I’m a sucker for a good story. I cried when I played “Halo: Reach” because I felt the underlying story so compelling, and so well thought out, so true to real life. (Well done, Bungie!) I will read a children’s book for the story, because they tend to suck you in more than adult books. I re-read “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy every year or so because I love that story.
My favorite soccer player has a tale of suffering and hard work that got him where he is, even if he’s not the fastest or flashiest. So too, in racing. I hate to say it, but I’ve been caught up in a team.
First off, I’m going to blame my friend Mike, who told me he saw a documentary about them and they were cool. So I looked into them…. and dang they are cool. Secondly, I had a negative experience with other teams that I desired to cheer, and that left a bad taste in my mouth even if it wasn’t intentional. Thirdly, the backstory. I’m a sucker for a good backstory.
Ok, so in the US, we have 1 F1 team, Haas F1. They are up and coming and I’m cheering for them to do well. I have a Haas F1 flag in my garage, because I’m a fan. I love Ferrari because well it’s Ferrari. I like Red Bull because my son likes them. But, I think dear to my heart is Williams F1.
They aren’t doing well this year, so I’m not throwing my lot in with a frontrunner. They have a 41 year history in F1, since 1977, founded and owned by Frank Williams, and currently deputized by his daughter. The cool part about Williams is they are just a racing company. They are in business to win races, not to promote a company, or a secondary pursuit from a parent company, not to improve their sports cars – as close as I can tell, they are a pure form of racing team. They have won many championships (16). They’ve employed some of the best and most legendary drivers and designers. And they are an independent racing company.
So why them? If you MUST know, it’s the little things that struck me. One, the above mentioned. Two, Sir Frank Williams was in a car crash and is partially paralyzed, in a wheelchair. Three, I like that his daughter had to work her way up the ranks and now Claire Williams is doing her best to keep up her father’s legacy and return the team to winning ways. Four, they have a very tragic event in history associated with their team, and every car they race has a small tribute to that event on the front wing. Seriously, something that they could have stopped long ago, they continue to do – I admire that.
Then there are the drivers. Apart from Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost drove for them and won championships. Ralf Schumacher drove for them (Michael’s brother). Keke Rosberg, Nigel Mansell, Jacques Villeneuve… these are racing royalty, championship winners. They really have had a great history.
Sure, right now they are falling on less successful times, but so is every other team aside from Mercedes who have won everything lately.
So, I think I’m throwing my hat in with Williams. I’ll cheer for Haas because of America, but Haas also hasn’t responded to my contact request (seriously, why do you have an email listed if you aren’t going to answer it??) Williams hasn’t responded yet either of course, but I only contacted them recently. And, heck, who knows, maybe Sir Frank would want a better wheelchair and they might think my idea is a good one! I’d love to be sponsored by or work for Williams.*
I’m also a fan of fast racing ever since Jim loaned me the R8. Rich has slowly inculcated a love of F1. I’ve become hooked ever since I go-karted in Manassas mall. I can’t kart anymore because my arms don’t work as well, so now I get to watch the experts and I need to pick a team to have as a favorite even if I just like good racing.
What do you think, reader-land? Any racing fans out there? Do you think I should cheer for the front runners Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull? Stick with Haas exclusively in the hope they get back to me? Or, go with my sentiments? (Btw, If you caught the GP in China, you’ll have seen Williams in 14th and 15th out of 20. Not great, but not last!)
*I am looking for a job to work from home. I like the idea of working for an F1 team because it’s a simple mission – everything you do is designed to win races. (I like missions. When the janitor at NASA said to the president, “I’m putting a man on the moon”, that’s how I feel it should be.) Williams has actually restated this as precisely their goal, and again, I like that. It’s a pipe dream that a homebound US based fan could work for a prestigious British F1 team, but a man can dream!!!