Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Race day at Renault F1 - Photoblog - The best pictures from our day at the Enstone factory

Published by Christine

Mr C has already covered our day out at Renault in two gloriously descriptive posts. I thought I would get in on the action, but with a different take on things. I have five photos taken throughout the day that offer some of the little hidden bonuses you get from visiting an F1 factory that didn't quite fit in to the story.

1. Ticket to ride

The magic pass that leads towards the dream bunker

What is it about an F1 ticket or pass that is just so very exciting? I remember the first time I saw a pass that would allow you over the bridge at Silverstone, I quite literally jumped up and down. I also tried to pocket it on the way back, but this was not allowed.

We talk a lot about opening F1 up to the fans, and Sidepodcast is always pushing for more ways to get involved, but I do think it's important that the excitement when you do get access remains. It's no good if you can just wander in off the street, but allowing more people to jump up and down at the sight of a Visitor Pass is definitely a good thing.

2. Not very green

Copies of recent motorsport magazines were available during the day.

I can honestly admit this is the first magazine I've picked up in quite a while, and I really only wanted to have a look at the new style F1 Racing to see what tweaks they'd made. It all looks nice, fresh and clean, although I didn't see much in the way of new features. I only glanced at it for a second though, before moving on to the orange juice and croissants.

There were also copies of the daily newspapers, and a couple of other magazines, and that table was quite a popular destination for visitors throughout the day. I mean, you know, you've only come for miles to visit an F1 factory - why not stop for a while and read the paper?

3. In fact, quite yellow

The yellow livery of the Renault provided quite a colourful day.

There were various cars strewn throughout the room, including what might have been last year's car painted in this year's colours. We've already established I'm not a fan of the yellow and red combination, but close up, these things do look so much better than you'd imagine.

The R25 was also there in all it's blue and yellow glory, and I was drawn to that one immediately. A couple of Autosport International events ago, I dragged Mr C away from the car. Boring, I thought. How can you stand and stare at the same piece of machinery for half an hour? How many pictures do you need?

Now, having seen the boxes that run round the tracks these days, I would like to take back my words. I would have been quite happy to stand there for half an hour as well.

It's also worth reiterating just how close you could get to the cars, without barriers or security guards. One of the young boys visiting posed for a photo by perching on the wheel of the R25, and it began to roll backwards. I was sure it was going end up crashing into the stage, but a minor crisis was averted by a quick thinking father. Don't these things have handbrakes?

4. Taking shelter

I was just holding the champagne, honest officer.

I don't quite know how Mr C has managed to snap this picture of me, considering I didn't have a drink the entire day. Someone had to drive and it's usually me, so... what I was doing with champagne, I don't know. Honest.

Anyway, it's hard to really express how much I loved that bunker. You've probably gathered, seeing as I won't stop going on about it. I was wide-eyed for most of the time we were in there, already dreaming about my own grand design.

Even the ladies' was modern and futuristic, with Dyson Airblade handdriers, and lights that only come on when you walk in the room. Plus there was wifi under layers of concrete and earth. What more could you want from a house, really?

5. Oh, goody

The contents of the goody bag handed out by Renault.

This one is for Amy, who has asked for details of the goody bag at least a couple of times already. We were handed these at the end of the day, and although the contents aren't exactly riveting, it's a very sturdy bag which didn't look cheap. My favourite is the pen, because I like stationery, but the lanyard will come in useful, I'm sure. Any suggestions on what I should do with the stickers?