motorsports · Motorsports

High School: F1 Edition

Oh Lordy, Lordy, Lordy! What a few weeks it has been in the world of F1.

Grid girls, grid kids, the racing world revolving around the one and only Fernando Alonso. Bit of a rollercoaster and, honestly, I’m a bit dizzy and want to get off this ride now.

I’ve honestly felt like I’ve been back in school. The bickering, the bitchiness, the constant rule changes, the favouritism. Deja vu. I’m sure I left 6 years ago…

Let me break it down for you into some categories that most, if not all, schools/classes had *The people who fit these categories at my school still fit them*:

The Leery Creep

The Opinionated Arsehole

The Prefect*normally knocked off their moral high horse after their first drink*

The Teacher’s Pet

So, we’ll start at the very beginning. A very good place to start *chronologically at least*….

The Leery Creep

We had the ‘shocking’ announcement that they would be removing grid girls from F1, following on from the likes of darts *obviously they’re not grid girls but you know* and Formula E *we’ll talk later about that*.


PERSONALLY, I do not give a flying fuck either way but, lo and behold, the announcement has unearthed some closet women’s rights activists!

I’ve seen so many ridiculous comments floating round on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook about this.

‘F1 is dead’

‘RIP F1’

‘It’s a tradition!’

‘It’s ruining the show’


My mind boggles at how many times I saw the same comments floating around about how it was ruining things or how they were losing fans. I thought F1 was about the cars, the racing, the talent. Not about the women you see for 30 seconds *may be longer, I don’t pay attention* with a board in a skimpy outfit *not always skimpy but you catch my drift*. If that’s all you take from a race weekend, a bit of soft porn *some of the outfits can be a bit much* then I’m concerned about you. London Fashion Week may be more of your jam than a race track full to the brim with testosterone and blokes if I’m honest.

I’m all for women doing their thing and doing what they enjoy. My only issue is that, because I’m a female, the first and ONLY thing men *not tarring you all with the same brush, just the ones that message me* think you want to be when you say you want to work in motorsports is that you want to be a grid girl.

Let’s get a few things straight here;

1) People would actually pay to not see me in lycra.

2) I have the coordination of a drunk toddler and am a grand total of 5’2 so the sign would most definitely end up in/on the car.

And 3) I like to write and I like to talk so standing like a teapot would not be my thing *I also can’t control my face/eyebrow and have a mega resting bitch face*

THERE! That’s it! That is my only issue with grid girls.

I don’t feel intimidated by them *others may and I understand where they’re coming from on that* I just think it’s a dated tradition these days when we’re trying to encourage women to join the world of racing and you mainly see them used as decorations.

The Opinionated Arsehole



But then came the ‘child labour’ comments. The people who don’t like change, digging for a reason to be negative. The ‘traditionalist’ and health and safety nuts that argue how the ‘show’ won’t be the same without the ‘pretty girls and fast cars’ or how dangerous it is for kids to be around the cars.


Honestly, y’all sound R.I.D.ICULOUS.

Kids meeting their idols, having the opportunity to experience that world is an amazing reward for their hard work and efforts. It’s a reward that very few can afford and getting to actually stand that close to the cars, teams and drivers as they do all their last-minute preparation is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Let’s face it, many of these kids will have grown up being told that, like a lot of us, our ‘outlandish’ dreams are just that ‘dreams’ and we should focus on something more obtainable, to ‘settle’. So why not!? Why not reward their work to get where they are? To be the best in their series? What is so wrong with encouraging their hard work instead of picking fault?

The Prefect

Formula E have done the grid kid thing before. They are slightly ahead of the times with that and with the fan participation bit so we all applauded and put them on the pedestal to show the non believers that FE is good and proper….


But oh how the mighty have fallen. No sooner had they made a dig at Formula 1 and ‘welcomed’ them to the future, it was announced that they would be using grid girls in their next race.

Can I offer you some concealer to cover up that red face you’ve got there, FE?


The Teacher’s Pet

Fernando Alonso has been confirmed as the only racing driver to exist in the entire world!


Dramatic, I know but that is exactly how it feels!

So, the key points of this are as follows:

WEC had rearranged the date of the 6 Hours of Fuji to prevent a clash with IMSA Petit Le Mans where some of the WEC drivers are already racing.

*Fernando Alonso enters stage right with Toyota*

WEC notice that 6 Hours of Fuji clashes with the US GP.


Where is the justice? I like Fernando and I don’t believe for one minute that he’s turned around, dummy flying from pram, and demanded they change it for him *I’m rooting for you here, Fernando, you better not have been a diva*.

Quite obviously, this has been big news and I imagine has brought the series to the attention of many other people but JESUS GUYS! There are better ways to make headlines than to piss off an entire grid of people and cause a good few bitchy comments *rightly so in my opinion*.

Last but not least(slight side note really)…the 2018 liveries.

So far we have a slightly brighter white HAAS and a Williams with more black. Both sporting the halo obviously *another thing I’ve no strong feelings about* but pretty much the same old livery with slightly more/newer paint.

I’m hoping to be wowed newt week by some amazing design or drastic colour change… or even an OTT presentation but I’m not holding my breath.

*Prays for 2017 Force India style livery change/reveal* Props to whoever decided that because I WAS SPEECHLESS!

So yes, once again, Twitter has been full of petty arguments, ‘loyal’ fans and just general childish behaviour that make me question why I’m part of this fanbase.

Welcome back to school, guys. Some people’s minds never leave apparently…


MotoGP: Who Will Fill Folger’s Boots?

This is definitely not how I wanted to start the year!

Jonas Folger has declared himself unfit to race in the MotoGP 2018 season. And by ‘unfit’, I mean he has announced that he, personally, does not feel he has made a good enough ‘recovery’ from Gilbert’s Syndrome.

Gilbert’s Syndrome isn’t, technically, something that can be cured. *Let me get my biology geek on* It’s a rare liver disorder where the liver doesn’t properly process bilirubin *product of red blood cell break down* which prevents it from being excreted from the body. This causes jaundice *yellowing of the skin/gums/eyes*, weakness, abdominal pain, dizziness and fatigue as well as a number of other uncomfortable and distracting symptoms. The symptoms are made worse by excessive exercise, dehydration and stress. *Look at that A Level Biology and Veterinary Nursing qualification coming into play*

So you can see exactly why it’s such a difficult thing for someone such as Jonas to endure when he has such a physically demanding, high stress job.

I’m honestly devastated that he will be sitting out this season because I think he is an under appreciated talent on the grid. But, through teary eyes, I say good luck to him and a speedy recovery. Fingers crossed for a 2019 return.

Who will fill his spot at Tech 3 Yamaha?

There are 4 main contenders for the seat:

Kohta Nozane: Yamaha test rider. Vale tipped him to be Japan’s next MotoGP star *Imagine getting praise like that from someone of his notoriety*

Francesco Bagnaia: 5th in Moto2 during his rookie season and part of Valentino Rossi’s Sky VR46 team. He’s obviously done something right.

Michael Van Der Mark: Yamaha’s go to stand in *I’m joking, sort of…* Replaced Rossi once and Folger twice in 2017.

Alex Lowes: 2016 Silverstone stand in for Bradley Smith and placed 13th. Not bad for your first outing with the big boys.

If you want to check out my thoughts on the options for Folger’s seat, give my YouTube video a watch.

I still haven’t got my head around Jonas not being on the grid but I’m sure as soon as the MotoGP season starts, I will feel a touch better.

Speedy recovery, Jonas. See you on the grid in 2019.

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For now,




F1: The Youngest Partnership

We have an answer and a full grid!

Williams have finally announced Sergey Sirotkin will line up alongside Lance Stroll for 2018.

Shocking news, I know. I’ll give you a moment to compose yourself and regain your breath…

Better? Okay! I’m kidding obviously.

This was pretty anticlimactic, let’s admit it. But, it got me thinking about the 2017 US GP and *those* intros. Why not have a little bit of fun with some of the lighter sides of your announcements?

Mercedes did the tweets. They slipped ’77’ into as many new driver related tweets as physically possible last year and, personally, I enjoyed that little bit of fun. I like the lighter side, the fun side of F1.

I’m not saying they should have put Sirotkin in the middle of a load of nesting dolls or have him jump out in a leotard, dancing some Swan Lake. *Tired clichés, I know* But a little something, a little fun needs to be injected into some areas of the sports so it’s not so robotic and clinical.

Anyway, I put some of my mixed thoughts and feelings on the Williams announcement as well as the F2/GP3 announcements.

I think it’s a rather large gamble to take and I’m quite nervous for Williams but I hope they will prove me wrong. With Kubica as the reserve/test driver, I’m also hoping that he will be able to pass on some advice and expertise to them.

Can you believe that their combined age is only 41?! Crazy.

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I Wasn’t Expecting That…

Well, Ferrari sure know how to get us talking.

After a disastrous couple of years full to demotion, criticism and uncertainty, Daniil Kvyat has secured a place as the development driver for Ferrari. A ray of sunshine on a terribly long, cloudy day for Kvyat.

I’m over the moon for Dany. Truly, I am but I can’t help but wonder where that leaves Antonio Giovinazzi a.k.a. Super Bae. HAAS have already confirmed that they won’t be keeping him as their reserve driver and with Dany as Ferrari’s ‘development driver’, are they not just saying ‘reserve driver’ in a more roundabout way? I don’t know. All I know if that Antonio being overlooked for that role after the Sauber fiasco is RIDICULOUS!


I had a little look at the reserve drivers for the rest of the teams and….wow. Can I just say wow? There are only 3 confirmed. THREE!

I know it’s only mid January but STILL! Your lack of preparation is stressing me out!

So, I decided to do a little video on the matter. A little shuffle through who is with who and who is the least organised team on the grid *cough* Williams, announce your second driver *cough*.





Who do you think deserves the reserve driver roles of the remaining grid?

Do you think Daniil deserved his second(?) chance? *I’m not sure whether to class it as second or third chance*

Tell me in the comments.


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One day, I’ll sync all of them so they have the same name.


But for now, I’m going have a little chill weekend as I’m turning 24 in a grand total on 3 hours *13(th), unlucky for some says the Red Bull fan*





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,