Thursday, August 16, 2012

An Ode to Formula One

Hello Friends,
I am writing today because I feel the need to share another one of my passions with you all and to give my respect to those this blog is about. Apart from writing and drawing I am an avid Formula One follower. I have been addicted to the sport since my family introduced me to it back in the mid 80's. I can remember how on the weekends my father would wake us up make breakfast and then start our choirs. After this was complete I would sit down with my father and watch the Formula One Grand Prix event for that weekend. I can still remember how the sport grabbed me when I first watched. I remember the awesome, high-pitched whines of the engines and the breakneck speeds at which the drives went in order to win. I remember such greats as Aryton Senna, Manfred Winklehock, Nelson Piquet and Michael Schmacher flying around the track in access of 200+ miles an hour in their beautifully painted carts trying to outdo one another in one of the greatest and most dangerous motor sport in the world. I can remember how my father and I would sit on the edges of our seats surrounded my junk food and beverages cheering on our favorite racers. My father didn't really have a favorite, he was much more interested in racing itself, but not me. I was intrigued by the racing styles of Aryton Senna and Michael Schmacher because they gave their all on the track. Their two style would set the tone for future drivers of the sport. I can still remember how I wanted to be in that position, taking on the greats from other teams, testing my mental and physical skills against other opponents and winning Grand Prix, uncontested. I can still see myself barreling down straight-aways and hugging hairpin turns with sparks shooting out the back of my cart, muscles straining as I jockey for position. I remember one dream where I passed Mark Donohue and Aryton Senna on the Enzo E Dino circuit in Italy. I can still see his eyes through his helmet as he gave me a "thumbs up" as I took the inside pole position. Sadly though the end of the late 80's and being of the earlier 90's saw some of the most tragic losses to the sport. I can still feel the shock and horror of not being able to fully understand what happened on that fateful weekend when I, along with the world of Formula One watched in horrors as not one but two great drivers died in the San Marino Grand Prix. Roland Ratzenberger died the day before on a practice run and the following day Senna lost control of his cart in turn two and died on impact with a guard barrier. Being so young I couldn't really understand death in motor sports but that day I knew I would never see my hero- Aryton Senna, three times world champion, ever race again. As time passed and I became older the thrill of the sport only grew. The drivers, teams and equipment might have changed but the love of the sport remained the same. Still to this day I watch every race and follow every driver with the same enthusiasm as when I was younger. Every time I here that wonderful engine sound of carts moving down the track still send a chill down my spine and the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up. I think back to my heroes past and present and remember those who died doing what they loved. I will always hold a special place in my heart for Formula one and I will always remember those who died trying to achieve greatness on the track. I will always see their smiling faces and cheerful cries as they stood at the podium waving to the fans and toasting with giant bottles of Moet champagne. They were humble and treated each day in the sport as a gift from God. This is for my heroes, and god bless you Aryton, Winklehock, and Ratzenberger, may you rest in peace and thank you for allowing me to see your greatness even if it was cut to short. The sport will not be the same without you and I miss you all so very much. Thank you.

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