Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

The famous people // Who can be found at Autosport International

Published by Christine

Seconds after we walked through the giant doors of Autosport International, we were already on the chase of someone famous. Allan McNish, ex-Formula 1 driver was signing things for people who had special passes, and although we didn't have that pass, we got close enough to take a couple of fabulous pictures.

Then, Allan came out from behind the desk and was conducting an interview to camera. It was funny, because a space was cleared and then we spotted a guy with an enormous camera, followed by a sound guy and someone holding a bright light. We wondered what was happening, then spotted the interviewer checking his mic, and suddenly Allan was there, and they were talking. It all happened so quickly, all these random people who were milling about with their recording equipment all came together in seconds and were totally professional.

We started to look at the stands around the area, specifically the F1 line-up. They had recreated a piece of Formula 1 fabulousness and had every car from last year there.

Renault F1

Some of them had drivers and helmets, some of them didn't. Some of them had the wrong helmets in their team-mates cars, but it didn't really matter. We were amazingly close to the cars and that's what we came for.

Honda F1

While we were ogling the beauty of the machinery, our ears picked up on the announcer saying that Anthony Davidson would be turning up in minutes to do a little interview on the fake grid and then going over to the signing thing. We waited for those couple of minutes, and lo and behold, the Super Aguri superstar appeared. He walked up and down the grid and talked about the various cars, nothing particularly interesting and all very diplomatic.

Anthony Davidson

He's so tiny, I wanted to pick him up, put him in my pocket and run off with him. But they wouldn't let you get close to him. Presumably he is more famous (or more delicate) than Allan McNish, because Anthony was roped off all the time and didn't come out into the main area for any television interviews.

Later, after having missed Mark Blundell (boo hoo... not), we found the Seat stand. If you've been reading for a while, you may have read the embarrassing incident that took place last year, where I pointed right at Jason Plato's face and said "That's him there!" It was cringeworthy and I'm trying my best not to relive it.

Anyway, having stumbled across the Seat stand, we wondered if Jason Plato was in there. He wasn't. Mr C asked one of the official looking people if he was turning up any time soon and they gave us the ETA. We wondered off but came back a few minutes early. He was sitting inside the corporate area that was out of bounds, and he didn't look like he was going to be doing anything exciting. Last year, he was up on a little stage talking to an interview, but this year there was no stage. We decided to hang around and see what happened, and eventually he stood up, ready to leave. He exited the out of bounds area, accompanied by a Seat man. He signed a few things and posed for some photographs.

Then he just walked off into the crowd. I was amazed that he was just fighting through the bustle of people like any other ordinary person had to. Mr C and I decided the best thing to do would be to stalk him. Because, you know, that's what we do.

I was starting to think we wouldn't get any pictures other than the back of his head, but then Mr C used the same trick he did with Jenson Button at Goodwood. Running around all the other people to get in front, he waited for Plato to pass buy and took pictures. However, he didn't need to be quite so sneaky as he did at Goodwood, because when he missed the shot, Plato stopped and posed for him.

Jason Plato

It's so worth stalking people.