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Claims to fame // What are your links to F1 and motorsport?

Published by Christine

Following some random claims to fame on, we threw it open to the Facebook group. Any motorsport claims to fame? The randomer the better, of course. Like meeting someone who trains Räikkönen’s dog or alike. (I didn’t by the way. I don’t even know if Kimi has a dog.) Genuine meetings are welcome of course, for example, I said hi to Barrichello. (That one is true.)


Well, I talked to the guys who actually managed to receive “on-loan” Jody Scheckter’s Wolf for the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame while it was in Toronto.

Thought the guy was pulling my leg but low and behold there was that Black and Gold Beauty, Wolf’s WR1, at one of the side buildings in the Canadian National Exhibition.


I have been go karting at a track that Barrichello has raced on. Sat next to a guy who resembled Frank Williams on the train this morning although I dont think it was him.

Alex Andronov

My boss once went to meet Patrick Head. Got lost and Frank Williams gave him directions to the meeting room he was supposed to be in. He didn’t know this until he got back and I showed him pictures on the internet.

Also, of course, I have spoken to, on the internet, somebody who has said hi to Barrichello!


My former flatmate used to live next door to Ron Dennis! And my other housemate used to work at the McLaren Tech. Centre serving Heikki his ham and pickle sarnies and Martin W. his porridge…

Scott W

My dad used to race Formula Fords and managed to make the Formula Ford Festival final at Brands Hatch in 1987 and raced against Eddie Irvine and Allan McNish. But that’s not the best bit – while he managed to make the final, guess who didn’t that year? You won’t believe this but none other than... MICHAEL SCHUMACHER!

Yes, my dad overall in the event beat the then virtually unknown 7-time world champion. So I am the son of someone who has been in the same race event as MS and technically beat him!

Oh yeah, I got another one, regarding my dad again. He used to work at the Jim Russell Racing School in the 80s, and he actually taught Perry McCarthy AND Jacques Villeneuve to drive a race car. Apparently, Jacques lied about his age to get onto the course! My dad has met Fernando Alonso as a guest of McLaren via Santander at a test day at Silverstone last year. And I’ve met Bruno Senna at Snetterton behind the pits while he was playing football and got his autograph. And I saw Tony Jardine (I’m sure it was him) getting a coffee from one of those burger vans at Rockingham some years back.


I’ve got two, both obscure. I was standing at the urinals next to Jacques Villeneuve, didn't really know who this scruffy looking short bloke with a beard was (and didn’t want to stare given the circumstances) until I walked out of the gents and realised that his manager plus some other senior BAR-types were waiting for him. (I was kind of working for BAR at the time doing IT stuff... also got to see inside his motorhome which had a fake leopardskin covered bed with gold plated everything- goes to show you can’t buy good taste.)

The other one… I was overtaken in the Hatfield tunnel by Anthony Hamilton... whoooosh past me and I wasn’t hanging around either.


My younger daughter did her engineering work experience at Arrows and I held/hosted a black tie dnner at WilliamsF1 conference centre in 2006, which elder daughter posted pics on Facebook.


Well I just said hello once to Senna, but I was waaay too young… and a friend of mine is son of the pilot who fought Senna to the Mexican GP during the 80’s.


I’m marrying a guy who waited on Jacques Villeneuve in a Vancouver restaurant.


Went to the 2001 British Grand Prix with my mate Chuck and on the first night my mate dad got us a room the Hilton Hotel in Northampton, we didn’t expect to see anyone but all the ITV presenter at the time was there we got autographs on our race ticket brochure from the legend Murray Walker, Jim Rosenthal and Martin Blundell and they invited us to join them for a drink!

It was Murray’s last British Grand Prix that he commentated on before his retirement.


Ive met Jules Kaplinski (Jenson Button's PA) at Silverstone in 2007, She stopped to have a chat with me and the rest of the JBHQ members. My mates have been interviewed for JBTV at Silverstone 2007. The video has now been taken down but I have a copy of it in case anyone wishes to see it.


I had a letter printed in the May 1996 edition of F1 Racing, which I think was only about the fourth issue or something. They put my name down as Mary Henna or something though.

My non-F1 claim to fame is that my great-grandfather was a pioneering film maker in New York at the start of the 20th century, and was mates with Samuel Goldwyn, and before MGM had a lion roaring they had my great-grandfather’s dog barking. Cool huh?


I was on my way to a NASCAR event at Talladega and the car behind me was riding right on my bumper. My wife commented that “everybody thinks they’re Mario Andretti when they’re on their way to the race track” As the car finally passed me I said “Well this guy thinks HE’S Danny Sullivan” and my wife asked why I thought that and I said “because it IS Danny Sullivan”.


I am Bruno Senna’s bestest friend because we chatted for like, an hour at Goodwood. Or 5 minutes. But we are definitely best buds.

Although in all seriousness Ari Vatanen phoned me up earlier in 2010 and we talked for about 40 minutes. Hopefully I’ll be going to the Monaco GP in 2011 thanks to his very kind nature after he loved a video I made for him supporting his presidential campaign. Go Ari!!!


The brother of one of my great-grandmothers, Alfredo Pian, tried to qualify for the second F1 race ever at Monaco in 1950. He had lots of racing experience in Argentina and went to Europe in the same batch with many other fine argentine drivers at the time. Sadly, he had a big accident during practice/qualy in which he was thrown out of the car and almost lost a leg. Fangio did everything he could to find him a good doctor in Europe and they saved his leg, but he never raced again. He then went to have a long career as a racing car designer/motorist in the local championships.