FOTA Forum Barcelona 2013

If you missed the most recent FOTA Fans’ Forum at Barcelona, here is the video. The panel features Jaime Alguersuari, James Allison, Graeme Lowndon and Giedo Van Der Garde.

I do not own the rights – I have just posted it here for fans that missed the live streaming.


FOTA Fans Forum – UK

This is a guest-blog by fans who attended the recent FOTA Fans Forum at Williams F1 Conference Centre, UK in the lead up to the British Grand Prix. It gives first-hand experience of their trip and provides details on some questions covered during the event.

1) How did you hear about the event?

I check the FOTA forum website regularly and I got a reminder about it from Twitter. It was easy to register (just email and name)

2) Venue and Turn-Out

The venue seemed to be out in the middle of nowhere – unsurprising for a F1 team! But the bus service from Oxford Train Station stopped right in front of the conference centre so it was a fairly painless experience.

The registration took a few minutes and we had the opportunity to visit the Williams museum/collection of cars. Refreshments were served in the trophy room. I saw a long queue which I was a bit surprised to learn was for Pastor Maldonado signatures – especially given his “interaction” with British driver, Lewis Hamilton at the last race! Turn-out was very good obviously helped by some fans who were heading to Silverstone from this event.

A very popular event

3) What questions were asked / answered by the guests of honour?

The only driver present was Pastor; the other personnel there were team-principals and “The Legends” – ex-F1 drivers. Topics discussed ranged from the Resource Restriction Agreement (RRA), DRS/Pirelli tyres, Development of new drivers and Stewards Consistency.

Mercedes-Engine partners

4) How was the host – did s/he facilitate questions or ask all of them?

Lee McKenzie is known for asking pressing questions and getting very interesting responses! She did well as this event’s host; she picked out several people/questions from different parts of the room. She also supported the guests’ responses with her own personal experience with drivers and media.

5) Did you get an opportunity to interact with the drivers/team-personnel afterwards?

Derek Warwick and John Watson signed autographs and Lee McKenzie had a chat with some keen fans at the end of the event.

Lee, with EJ and DC

6) Would you attend another event and do you have suggestions for improvements?

I definitely would attend another event. Someone I was speaking to suggested keeping the mic close to fans after their initial question to enable a follow-up to a response if desired. Also, given the turn-out, perhaps more time should have been allowed to take more questions.

7) What was your favourite or “stand out” moment of the whole experience/event?

The whole event was an amazing experience, especially the free entry into the Williams museum/car-collection – but the thing that stuck in my mind was what John Watson said about racing drivers having to be able to accept that death is part of their sport, and if anyone didn’t think they could stay calm after seeing a fellow driver injured after an accident (as he saw Gilles Villeneuve’s body after his fatal crash), then they should not be racing.

FOTA Fans Forum – Manhattan

This is a short interview by @rfzeitlin who attended the recent FOTA Fans Forum in Manhattan. (Click here for the Barcelona FOTA Fans Forum). 

1) How was registering for the event? How did you hear about it?

It definitely was easy to register, just a name and email address were required.  I saw a post on twitter and went from there.  There were also a few articles that mentioned it, but I think it could have been much better publicized.

(*It was only publicised on Twitter and via the trade press. These events do not need wider publicising, because registrations would have been more substantial, leading to potential disappointment for more people)

2) Venue and Turn-Out

The venue was very easy to find, right in the middle of the city, no problem at all.  I actually arrived by train to Grand Central, so it was an easy walk to the hall.  The registration book at check-in was very, very long and I know they actually shut down registration because of extremely high demand.  I was quite surprised there weren’t more people there.  I don’t think the turnout mattered to the quality of the event, but as someone with a particularly vested interest in the success of F1 in the US, I was disappointed there weren’t more fans there.

(*Actual attendance figure was over 200 from 600 who registered for the FOTA Forum event but could not/did not attend)

3) What questions were asked / answered by the guests of honour?

The drivers present were Paul di Resta, Alexander Rossi, Sergio Perez (a treat, considering his Montreal podium), and Charles Pic.

Sergio Perez (Photo from @salukiconvert)

Before they came on, the panel started with Graeme Lowdon (Marussia) and Bob Fernley (Sahara Force India). There were a good number of interesting questions tossed out at these guys, including my personal favorite asking what the gents would change if they were Bernie for a day.