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A Day in Life of a Formula 1 Racing Driver

by Bianca 

Posted: 11 June 2004
Word Count: 525
Summary: This is just an ambition of mine

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As I park my car on my allocated position at the back of the grid, I fleetingly imagine Murrayís voice excitedly shouting down the five red lights, to signify the start of the race. At once I push the thought aside, focusing my whole being on what I am to undertake, as I had been taught over the last gruelling six months.

I can see the flashing roof light on the safety-car. Itís moving forward, thereís an almighty deafening roar even through the heavy helmet. Surely my pumping heart is going to burst through my chest. My lips have dried. Please, please, donít let me stall.

Iím off. Iím picking up speed. I can see a couple of cars ahead but the gap is getting longer. Must concentrate. This start/finish line is wide here at Monza but it suddenly tightens so I brake hard and change down to second gear. The kerbs are low at this point but Iím not experienced enough to bounce over them. Itís dusty Ė I peel a layer off my visor, my left hand gripping the steering wheel so hard that a pain shoots up may arm. Iím round the first bend and am still on the track. Thereís a car off on the Curva Grande. Iíll not be the first to retire then. My shoulders are aching already. Iíll never be able to complete the six laps theyíve offered me. Yes I must Ė that what all that hard training has been for Ė six days a week in the gym. Iíve completed a lap!

There are people at the start/finish line waving banners. There is no other car near me Ė surely it canít be for me. Iím so hot.. Focus! Focus! Focus! Iím on my second lap. Iím enjoying it now. Oh no Ė thereís a car coming up behind me Ė itís red. Am I blocking it Ė no thereís room for it to pass. Oh my God Ė itís Michael. Michael Schumaker is behind me in the Italian Grand Prix! O.K. so heís lapping me Ė please donít let me crash into him. Heís passed Ė heís giving me a ďthumbs upĒ.

Iím on the last of my laps now and everybody who is still in the race has lapped me at least twice but I donít care. Iím going to give it my all on the straight to the finish line Ė Iím in 6th gear at 140 mph.

Iím creeping around the circuit to the pit lane and the Jordan garage is alive with people waving and cheering. I can barely lift myself out of the car but a couple of mechanics are helping me to stand and another takes my helmet off. Thereís a cameraman and an interviewer who is asking me what itís like to be the first female Formula 1 Racing Driver. Iím trying to get my dry mouth open to speak when somebody in red runs up to me and envelopes me with a big hug. Iíve had a ďthumbs upĒ from Michael Schumaker and a hug from Ross Brawn Ė what the hell do you think itís like!

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Comments by other Members

Inspiration at 19:38 on 11 June 2004  Report this post
Brilliant! I love the tongue in cheek style, but the essence if of a true driver who takes his, work seriously!

I'm so hot, focus, is great.

My son wants to be a racing driver, amongst many other things, he'd love this!

Like Michael I'm an giving this the thumbs up!

Well done!


crowspark at 22:58 on 11 June 2004  Report this post
Heart pounding, breathless excitement with the terminlogy to make it all convincing.

Christie at 23:01 on 11 June 2004  Report this post
Hi Bianca

That's the stuff dreams are made of isn't it! The feminist in me has just awoken - why the hell has there not been a woman Formula 1 driver?

I love the fact that you imagine Murrays commentary - I wonder if drivers do the same.

This would make agreat film you know!!!

best wishes


Jim Beard at 07:40 on 12 June 2004  Report this post
Tremendous Bianca. The pace of your writing matched the F1 driving, I was gripped by the pre race tension and felt as tough I was in the car with you. Murray would come out of retirement for this one.

Well done


Anna Reynolds at 18:20 on 18 June 2004  Report this post
Bianca, fabulous pace and tension all the way through, and I loved the fact that you didn't care if you were 'lapped' or whatever. The language and the techincalities seem just right- I'm assuming they are, knowing nothing about it- I'd have loved though to know how she got to that level, presumably she's done it before or has she, etc. Great atmosphere.

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