place where the team can show off their achievements and impress people with lots of money and help convince them they want their names on the car.
This means that everything has to be ready for action first thing Thursday morning. The beginning of a race weekend.
Typically he motorhomes begin construction from the saturday before the race which requires the personnel to travel on the friday by plane or where applicable by van. Germany, Belgium for example. Some teams have there own vans they keep all season and that requires a few team members to leave early and drive them to the location meeting at the hotel friday afternoon.
On a Sunday after the race has finished and the cars and garages have been packed away many team members will fly home but the motorhome crews must de-construct their motorhomes before they are finished. This can take up to two days of work meaning some teams are only home for one maybe two days between races as they have to travel on the friday to get to the next venue a week in advance and begin again. For a back to back race this means many days working with little if no sleep as what is done in five days before a race and two after has to be achieved in four, Sunday-Thursday.
For all team members, race, engineering, marketing, motorhome and truck drivers a large portion of there lives are taken up with airports, planes, driving trucks and hotels.
Each one of these people has to have a seat on a plane and a bed organised as well as there uniforms and suitcases. This requires a team of people who’s job it is to book all the flights and hotels and another team to distribute the uniforms. This is not only the race kit but the travel kit that is worn in between so we look like a team on and off the track.
There is also the team that make sure all the trucks are in good order, organise who is driving what truck and how it is going to get there. When they are going to leave and when they are going to arrive.
Although these people never leave the factory they are with out doubt the busiest, most organised and most important members of the logistics picture. They make sure your trousers fit, your shoes are right that you have a ticket to fly and can get you out of trouble when things go wrong at an airport for example. They make sure the trucks arrive on time and at the right place.
It is these people that are often overlooked when you think about the F1 circus. There is so many things that have to be considered and taken care of every day. Imagine packing up to go and see relatives 400 miles away and times it by 100. But imagine that your relatives move every other week and you have different members of your family arriving and leaving all the time.
The next time you go to a race maybe stay a little longer and look at the paddock and you will see the logistics in action and just what a circus it really is.
NEXT POST WILL BE TUESDAY 20TH JANUARY 9PM GMT
SUBJECT – HOW WE COMBINE LIFE IN F1 WITH NORMAL FAMILY LIFE.
See you all then
Ben & Sandra x
Now onto what you’re all really here for … the part that gets your internal engine roaring…that thing that makes you get up at silly o’clock on a freezing March morning…Racing!!!!
Ben has been with his team for 9 years now, in various roles and depts..spending 4 years racing and testing…now back on the team motorhome and its year round care.
The season starts soon but OUR season starts the beginning of May, till then we have testing at Jerez and Barcelona to talk about and as much as is possible the motorhome preparations and what generally happens in the off season to it and the preparations for the season ahead before going.
What we generally get up to in our spare time and our lifestyle when F1 is the dominating factor in everything we do.
When Ben goes to Barcelona, I will be spending the weekend at Brands Hatch with Ali Rushforth(@alirushforth) who’s been racing since just 9 years old. A very experienced Driver who’s been kind enough to welcome me on board and help me re-train from the skills I learnt in music to use them and learn new ones in the world of Motorsport.
Before meeting Ben i worked within the U.K music industry, dancing in music videos, film extra work and dabbled in music management with Leah Nicole (@leahangelnicole) which was an amazing few years meeting some amazing people and doing things I never thought i would ever have the opportunity to ever in my life.
I have a huge passion for Motorsports I hope Ali will teach me lots over this year and together with the rest of his team become a force to be reckoned with !!
I hope to keep you all informed and entertained with our antics over the season, I intend to add a video diary at some point, and document our individual season here and in Europe.
Get in touch,what do you want to know,what have you always though you would ask if you had the chance to, Ben is more than happy to answer as much as he can, he has several years of experience to share..
Lets have a Question & Answer for our next post..
Saturday January 17th at 9pm GMT
Send your questions to either of our twitters
@sandra_phoenix or @benjiani79
or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A very experienced driver & a great guy at fan interaction on twitter so go on give him a follow. Say ‘hi’ & that I sent you.
A few Stats ..(us race heads love stats)
MG Trophy 2012 -10th (missed 6/12 races)
Awarded “most Entertaining Driver’
MG Trophy 2013 -4th
2 pole positions,
MG Trophy 2014 – 14th (missed 6/12 due to mechanical issues)
I will fill you all in on more in my next post, Tuesday January13th 8pm GMT
Please get in touch, give feedback and more importantly say ‘hi’ to me, Ben & Ali on twitter
Here’s to a great season of racing.
LETS ALL GO RACING!!
Love Sandra & Ben