Where to begin to tell you about my day today? Well I wasn’t expecting much, it was a thursday of the Spa grand prix weekend, so no public access to the circuit until 16:30 for a pit lane walk. This meant a day filled with waiting around, killing time awaiting the Grand Prix action to begin.

In the morning I explored the charming location town of Stavelot before moving on to Spa for lunch. All nice tourist destinations in their own right but nothing that was hitting my F1 buttons.

The afternoon was something else! I reached the circuit expecting to maybe see some F1 pit crew from a distance, over the heads of the thousands of fans present. In fact the view from the pit lane was great and the drivers I was most interested in shortly appeared to sign autographs, namely Timo Glock and Jerome D’Ambrosio.

And then things took a turn for the wonderful…. Having worked with Virgin Racing to prepare cartoons for their Marussia Virgin Racing Weekend at Silverstone I had made a few friendships and knew there was a chance they could get me behind the scenes. And so I sent a text which resulted in me being shortly afterwards met by team PR manager Ewen, bearing a much sought after paddock pass!!

After picking me up off the floor Ewen directed me to the paddock entrance and then, beyond my wildest dreams, proceeded to give me a tour of their garage, behind the scenes areas such as telemetry, composites, fuel bay, etc and then via the paddock to the Marussia Virgin motorhome…!

It’s a surreal feeling to be walking through the F1 paddock saying hi to guys such as Pastor Maldonado (he said hi back), Michael Schumacher (he didn’t) and Seb Vettel! The final total of “big names” met today was:

– Timo Glock and Jerome D’Ambrosio (chatted to each of them about my cartoons and gave them each a set of prints of the cartoons)
– Sebastian Vettel (said hi to him – no reply)
– Michael Schumacher (see above)
– David Croft, Ant Davidson and Karun Chandok (the 5live commentary team). Crafty in particular was fully up to speed with the F1Cartoonz work and was very complimentary. What a nice guy.
– Seb Buemi (didn’t really ,meet him to be fair but I was close!)

Added to the above I snapped Kamui Kobayashi and Mark Webber at close range and joined a party at the MVR motorhome for the media where I had a long chat with some Austrian journalists!

A once in a lifetime opportunity? Well, maybe not since I’ve been invited back for tomorrow to spend the day with the team starting with pit stop practice at 07:30 then a spot in the team garage for both practice sessions!!!

What a day what a day… The kind of day that never happens!


To celebrate F1Cartoonz going to Spa and Monza I’m going to run a little competition for any of my followers who are visiting those races!  Nothing too extravagent, the prizes will simply be a set of pocket sized prints of a selection of our cartoons….

Funky digital prints of our cartoons to be won!

I’ve taken inspiration from the “Chalky White” competition the Marussia Virgin team ran with SuperFan Alex J Snell in 2010 and so the competition will involve you finding me at either circuit and saying the following magic words:

“You are F1Cartoonz and I claim my free cartoon prints!”.  Bonus points will be awarded for saying that with a big cheesy grin on your face, but sadly no bonus cartoonz 🙂

But, there is some small print..!  First, the competition only starts when I’ve been at the circuit for at least an hour (to stop people I’m camping with simply following me into the circuit then saying the magic words).  Second, there is only one prize of 10 prints to be given away on each day of each GP.  That’s a total of 6 chances to win on either Fri, Sat or Sun at both Spa and Monza.  If the day’s prize has already been won then sorry – no more prizes that day 😦

You may be wondering how on earth you will be able to find me? Well, I will tweet a photo each day at the time the comp starts and at various times during the day I’ll tweet to say where I am, or where I’m heading.  It would be a good idea to follow my Twitter account @F1Cartoonz  otherwise you really are not going to have a lot of chance!

Not going to Spa or Monza?  Don’t worry I’ll run another competition with a similar prize which will be open to all (prize being posted to you) but this will have to await my return after Monza

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  • f1cartoonz: Thanks for your comment Mark. Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any ideas.
  • Mark: Love your cartoons. We'd love to do some work with you one day on a couple of special F1 cartoons!