Prema; A Token Of Gratitude.

I sing their praises on a weekly basis so it’s time I put into proper words my gratitude for them.

Dear Prema,

Yes. It’s me again. That one that tweets you every week and tries to one up your GIF game.

I’ve supported you since the start of 2016 when you came into GP2 as the rookie team. Only two small season but what seasons they have been!

I’d only just started watching and you had Pierre so you were the natural choice to support. I’ve always loved the underdog and that was how I saw you. The newbies and the rookies with a rookie of Antonio but, boy, did you make me proud to support you.

You’ve nurtured so many talents. It’s obvious how amazing you are as a team by the number of your past drivers now gracing the F1 grid or tipped for future seats. 5 drivers, a quarter of the grid have previously graced your seats through many different formulas.

You filled my weekends with joy and sometimes tears.

Not for one second did I think that I would end up dedicating most of my weekends to cheering you on. It’s been years since I cried over a team. Congratulations, you ousted Ferrari from that spot.

Baku was the moment I knew you were the team for me. The rookie team, the rookie driver. 2 wins and a storming drive from the back. You screamed, you celebrated, you looked on Antonio in wonder and you weren’t alone in that. In spirit, I was with you. I screamed, I celebrated, I was dumbfounded by what I had just witnessed. I couldn’t believe my eyes and couldn’t work out why I was crying over this man and team I had only watched for 3 races.

I still remember the bruises on my legs and strange looks after your 1-2 victory in Silverstone last year. I couldn’t contain my joy and, next thing I knew, I was falling into the row in front, still cheering.


Pierre and Antonio showed us what you could do, how you could get the very best from your drivers. All you need was the right team dynamic, people who will be with you all the way. It was difficult, I’ll admit, to watch them fight so hard on track. I struggled to decide who was my favourite *Antonio won that battle* but I wanted them both to succeed so badly. And to see them standing on that podium race after race, week after week filled me with joy I honestly didn’t believe I could get from racing.

You included us in your little games and your team rituals. Cake to the face on your birthday, no one was safe, no matter your role in the team. Your driver quizzes and games. You all looked so happy together every weekend, it was a rarity to see a glum face.

I’d never seen a team work so well together and be so supportive. You were and still are a family unit, you know how to pick your drivers up after a bad result and you know how best to celebrate *with lots of hugs and champagne obviously*.

Not once have I heard a complaint, only apologies after a bad results. Charles’ deepest apologies in Monaco to a team he obviously held so dear to his heart brought a tear to my eyes. Hey, I think I may have deafened a few fans around me screaming from Rocher after his car troubles and I had to take a minute to stop myself from crying in front of them even though I knew they were probably feeling the same as me.

charlescharles 3

It’s strange to admit this. That one team is the reason I get up ridiculously early, that one team is the reason I fell, head over heels, in love with a sport like GP2/F2. I can’t thank you enough for the memories and the joy watching you has brought me over the past 2 seasons.

Grazie mille, congratulazioni e buono fortuna per il prossimo ano.






Racing Around The World – MotoGP Edition


F1 wasn’t enough, I had to do a MotoGP version too!

Different sport, different circuit list. I didn’t want to include the same circuits and end up repeating myself, trying to make it seem like it was all new information when really, it’s just me going ‘the fast things on track have 2 less wheels but the circuit and area are the same’.

I struggled to decide which I would rather for some of these circuits and did receive a lot of tweets about why I hadn’t included a few.

The likes of COTA and Sepang are ones I want to do for both MotoGP and F1 but, because of Marquez’s dominance at COTA and Sepang not showing any signs of vacating its spot on the MotoGP calendar, they’ve been firmly placed on this list.

Losail International Circuit – Qatar

Credit: Red Bull
Credit: Red Bull

Once again, the season opener is always going to be a special one and kicking off the season with a night race is one hell of a way to do it.

The atmosphere of a night race is something else. Could it be because instead of sleeping, you’re screaming on your favourite? Maybe. Could it be the contrast between the fading light of the day with the floodlit circuit? Who knows! But there is some magic about twilight/night races.

Qatar is desert. There’s no two ways around it, no beating around the bush. There is sand left, right and centre but does that mean it’s boring? DOES IT HELL!

Sand boarding. Desert tours *naturally*. Markets. Museums. Beaches *if you like your sand with some water*. Boat tours. The Pearl *think Monaco but more expensive, more lavished and more humid*

And with Dubai and Bahrain just around the corner, there are masses to see and do.


Credit: F1 Madness

As a Marquez fan and someone who lives on Twitter, COTA is an obvious choice of destination. *If you don’t follow COTA on Twitter, you are seriously missing out*

COTA’s website states that T1 is their most striking with a 133 foot climb and blind left turn whilst the remaining 19 turns being inspired by classic racing circuits from around the globe. What’s not to love really? A combination of the best turns from around the worlds along with their own iconic addition.

Away from the track, Austin is an energetic, nonstop city that offers a rang of activities. From historic national parks and museums to a massive selection of bars and clubs offering music for every taste. There is something for everyone to enjoy. Sampling the many bars and restaurants would be high on my list of things to do. Burger joints, come at me!

Jerez/Catalunya/Aragon/Tormo  – Spain

With a whopping 26 Spanish riders on the grid from Moto3 to MotoGP and 4 races, any Spanish race is guaranteed to be an event to remember with an infectious atmosphere.

The likes of Jerez and Aragon offer picturesque landscapes, perfect for all you like hungry Insta fiends *including myself in that btw*.

The Motorland circuit in Aragon has a 50m different between the highest and lowest points with roller coaster style ups and downs that keep riders on their toes.

The region of Aragon, however, has a more laid back vibe than some of the other with quieter areas of the region being almost deserted but with a strong culture that allows you to experience the area at your own pace without being swept up in the crowds and plenty of history to get you interested.

Credit: Asphalt and Rubber

The Jerez circuit has a combination of low, medium and fast corners, giving riders and fans a taste of everything along with its 13 lovely curves.

Jerez itself the home of Flamenco so, from the off, you’re in for a colourful trip. Offering both picturesque country and coastlines views. Plus, Jerez is the home of Sherry so enjoy the views, the racing and the sherry *responsibly*

Credit: Circuito de Jerez

Catalunya or Catalonia. Well, Catalunya is the home venue for the 6 MotoGP guys so OBVIOUSLY it’s on the list *casual visit to see the future in-laws, I’m looking at you, Marquez family*.

The circuit has 5 turns that are known for their chances to overtake with turn 1 being the most popular and looooooong straights which gives fans a fair opportunity to see their favourites.

Architecture is a huge part of region especially with Barcelona with capital, with a mixture of gothic, romanesque and modern, the city is of a little bit of everything. The little towns, forests, mountains and beaches of the region offer you a chance to explore or relax and recoup from a busy weekend of racing. There is a little of everything for everyone.


Tormo, Valencia is the season closer so, once again, it’s a special one. Tormo’s main straight is a grand total of 876 meters long giving fans the chance to see their favourite riders battling from the off.

Valencia is full to the brim with culture of many varieties, giving you a chance to experience a little of everything; food, architecture, art, music etc so you can indulge in whatever you fancy post race *I would be indulging in pasta and any other food*. Also, with it being the season closer, Valencia’s nightlife becomes extra amazing, as celebrating *or commiserating* fans drink and dance the night away into the wee hours.

Credit: Valencia City Guide

Valencia is my number one choice. The season ended and it being Spain, I wouldn’t want to miss that.

Autodromo del Mugello/Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli – Italy

22 Italians on the grid from Moto3 to MotoGP. The current championship leader, Andrea ‘The Professor’ Dovizioso and the G.O.A.T, Valentino ‘The Doctor’ Rossi. You can imagine the atmosphere, the passion at these two circuits for their kin, it was impossible to choose which I would rather experience.

Autodromo del Mugello is nestled in the hills of Tuscany where thousands of yellow clad Rossi fans make the pilgrimage to worship at the altar of Rossi.

Mugello and Tuscany offer more than just hillsides of fluorescent yellow, there’s also the hundreds of routes through the region via foot, bicycle motorcycle or car. The routes can take you through woodlands, villages and vineyards, showing you the rustic side of Italy. The likes of Pissa and Florence are only a stone’s throw away so, if exploring is your thing *it’s mine* then it’s definitely the place to go.

Credit: Trip Advisor

World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, Misano secured its place on the MotoGP  calendar in a decade ago after a complete and thorough remodel. The area has produced amazing drivers over the years such as Marco Simoncelli himself as well as current riders Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi.

San Marino itself is a beautiful country, stretching only 61 km² making it the third smallest in the world. *granted it’s still classed as Italy hence why it’s in this category but it is, by right, independent*.

If history and exploring is your thing, San Marino is full of things to do and see. From medieval citadels to the ‘Roman Itinerary’ which includes the Amphitheatre and Augustus Arch, there is plenty to explore.

Or you could lie on a beach, cocktail in hand and just recover from a long weekend.

Credit: Autoevolution

Sepang International Circuit – Malaysia

Unique would be one way to describe Sepang. For it not being a street circuit, having a hotel, shopping centre and gold course in the centre is extraordinary but at least the fans have something to do during the empty track periods. Sepang is one of the longest laps on the calendar with a wide track perfect for some skillful overtakes.

Sepang or Malaysia in general is not for the faint of heart. The heat and humidity left me looking like a cross between a badly groomed poodle and Monica from FRIENDS in Hawaii. Thankfully, everywhere is air-conditioned so it makes it more bearable.

Sepang is 50km from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia so there is plenty to do.

Rain forests, beaches, along with national parks, it’s a dream come true for outdoorsy explorers to hike through. Even if you’re not into all that nature, I insist that you pay a visit to the rain forest because it’s an exceptional experience.

If it’s really not your thing then there is plenty to do in the centre of KL. Restaurants of all varieties, shopping, both small markets and state of the art *Berjaya Times Square Shopping Centre actually has a rollercoaster in the middle of it* or take a trip up to the 41st floor of the Petronas Towers to the Skybridge and check out the view of the city *or when I was there, the window cleaners casually abseiling down to clean all the windows, rather them than me*.

Credit: Crashnet

All the tracks I’ve chosen are for personal reasons. From the atmosphere of the likes of the Spanish and Italian races to the sheer beauty of the country of Malaysia. The majority of my race trips are week-long holidays *not including the likes of Silverstone* so the off track activities and environment are as important as the on track action.

Some of the tracks aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, some may find them boring but being at a race and being immersed in the atmosphere is an utter joy and makes you forget about the little quibbles you have about the track.

Hope you have enjoyed my F1 and MotoGP bucket lists! I’ve had some good fun doing a bit of research about each circuit and area.

If you don’t already, give me a follow on Twitter @josievs and Instagram @jv_smith.

For now,




Racing Around The World – F1 Edition

I’ve always had wanderlust. The thought of staying at home for an entire year makes me claustrophobic so being able to combine my love of racing with travel is a win/win for me.

After travelling to my first abroad race in Monaco in May, I started to make a list, a very expensive list may I say, of all the races I plan on selling organs to attend and a few reasons why.

Melbourne – Australia 

Image result for australian gp
Credit: Sky SportsF1

Melbourne marks the start of the season when all F1 fans ditch the hobbies they’ve pretended to have for the long, dark 4 months of the winter break and what better way to kick it off than by basking in the sunshine and watching some racing.

Melbourne is known to be one of the most vibrant cities in the world with exceptional day and night life alike with activities such as multiple lovely beaches and parks as well as Melbourne Zoo and Aquarium to be explored and enjoyed during the day and a multitude of bars and clubs to ‘experience’.  It is also the Culinary capital of Australia so, Mark Webber advises everyone to eat as much as they want or can.

Not only does the Australian GP offer sun and beautiful surroundings but it’s also the home race of the most lovable man on the grid, Daniel Ricciardo.

Start of the season, sun and Daniel Ricciardo. I don’t need any more reasons for Australia to be on my list.

Credit: Alex Coppel

Barcelona – Spain

Credit: Team

Ah Spain. Never leave F1. With a combination of high and low-speed corners, it offers a good bit of action for everyone and also marks the start of the GP3 season where, to say the least, anything can happen.

With 2 Spaniards on the grid, the atmosphere will always be electric and not getting caught up in it is near impossible. Support them or not, you will be an honorary Alonso/Sainz fan for the weekend.

Away from the racing, Barcelona is a hugely popular tourist destination due to the beautiful Gothic architecture of Old town, the likes of the Picasso museum and Museu del Futbol Club Barcelona and beaches for the sun worshippers. Barcelona offers something for all.

nando carlos
Credits: Fernando Alonso

Spa Francochamps – Belgium

eau rouge.jpg


That’s it. That’s my reason to go to Spa.

No, I’m kidding.

Spa is a picturesque circuit that is mainly unchanged since it’s opening and GA offers amazing views of more remote areas of the track such as the extremely popular Eau Rouge. Just remember your waterproofs and comfortable shoes, between the very changeable weather and Spa being the longest circuit on the calendar, you will need both to explore the circuit.

Monza – Italy

ferrari monza
Credit: Joe McGowen

Italy. Ferrari. Show me a better coupling please?

Monza is one of the fastest circuits and the home race for the prancing ponies, arguably one of the best teams on the grid so why not Monza? Why wouldn’t you want to be wrapped up in the overwhelming atmosphere thanks to the Italians fans?

Monza doesn’t just offer some great racing but there is the added benefit of the most amazing food around. Racing and good food, a winning combination in my eyes.


Sinagpore Grand Prix Practice

I’ve visited Singapore a good 10 years ago and loved everything about it except the humidity so to go back for racing would be a dream come true.

Singapore is the original night race. Floodlit track action by night and a multicultural world to explore during the day.  The city offers boats tours to allow you to fully appreciate its true beauty.

The iconic and peanut shell covered floor of the Raffles Hotel offers some amazing drink FYI, pricey but amazing.

P.S. Singapore Zoo Night Safari. Do it and you won’t regret it.

Yas Marina – Abu Dhabi

Credit: Yas Marina

Glamorous. Extravagant. Lavish. Yas Marina knows how to host a season finale that rivals GoT.

The season finale will always have made the list. To be amongst the crowd as a new World Champion is crowned is, in my opinion, a dream come true.

The atmosphere of the season finale rivals non other even that of Monza and Silverstone. Maybe it’s the possibility of 3 new series champions *GP3, F2 and F1 all come to an end in Yas Marina* or maybe it’s being in the varsity of some of the richest people in the world but it is, without a doubt, something I NEED to experience.


*Silverstone and Monaco aren’t featured because, as much as I loved them, I’ve experienced them both this year.

What is on your F1 bucket list?

Thankfully, I have some awesome friends that will come with me to various races so Spa and Monza are already being planned for 2018.

Thank you for the read and a MotoGP edition will be up soon enough.

For now,





A Week In Monaco: Sun, Style and Single Seaters.

Monaco is a world unlike any other.

When my mam asked me what my first thoughts were, all I could think to say was ‘it’s very clean’. Not an exciting answer but my mind was in overdrive that was all I could think to say.

We didn’t stay in Monaco *hey, we’re not made of money, you know*. We stayed East of Monaco, a mire 10 minute train journey, in a small town called Menton.

The town was popular with teams as well as fans looking for a good deal as several F1 and F2 teams had also set up camp there. We found this out after bumping into members of RoGro’s HAAS pit crew as well as Force India and Williams. I found out F2’s ART team were in the area with my amazing stalking skills *thanks Alex Albon*.

Day 1

After an early start from Manchester to Nice, we arrived in Nice tired, cranky and ridiculously hot *Manchester=Hoth. Nice=hotter than Mordor*. News flash: Jeans in the South of France are a no-no unless you want to try and see what it’s like to be a roast chicken.

Instead of taking a train from Nice to Menton, we opted for a taxi at 130 Euros between 3. Not the cheapest but it was the easiest option with 3 large suitcases and hand luggage.

After squaring up the bill for the apartment, and finding out the boiler wasn’t working until Tuesday *Just our luck. Cold shoulders all round*, we went for a wander to the supermarket to stock up on the essentials; water, bread, croissants, coffee, tea and milk *British problems*.

We played tourist for the rest of the day, starting off by taking the classic balcony view picture for Instagram and updating my mam that I was safe in France. We had a slightly long winded walk round to the centre of Menton and found ice cream a plenty. And HAAS F1 team, not that we noticed until we had walked past and received the obligatory ‘Are you staying in Menton? You walked past us.’

Monday was pretty boring, I won’t lie. It was all about unpacking, getting set up and discovering badly dubbed English to French films. Men In Black 3 in French is an experience you all need to endure.

Day 2

Second day was predominantly spent on the beach, drinking cocktails, enjoying the sunshine and making friends.

Warning: French single alcohol measures are not like British ones. Think double verging on triple measures, more half and half than shot of spirit and mixer.

I bought a new bikini for the occasion, a Bravissimo special. Finding bikinis that are pretty and supportive is beyond difficult when you’re above a DD cup so I was over the moon with this little beauty plus, even though I am massively self-conscious about my stomach area, I felt pretty good about myself for once.


Beach afternoon over with, we went for our first venture into Monaco to suss out where we needed to go for our seats and for the charity football match. My idea obviously, why would I pass up the chance to watch Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat and Antonio Giovinazzi running around in shorts? DUH!


It’s fair to say that some of them will not be making the career change to footballers anytime soon. Felipe Massa being the only exception to that rule as the man is a damn machine on the pitch!

Props to Felipe Massa for his post match interview too. Not for the actual content of it because I have zero idea what was said but for the fact he was attempting to keep an eye on Felipinho, who was playing with a football about 30 feet away, whilst giving this interview.

I got exceptionally close to the man I ‘jokingly’ keep referring to as my future husband Antonio Giovinazzi. HOWEVER! If you follow me on Twitter, you will know that I bailed like the massive chicken that I am and didn’t end up speaking to him even though he was inches from me. I was far more disappointed in me than anyone else could ever be *cries in shame*.

Day 3

We wandered through the many streets on the search for food and WiFi, casually bumping into several of the junior drivers as well as a FE driver. Such a bizarre feeling to just see them wandering around in such close proximity *don’t judge me, Silverstone is not like this at all*.

We skulked around the Red Bull Energy Station because, if you were unaware, I practically fund Red Bull with my constant merchandise purchases. We played the fan card, taking pictures and selfies with the beautiful cars and using it as a very obvious reference point for meeting up with one of the Williams pit crew.


We were then ‘snuck’ into the pits. By ‘snuck’ I mean, we wandered through a door we had actually found the day before whilst exploring. Security is a bit lapsed in Monaco, their attitude is very casual. The guard only protested twice before letting us in.

Now for the tricky part. ‘So you just need to hop over the barrier’. A seemingly simple idea except, strangely, we had all opted for skirts that day. There was no ‘just hopping the barrier’. We stood for a good 5/10 minutes attempting to work out the best way to do this without flashing the anyone which, by the time we had worked it out/got up the courage, was EVERY MECHANIC IN THE PIT LANE!

I may be exaggerating but we at least had 4 garages worth.

Elegance and grace went out the window and we all channelled our tomboy roots. I would give my barrier hopping a 10/10 for gymnastic ability.

P.S. We found thee most extra underground pass ever. Mirrors EEEEEEVERYWHERE!

On our way home, we had a collective blonde moment and ended up in Italy…

This sounds far worse than it was. Our stop on the train was the last one before Italy and we were sure it stopped at our stop. AHAHAHA, NOPE! We took a taxi home *an hours wait for the next train, we’ll pass* and it only set us back 30 Euros so not bank breaking for a moment of stupidity.

Day 4

Free practice day and the temperatures were SOARING! I stupidly wore makeup thinking it would stay put. AHAHAHA no, I was a melting mess by the time we’d reached the end of our street, let alone the track.

As it was free practice and midday, we didn’t want to risk turning into roast potatoes so we went on a walking tour to find Sephora. Admittedly, the views on this venture were spectacular. We watched Free Practice 1 on the go and found several different routes to the train station instead of how to actually get to the shopping centre.

I understand that Monaco is a hilly/mountainous place but JESUS CHRIST! I have never climbed so many stairs in my life. If you live in Monaco, everyday is leg day, let me tell you.



After finding the shopping centre, spending some Euros and grabbing some lunch, we headed back to the track to find our seats at the pool complex.

We enjoyed the sunshine with some ice cream whilst watching FP2 and F2 qualifying. We watched as Palmer’s car gave out and he wandered by us without any security and undisturbed by ‘fans’.


As we were close to the ‘improved’ kerb, we got a front row view of Matsushita’s crash as well as a little crash between some of the F2 boys. You know it’s only qualifying, don’t you, guys? Just a reminder.

We were also treated to the Ferrari fans coming out loud and proud with their flag.


There isn’t exactly much to say when it comes to Free Practice or F2 qualifying. It was a relatively tame without much to report that hasn’t already been said over the past few weeks. Even track side, FP was not exactly the most enthralling.

Day 5

With qualifying being on Thursday, Friday left us with some time to chill before the F2 race.

We explored little streets and found the longest staircase in the entire world. By the time we reached the top, I don’t think there was any moisture left in my body and we had to have a sit down to regain our breathe. Fitness icons, we are not.

We opted for sitting in the opposite side of the pool complex for F2 *you’re allowed to sit anywhere for the F2 race FYI*, giving us a lovely view of the yachts, trucks and corners if you just turned a little.

The stands were surprisingly busy for the F2 feature race. F2 races are normally sparsely attended but, with the race not coinciding with any F1 action, more fans seemed to want to check out the action. Maybe they just needed their fix of fast cars? I do know that people who don’t stick around for junior races such as GP3 and F2 miss out the best action on the duller circuits.


Now, I’m used to some home crowd love, I have been to Silverstone, but it was lovely to see the support from locals for Charles LeClerc *plus he is my favourite junior driver so it made me even happier*. It did turn out to be his friends and his own home but the effort they went through to keep the flags down and readable was spot on.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t his day and, even with the love of the locals and other fans, it wasn’t meant to be.

BUT! Joy for us and homeboy Oliver Rowland from Sheffield *in the words of Sky* who scored a top step finish and we cheered. We had taken bets on who would win. One of us won. One of us was devastated to see how upset their driver was with their performance. The other maintains their driver had a good pace and did well.

Our night consisted of cocktails at a local bar called ‘Mini Pub’ in Menton *100% recommend it*.

Not only did it have vintage F1 action on the screens, they also did F1 related cocktails.

A Grand Prix, anyone? *Champagne, juice and a spirit I’ve forgotten*

Day 6


Another hot day but this time, we were trekking to the hill for some GA action. Packed doesn’t cover it but we found a spot where we had a decent view of some of the track, a screen and the Ferrari/Mercedes garages.

Binoculars required.

If you looked over the wall, you could perfectly see all the F2 cars getting ready to make their way to the grid so I played creep of the week and watched them all getting sorted.

We all know what happened in qualifying so I won’t bore you with discussing it again and if you don’t know what happened then you’re two races behind, sorry.

Until Friday’s feature race, as soon as the F1 qualifying was done, the stands cleared for F2’s sprint race and we shifted to a better spot with a better view for snooping.

Once again, heart-break for the lovely LeClerc and all I wanted to do was cuddle to little sweetheart.

The majority of the race was mediocre, nothing special or any fireworks, but it was a worthy victory for DeVries.

Our night, however, was eventful.

We received an invite from a well-known club at the start of the day in return for some free press via our blogs but were told that they’d ‘get back to us if they can get our names on the list’. Naturally, being girls, once we got in and had dinner, we started getting ready. By the time we had finished it was nearing 10pm and still no word.

I’d sent them a few messages during the day *I like to know what is going on* and heard nothing back which I put down to a busy day entertaining.

At 10:30, we made other plans at La Rascasse and left for Monaco.

Set with our 10 Euro Vodka/Red Bulls, we made our way through the insane amount of people who were spread out down La Rascasse between several bars until we found a spot to breath and talk *and watch some girls dancing/playing with fire. Bizarre doesn’t cover it*.

12am, I received a message to say that we were on the list. Now, getting a message at that time confused me. Did they mean the Saturday or the Sunday? Last entry was 11:30 so what were we supposed to do? None of us were dressed for it.

I sent them a simple message asking if they meant for Saturday or Sunday and if they meant for Saturday, apologies we couldn’t go and if they would let us, could we go Sunday instead. Simple, polite if I do say so myself.

The response? ‘Shame you didn’t turn up’. A genuine mistake because of the timing of the response.

I was devastated to have not been able to go as it was my dream to attend one of their events but the response made me feel lower than dirt.

Our night was fun otherwise. The atmosphere was something else just because of the sheer amount of people crammed into one small space. We caught a lift home via Williams which saved us running for the last train *no thank you* or forking out for a taxi.

The walk to our lift was along the harbour, perfect chance to get some nighttime shots of the yachts so I could dream of being able to afford a yacht and forget that I can barely afford a Costa. The walk was into the complete unknown and I did say several times that I felt like I was being taken off to be murdered.

I wasn’t, if you hadn’t noticed…

Day 7

Race day was even busier. We once again trekked up the hill in sweltering heat, collecting lunch on the way and found a spot to slot in with a teeny amount of shade from the midday sun.

Now I’ll show you the true ‘joy’ of going GA at a street circuit like Monaco. It’s elegant. It’s once in a lifetime. But how much do you see?

Answer: very little. There was space to see through the tree. A small gap and, with the use of my camera and Twitter, we could keep up to date with the majority. Nice trees, well-kept and full of life which didn’t really help with our view.

The ‘stands’ were so crowded that there were many people precariously climbing up the very rocky, steep hillside for a better view. Just watching them getting up and down filled me with dread especially with the majority wearing less than appropriate footwear. Think less walking boots, more flip-flops.

We could see part of the track. Can you guess where? Oh yes, THE POOL COMPLEX! 4 days in a row, we could see the same section from different distances. This did mean that we knew where the screens were so, using the surprisingly good zoom on my camera, we could keep check of who was where.

As you can see, mid race, the stands cleared as bored fans left so we got some breathing room finally to enjoy the last few laps.

I wish I could say the place erupted when Vettel claimed victory but I’d be lying. There was a very extravagant, Monaco style celebration though when all the yachts decided to blow their horns for what felt like a year.

The atmosphere when we were surrounded by Italian fans for the national anthem, however, was something else and secured it for us on our choice of Monza next year.

As it was our final night, we decided to have farewell drinks at our favourite ‘Mini Pub’ with the addition of our new member of the group in the form of Joe, our Williams sneaker.


Lots of drinks and some shots to say goodbye to the loveliness of Menton and Monaco.

Extravagance: 9/10

Atmosphere: 6/10

Expense: 7/10 *They have a McDonald’s and if you look, you can find some decent deals*

General Experience: 8/10

Overall, Monaco is an experience that everyone needs to go through. The setting is beautiful, the accessibility to pits and drivers is like no other and the track is iconic.

Apologies for the length of the post and the lateness.

Hope I’ve encouraged you to see Monaco or even Menton. Just pay that extra for Grand Stand seats so you can actually see something.





F1 Feeder Series: When Should They Call It a Day?

I love the junior series of F1 and MotoGP alike, granted I am a relative newbie to it as I only started watching last season, but I have been addicted ever since. 

There is something about watching the battle between so many win hungry young men and women, the risky/aggressive moves that make you catch your breath and wonder how they haven’t been snapped up by a F1 team.

However, one thing I have noticed, after a little bit of research about the drivers, is how many are taking up vital seats and making a career in a feeder series.

Isn’t the point of GP3 and F2 to demonstrate your skills so the higher series of F1/IndyCar/WEC/FE take notice and want you?

2/3 years in a junior series seems earns you through label of ‘veteran’. The likes of Pierre Gasly, Mitch Evans, Alex Lynn and Raffaele Marciello all had this label in the 2016 season and decided to hang up their gloves and move on to greener pastures before they become old news.

Their decision was not without good reason and they bowed out gracefully. However, the likes of lifers such as Johnny Cecotto Jr (27), Sergio Canamasas (29) and Robert Visiou (21) make the entire series look like a bit of a joke.

In 2015, Johnny Cecotto Jr called time on his 6 year stint in GP2 only to reappear in 2017 with Rapax, a short retirement that is only really rivalled by that of Felipe Massa and Jenson Button’s 2016 retirements. Cecotto Jr’s best result over his entire 6 (nearing 7) year career has been 2nd, his most recent results being a 2nd place finish to the McLaren Junior and his team mate Nyck DeVries in Monaco.

If you google ‘Sergio Canamasas’, you are presented with many reasons why he should have been ousted from the series years ago. From Will Buxton’s ‘Enough is Enough‘ articles, countless videos of crashes to a Fox News video simply titled ‘Is this the world’s worst race driver?’. Canamasas started his F2 career in 2011, making this year his 6th in the series. Unlike Cecotto Jn who has managed to at least grace the podium recently, the highest Canamasas has managed so far is a 10th place finish with his last podium appearance being 3 years ago. Not impressive, more embarrassing for someone who is so experienced behind the wheel of these cars.

I’m partially letting Visoiu off lightly here because he did leave and rejoin through series but nevertheless, he did feature in GP3/F2 previously and didn’t make much of an impact in either. With a mere 3 podiums between the start of 2013 and the end of 2015, his ability could be described as forgettable. I didn’t know he had even raced in F2 until I made a remark, as he wandered past us, about him being unfamiliar with the Monaco track because he was ‘a newbie’ and my friend kindly informed me that he was very much not a newbie.

I have only been a fan of the feeder series for a short time but with a little research and listening closely to the analysis from the commentators, you soon find out about the most successful, the most memorable and the most exciting times that you have to look in to to truly respect. Some make a lasting impression for good, others for bad such as Canamasas and some just make very little impression at all like Cecotto Jr and Visoiu.

On a brighter note, one thing that made me laugh last year was the partnership of Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi. Not because they were an unlikely pairing, I loved them together, but because Pierre was referred to as a ‘veteran’ every race and Antonio a ‘rookie’. Yes, this statement is very true but I only laughed due to the age different of them. Pierre being a good 2 years Antonio’s junior and yet being described in a way that you expect them to be sitting down on a night and Pierre teaching Antonio the ‘tricks of the trade’. It always made me giggle, so silly as it sounds.

I realise that for the entirety of this post, I’ve called it F2. If I don’t keep calling it F2 even when it was GP2 last year, I will revert back to the old ways. I’m only saying this because I’m very aware of how much free time people have on their hands to pick at the semantics.




D2BD Community Event; What I Learnt In 2 Short Hours.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure, along with many other of the D2BD community, of being able to listen to Rebecca Jackson, Lucy Taylor, Jennie Gow and Claire Banner speaking at the RAC in London and it say it was enlightening would be an understatement and I felt feeling so very empowered and positive about continuing with this blog.

They offered a lot of advice on not only how to break into the world of motor sports but also on how to deal with criticism, something they, as well as a lot of other females with an interest in motor sports, face day in/day out.

If I had a pound for every time ‘pester’ was said at yesterday’s Dare To Be Different event, I could afford a yacht in Monaco.

They all put themselves out there in their own way.

Rebecca Jackson started out with by pro bono writing and posting YouTube videos. She then went on to pursue her dream of being a racing driver and competing in Le Mans by starting ‘Project Le Mans’; a 5 year plan on how to get to Le Mans which included propositioning everyone at ASI14 to help her in any way possible.

Claire Banner took a HR job at a small motor sports team. Due the the size of the team, she explained, she was exposed to lots of different areas of the work from couriering car parts to general help. She then went on to study HR management at university and joined a union before becoming a union steward which allowed her to gain insight into both sides of that world.

Jennie Gow began her presenting career via unpaid work experience with the BBC where she made a lasting impression on many other employees with her willingness to do anything and everything asked of her, even if it meant telling a little white lie or two. Her knowledge and passion landed her a ‘real’ job with the BBC and ESPN. She stated that she will never be the most beautiful, will never have the most perfect hair and never have the ‘biggest boobies’ but knowledge is key and will set you apart.

Lucy Taylor studied geology, nothing big or fancy, but between her university years, she got summer work experience. After finishing university, she pestered labs for any opportunity.

Opportunities come to those who go out and find them. A nicer version of a common Geordie saying ‘shy bairns get nowt’.

All 4 women mutually agreed that they were ‘pains in the ass’ and constantly emailing, calling, sending letter to those who would be able to offer them an opportunity or point them in the direction they needed to go. Persistent pestering and ‘that’ unique spark is key.

Think of your qualities. How are you unique? And how do can you use that to your advantage?

Criticism was another big talking point. Something that I, like many others, face day in/day out in some way or another. Including when I got home from the event.

‘It’s a lot of money to spend for just the day. It’s not like you’re going to follow this as a career, you already have one. You’ve got to think rationally, Josie.’

To give you some background on this, I was not long qualified as a veterinary nurse, something I have been training for for the past 3 years.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore my job. I would have to to do the workload and hours I put into it but motor sports is a passion of mine that I can’t ignore. I love to write, I love to talk about it so why should I put it on a back burner?

My mam is supportive, she just doesn’t understand.

The only thing this criticism did was make me think ‘Why not?’

Why can’t I do my day job and improve my blog? Why can’t I see where it takes me?

Maybe nowhere, maybe doors will open. You don’t know unless you try.

That is something I learnt from the 4 remarkable women I listened and spoke to yesterday.

Each have faced their own criticism and doubt but they have overcome it or used it to fight to be the very best.

‘I’ll prove you wrong.’

I wrote down my qualities and experiences, what I had done that was special and what I had overcome. And, you know what, I felt so much better. What I had accomplished was incredible and what I can do is incredible.

The potential for all of us is there and, with the help of the D2BD community’s nurturing atmosphere, the chance for us, as women, to reach our goals in the motor sports world is even closer.

Do not give up.

Follow in the footsteps of other great women and be persistent. Pester. Pester. Pester!

For now, I’m signing off for an early night.




Charles Leclerc. A Gift To The Racing World.

I’ve written, removed and rewritten this post several times because it’s hard to find the right words.

Charles Leclerc wasn’t my favourite to start the 2016 GP3 season. No offence to him, I had just invested my time and support in a couple of other rookies instead but circumstances change and I found myself, clenched fists, cheering him on as he took each chequered flag.


There is no denying that Charles’ driving last season was nothing short of outstanding. After taking his first GP3 victory in race 1 at Barcelona, he became a regular feature on the podium, even gracing the top step another two times before earning the title of GP3 Champion.


Not only was he racing with ART, one of the top teams of the series, he was also completing the occasional practice for HAAS F1. The opportunity to demonstrate his skills in a F1 car was something Charles, like all other drivers and public alike, jumped at and grasped with both hands. He completed 26 laps in the HAAS car, placing 18th in the Free Practice stats ahead of Ocon, Ericcson, Wehrlein and Haryanto. Impressive for his first go, right?

Okay, I may have mislead you and I’d be lying if I said my change in support wasn’t influenced slightly. Jules Bianchi was, and still is, my favourite F1 driver, so much so that I carry his now retired race number on the back of my neck.

Jules was the one who mentored Charles; nurturing his talent and bringing him to the attention of the Ferrari Academy. Not only was he Charles’ Godfather but he was also his friend so, naturally, the loss of this combined figure in his life had a profound effect.

For the worst?

Oh no.

Charles used his dedication and love for Jules, channelling it towards making him proud every day with his amazing talent so he could carry on the legacy that Jules was unfortunately unable to.

It’s not just his natural driving talent or his love for his Godfather that made him my favourite. It’s his genuine nature, his respect for his team and other drivers as well as his interaction with fans. *We know you search your own name on Twitter, Mr Leclerc, but I forgive you*.

His radio messages and dedicated posts to his team are filled with pure joy and gratitude towards them for their work.

Charles’ messages to the likes of Alexander Albon after he narrowly missed out on the Championship title are heartwarming displays of affection that are rarely seen in the world of F1.

The simple like of a tweet by fans just to show that he’s seen your comment is more than a lot will do.

So, thank you Charles. Thank you for everything. For your constant entertainment and staying so very human.

Jules would be so proud of you, just like the rest of us.

Merci beaucoup et bonne chance.