Barcelona:Circuit De Catalunya Day 1.
Barcelona:Circuit De Catalunya Day 2.
Barcelona:Circuit De Catalunya Day 3.
Barcelona:Circuit De Catalunya Day 4.
© Ben & Sandra Hebbourn 2015
There are fewer things better in life than juicy fragrant pulled pork dripping in BBQ sauce stuffed into a small bap or slider if your of the american persuasion.
The process is very simple but does take an ounce of patience as the cooking time is over 5 hours. It is however well worth the wait.
With some homemade coleslaw on the side this is a summer classic or winter warming treat.
The cut of pork used is shoulder which is quite a cheap cut. Large amounts can be bought at a good price at the moment meaning you can divide it up and store in the freezer for another round of pulled pork another time. This recipe uses an unusual spice mix but i think that when mixed with BBQ sauce gives a different dynamic to the usual flavour.
Pork Shoulder; around 1.5kg
Moroccan Spice mix; 3tbsp
Pomegranate Molasses; 3tbsp
Preserved lemons; 4 slices
Salt; 1 tbsp
Some string for tying the meat.
1/3 White cabbage
1/4 Red cabbage
2 Carrot (grated)
1/2 an Onion
Juice of half a lemon
Set the oven to 220 degrees or Gas Mark 7.
Line a baking tray with enough foil to cover over the meat later.
Roll out the meat into the tray and pad dry with a piece of kitchen roll. Mix together all the ingredients into a bowl and then rub it all over the meat leaving around a third to use later. To get a better flavour you may want to do this the night before so the flavours really soak into the meat.
Roll the meat back up and tie off with some string. Place in the oven for 30 minutes.
Then turn the oven down to 150 degrees or Gas Mark 2. Cover the meat with the foil and roast for 5 hours.
After the 5 hours is up turn the oven back up to 220 or GM 7 and uncover the meat and blast it for a final 30 mins just to crisp it up. After this take it out, cover back over with the foil and let it rest for 20 – 30 mins.
While this is going on its time to make the coleslaw.
Finely shred the cabbage and onion and grate the carrot into a bowl. Sprinkle with salt to absorb some of the moisture and mix. Sprinkle a little more salt over it and let it stand for 10 mins.
Add mayonnaise and mix until the level of mayonnaise is to your liking. Then add some chopped parsley and the lemon juice and mix one more time. Done!
With a pair of forks shred the pork into a serving dish and add the rest of the spice mix. Stir it in and then enjoy in a bap with some BBQ sauce.
© Ben & Sandra Hebbourn 2015
Our most recent posts have mainly been Ben so today I am taking control and answering a very common question. How do I cope with Ben being away and do we mix with other families?
In order to honestly share how I feel about Ben’s job away playing racing cars with the lads half the year I need to explain how our relationship works as it’s different for everyone and some people would enjoy the time apart.
He really is the other half to me, any other person i’ve ever had a relationship with I could’ve coped with the time apart, just not Ben. He is my best friend, we never argue, we never get sick of each other, we’re that couple that could actually work together all day and go home and still find things to talk about, so it is like losing a part of myself when he goes away, I also feel like I lose any control over my own life & career.
I am not blessed with much family especially since my mum passed away last june 2 days after the baby was born, I literally have my best friend and one other to ask for any sort of help with anything This is something else to bear in mind, some may have a lot of family close by so are able to carry on normal life whereas I am not.
Much as Ben says do whatever I want to with my life he’ll support me whatever and we’ll find a way, physically this is impossible when he is away, my bestie has a full time job and my other help has two small ones herself so there are times I may want help but simply cannot have it, how can I go out to do a job on set days at set times of the week when from May till September every year that reliable back up disappears.
So from this point of view I feel like my life is on hold, I can’t do everything I want to as his work is the dominating force in our lives, he already has his career before we got together so I simply have to be the one sacrificing as I knew this was his life when i decided to enter into a relationship with him.
When it comes to mixing with other families, I have met other wives of Ben’s work colleagues, although the ones i’ve met had much older children than we have, more recently we’ve met other couples and families within Motorsport rather than F1 in particular that we’ve hit it off with, so there are some blossoming friendships growing there. I’ve not wanted to intrude on Ben’s friends within work as in the real world with any other job they are HIS friends not mine, but we do have a few meet ups planned in the next few months so I will meet a few more.
As we’ve said before you have to love the sport to work in it & I wholeheartedly believe now I have experience of it myself that it takes a special sort of person to be with someone who works within any kind of Motorsport
© Sandra & Ben Hebbourn 2015
Hello again,it’s been a while
The last week has been a busy time in the lives of Life In The Pit Lane. There has been a new car to collect (we made our own light hearted launch video which is on TPCO here : http://www.thepitcrewonline.net/life-in-the-pit-lane.html )
Also a teething baby that does not seem to understand the concept of sleep. This is good for a job in F1 but she is still a little young!
For these reasons todays blog is going to be a mash up of some of the questions and suggestions we have been sent via Twitter and the F1 Spy Facebook page.
What do we think of the new Mclaren MP4-30?
My first impressions of the MP4-30 were that it looks good. By that i mean two things. The first it looks sleek and fast. You know what they say, if it looks fast then it is fast!
The second is that it looks like cars that have been competitive in the previous season. You can see hints here and there of a certain silver car and a bovine based team. The latter is of no real surprise as there is a new designer in the drawing office.
As well as this there are parts that look like they have been well designed and this combines to make a tasty looking package. There doesn’t seem to be any areas of the car that look forgotten about. Like the area behind the side pods on the new red car for example or the larger rear area of the MP4-29.
After the first test i think that despite the limited running they did there are some very positives signs.
Although there were problems they all got fixed. It was not like the bovine team at that test the year before. Mclaren stayed for the 4 days and did not need to pack up early and go home to do some emergency re-designing.
I don’t think any team last year that started with the new power units had a smooth ride in that first test. To fix the issues and get out for even 70 laps or so is good. Especially considering the clash of cultures, the combination of McLaren and Honda systems and the aggressive design of the engine packaging.
When the car was on track it looked like there was some real power available. There is a BBC clip about the engine noise and Alonso is driving the chicane more like the Monte Carlo rally than a F1 test. I may be wrong but there is no way that the engine was at full power and to be doing that shows it has some serious power on tap.
Also the speed trap numbers are not that far off considering again that the engine is not at full power and the aero package has not been set up properly.
If the car goes out and starts putting some good lap totals under its belt in Barcelona i will be very encouraged indeed. So lets get to Barcelona quick. I can’t wait!!
What are Fernando and Jenson like?
Working in the same space as any F1 driver is a privilege that not many people get to experience. You get to see a small part of there preparation and general attitude before and after a race. Although there is not much face to face contact you do see them walking around and socialising and being the person behind the camera.
Jenson Button is a very nice, grounded and happy person. He has a good set-up in terms of consistent people around him and a great manager who is very approachable and has great sense of humour.
His general demeanour around the motorhome is positive and even after a bad result he can find a smile or have a giggle at the team press conference.
Fernando is somebody that i have not worked with much. I did have some experience of him in 2007 but this was very limited.
What i have seen is somebody who is quite private but has a sense of humour. This is all i can say about him really.
More about Logistics?
Re-branding. When a team has a new sponsor their maybe a colour scheme change to deal with. This was certainly the case with Williams last year when they took the iconic Martini Racing livery.
It is not only the car that has to be resprayed but everything involved needs to be re-vamped. The most obvious being the team kit. This will be tops, trousers, shoes, jumper and jacket at the very minimum. Most likely 4 or 5 tops and trousers each and maybe 2 jumpers and 1 of each of the rest. Shoes maybe refreshed mid season. That amount of clothing times 150 in different sizes is a lot of boxes! These have to be unpacked and complied for each team member.
Then there is the garage. This may mean that the current panels that are used to create the space are sent away or maybe a whole new set will be made. This has to be organised pre-season even before the first test maybe all whilst the new car is being built and made ready.
Other pieces of equipment that may have stickers on will have to be changed over and maybe even laptop covers and mouse matts will have to be swapped.
Then there is the motorhome side of things. The entire structure may have to be sent away for a re-spray and then all the furniture and anything inside that is in the old colour scheme will also have to be changed or re-sprayed. The sponsor may be a manufacture and they may want to have their products on display. New area’s and new items of furniture may have to be commissioned and made to the sponsors specification or they may send things to be built up.
If the sponsor makes laptops for example then all the laptops used by the team engineers will have to be swapped over. This will give the IT department a lot of work to do as each person will need there laptop seamlessly changed over.
A new sponsor doesn’t mean just money or a nice looking car. It means a lot of work for a few people in the team.
The Last Day……
After three days of testing the car at a relatively empty circuit we come to the fourth and final day. At this point there have undoubtedly been 4 long days and nights where you feel that you have done nothing else but work in the garage or lay in bed with the ratio of bed to work being heavily bias towards work.
The final day is the last day you will be working in the garage and you can look forward to having a few drinks in the bar later and you will, providing there is not another test straight after be going home the next day. But before you can enjoy that drink there is a lot to do.
As always there will be a plan for the day and just because it is the last day does not mean there is any less that needs to be tested but even though there is a full day ahead there are opportunities to save time in the evening to make sure you get to that bar or bed quicker. This does mean that your day may be even busier than it has been in the last few days but the results are worth it. This is achieved by ‘stealth packing’.
During runs which by the end of a test should hopefully be longer runs of 10 plus laps you can be packing away certain things that are not going to be needed in the evening as the car will be stripped and packed away. For example your tyres will be nearly all used up leaving a number of trollies, temperature control boxes and tyre blankets ready to be put back in there boxes.
Only items that are behind the scenes are touched. The front of house is left untouched so from the pit lane things look normal. In the paddock however the tail lifts on the trucks are down and flight cases are pilling up ready to be loaded.
As the final hours of the test draw close it has also been known for the garage bannering to begin disappearing leaving the rear of the garage completely open plan.
One important point to make is that you need to time what you are going to pack away with a good amount of accuracy if you are needed once the car returns to the pit box. You may for example be one of the fan guys that places a cooling fan in the brake ducting or the tyre man that has to come and take garage pressures etc. You do not want to be loading a flight case into a truck when your supposed to be in the garage!
As well as stealth packing there are other tasks a foot. All the spare parts and used parts for the test have to be sorted and packed. Unused parts may be staying in the truck as they will not be needed until the next test. Used parts must be identified as to what is going to happen to them for the next test. Every part that is made and used on the car has a ‘life’. This is how many kilometres it can safely run for before it is liable to break. Every part has been logged from the time it left the factory to the time it went on and came off the car. This data gives you a measurement of how long it has been used for. During any parts life there are scheduled check points much like your family car has service intervals. Some are minor like a visual check or others are more in depth and this means that it must return to the factory for deeper analysis. A few member of the team will be parts men and it is their job to make sure all parts are logged, tagged, wrapped in bubble wrap or bagged and sent to the right place. This may be in the trucks that are returning to the factory or if they are needed asap then in a van that night. These guys could be sorting well in excess of 100 different parts and when the paddock and garage are filling with boxes this can become a very complicated process. Add in the parts that come of the car as thats packed away and its even more demanding.
At the end of running and the car is pushed back to the garage for the last time the pack up the real begins.
The cars data is downloaded and fuel drained out as the car is prepared for a strip down. As the mechanics work on the car methodically removing parts, often helping the parts guys by cleaning and logging parts as they are removed the rest of the garage is taken down around them. The ‘overhead’ module being the last thing to come down as this holds air lines and power outlets and extra lighting. It is also directly over the car.
Rims and tyres have to be stripped by Pirelli then brought back to be cleaned and packed away. Gearboxes have to be stripped and all parts once again logged and packed as does the power unit.
At this point the garage can be a very hectic place where there are parts and boxes all over the place. Engineers are relegated to the floor or the trucks as any desks or tables are packed away.
Slowly but surely the chaos subsides. The car has been fully stripped, put on its loading frame and awaits loading. This frees everybody up to pack whats left. At this point the rate at which cases are loaded increases dramatically as nothing needs to be left out for the car.
After around 4 -5 hours on a good pack down the garage will be empty and all that left to do is have quick sweep of the floor. The team manager will give a quick debrief and give details on leave times from the hotel the next day etc.
The rush to the vans and the hotel now ensues and its your time. From personal experience i would say that its better to go back, have a shower and pack before you do anything else. You may want to lie down and if your plan is to go to bed than thats okay but if it is not then this can be a dangerous act and you may well fall asleep in your dirty sweaty team kit before you have done anything else and have to pack up franticly the morning of your departure.
This is a round up of the last day. If it is the start of winter testing you may have a few more tests to do and this routine will be repeated again. If it is the last test then there is a sense of relief and if your team has performed well on track a feeling of positive anticipation for the season ahead. The last test falls not long before the first race so some team members may not feel like they have had a break at all and the routine of flights, hotels and garages continues all the way through the year. These guys are dedicated and operate at a professional level so they can work at the same level all year. This is why any member of a F1 team has to be dedicated and have love for racing.
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
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