Google+ Jack Leslie F1: Story

Story

It was the year 2000, in the spring, and a curious six-year-old was watching the TV. Yep, that that little blonde kid was me. My dad was in control of the remote and I wasn't really sure what I was watching. 
© Williams Martini Racing

I obviously found it pretty interesting, because I started asking questions. What was this mysterious thing I was watching? Well, it was the 2000 British Grand Prix. I didn’t know it was Formula 1 at the time but this "thing" I was intruiged by would soon become an obsession. 

I don’t remember much from when I was that age, although apparently I wasn't a big fan of the loud engines to begin with, but I do recall being caught up in that race. 

I quickly picked out my favourite drivers and because I had no clue really what it was, I went for the safe, patriotic choices - David Coulthard and Jenson Button. F1 was a part-time interest back then, of course. I had more important things to worry about, like playing with my toy cars, LEGO and going to school (urgh). 

Primary school was where my interest in writing actually started. I remember being a particular fan of English and more specifically writing stories. But it took some time for me to start thinking about it as a possible career path. 

2004 was the year when things completely changed for me, in terms of my passion for F1. Button was challenging at the front in the BAR and I’d become more and more aware of what this sport was. That season was when I got completely hooked on racing, I watched every single F1 race and, to be honest, almost became a bit obsessed with it. 

This was also when I really started to follow other motorsport series as well. The obsession had well and truly moved into a higher gear! I started going to events with my dad (including the British Touring Car Championship at our local track, Snetterton). At this stage I was so invested in F1 that I often couldn't watch the race starts, I was that nervous and anxious.

For Christmas in 2004 my siblings and I were given a PlayStation 2. This not only introduced me to the wonderful world of gaming but also that year's F1 game. But while I was pretty damn excited by this, I was even more thrilled by a subscription to F1 Racing magazine.

I liked reading but struggled to really get interested in specific book genres. They simply didn’t interest me. However, I could sit for hours reading F1 books and magazines, with Autosport and Autocar soon becoming regular reading material. 

As the years progressed my interest and knowledge of F1 and other motorsport championships continued to grow and evolve. I attended more and more events and was particularly excited by the 2008 and 2009 F1 championships, with Lewis Hamilton and Button – my two favourite drivers at the time – winning titles. Those were pretty special moments and I’ll remember them for quite some time. 

The writing side of things also began to develop. During my GCSEs I struggled a bit with English but I really turned it around in the end. The passion for writing was still there, I just seemed to be a fair bit better at it. This all sparked an idea. Why not combine my passions for writing and F1, and see what happens? 

So, I started this very blog in July 2011 as a way to improve my writing, share my thoughts on F1 (and motorsport in general) and see if it could kick-start a potential career path. Luckily for me it did. The work I’ve put into this blog has helped me achieve many things on my journalism bucket list. 

Now I freelance for Motorsport Week, Car Throttle, WTF1 and Autosport. I also write regular pieces for the F1 Strategy Report.

I've also written for the likes of carwow, About.com, Richland F1, Rumble Strip News and Formula1Blog, and have contributed to several eBooks and online magazines too. My work has also been published in magazines (including Autosport) and local newspapers. 

As my involvement in F1 has increased, so has my enthusiasm and passion for the sport. I remain completely obsessed with F1 and motorsport in general and can't wait to see what the future holds.

That is my story, what is yours? Let me know in the comments below.

5 comments:

Jon Barker said...

Hi Jack,

I have vague recollections of F1 before that - I vividly remember Riccardo Patrese almost winning Monza in 1992, Sennas death in 94 and a few bits before that but my story with F1 began in 1995.

It was the Belgian Grand Prix and I was 11 years old. It was a wet qualifying that then dried which meant a few drivers were mis-placed on the grid and it was an all Ferrari front row.

The race itself was a real classic, wet/dry conditions which meant plenty of pitstops, the leaders of the race dropped out and it became a duel between the Benetton of Schumacher and the Williams of Hill. There were plenty of passes/re-passes until Schumacher eventually won...only to be given a one race suspended ban for overly defensive driving.

That race got me hooked on F1, at the end of the year I bought "Murray Walkers Grand Prix Year 1995" and kept reading it over and over.

Ever since then, F1 has been the only sport I've ever really followed.

Anthony Wright-Mullaney said...

Hi Jack,

I remember watching it from a very young age, perhaps as young as 6, but only really got into it from 1992 onwards (I was 9 then) and watching Nigel Mansell winning the championship.

I remember watching most races then for many years, and remember Ayrton Senna's crash, Schumacher winning with Benetton, Damon Hill winning the Championship in 1996, then moving to Arrows in 1997 and almost winning a race! I don't think I have actually missed a race since 1996 season!

My all-time favourite race has to be Spa in 1998 with the almighty chaos starts, and Damon Hill winning overall the race in a 1-2 for the Jordan team - one of my all-time favourite teams!

I wish you well with your blog, for a 17-year-old you have a good blog going on here, very informative and I am sure if you keep developing then somebody will sign you up for sure in writing columns - keep up the good work!

Cas van Roermund said...

Hello Jack im @CasvanRoermund on Twitter and I thought you like it of I wrote something on your blog.

Anyway I was born in July of 1994 so I missed Senna which is a real shame. I started watching it just like you, my father had the remote and I joined him. I believe I was 6 years old at the time.

My father told me that at one race where Micheal Schumacher crashed and could not finish the race anymore I stood up and walked away. I've always been a Schumacher fan.

I was really happy when he returned in F1, but I couldn't help get the feeling of slight dissapointment. Luckily he just raced for a year so he didn't embarrass himself.

Since than I have become a fan of Kimi (Raikkonnen) because I love his sense of humor and his abilty to cope with things other find hard or stressful.

ermm.. I must tell you I'am Dutch so my English can be somewhat confusing.

Oh yes I must say that F1 is to me what other is football

Damien Marquez said...

The 1988 Hungarian GP is my earliest F1 memory. We were watching the grand prix on TV whilst on holidays in Spain until it got interrupted by the start of the 500cc Moto race!

How I got into it has more to do with the fact that Prost had to win the 1989 championship after being hard done by Senna at Imola (as conveniently omitted in Senna the movie).

After Prost retired, I supported Jean Alesi, Damon Hill then became a 'neutral' fan from 1998 onwards. What I love is the cars, the politics and the passion. It's a much more interesting sport when you don't support a driver or team in particular.

Andrew Clark said...

Always loved F1 but got more into following pals over the last few years who were mechanics at HRT & Marussia teams who alas have now gone bust..! Jinxed them probably-sorry ;)