Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

From one Arrow to another // Lewis Hamilton lives the high life in a day out with the Red Arrows

Published by Christine

The Red Arrows have been one of my favourite British things for a long time, despite my fear of most things plane-shaped, and the fact they sometimes run a formation with just eight. I have held a bit of a grudge over that wonky formation but I think now I will have to forgive them, because the Red Arrows and Formula One have just crossed over... with incredible style.

Building up to the British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton and David Coulthard found themselves in the back of Red Arrow Hawks as they completed a display, and Lewis reckons he was even allowed to pilot one for a moment. Then they did the very necessary car and jet double photo opportunity.

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Credit: Daimler AG

We've seen the Red Arrows zooming overhead at Goodwood and the British Grand Prix, and they take your breath away. This, however, is a whole new level of awesome.

What came across during the day, and hopefully what the BBC viewers will also see, is the similarity between the teamwork required in Formula One and the Royal Air Force. The driver of the car is the tip of the iceberg when you consider the team of specialists in the Mercedes garage and factory.

And, although it is the nine pilots of the Red Arrows who fly the display, there are another 100 engineers and support staff who ensure the team continue to perform to such a high standard.

Squadron Leader Mike Ling, Red 10

I cannot wait to see the extended piece on the BBC. They've provided their own teaser, with a bit more information about the setup of the shoot - some details about the cameras and how they went about organising the day to get the best material at the end. Hopefully, it will look just as good when we see the finished product.

Update: The finished piece was aired on the BBC in the build-up to the British Grand Prix, and it comes complete with dramatic music, high emotions, plus the inevitable and obligatory Top Gun references. It's wonderful.

Mercedes also put out their own version of the event, with a lot less David Coulthard and a few different angles. I particularly like the shot of the car and plane taxiing together.

I feel like there must be an awful lot more footage from this day, both behind the scenes and front of house stuff. Perhaps the BBC can piece together a half hour programme about it, because four minutes just isn't enough.