• Rob Lee

F1 and the Marshalling Bug

The biggest event on the British Motorsport calendar and one that every marshal wants to be at the side of Silverstone circuit for, for the best view of the Formula One.

To be able to marshal there you need to be at least a track marshal, or green badge as you may have heard; sorry trainee’s, but maybe this is something that you can use to push yourself for that upgrade if you want to that is? I missed out on marshalling the F1 this year by a matter of days, as university assignments also got in the way and took precedent. Luckily I was still able to go to the event due to a friend having a spare guest ticket.

As soon as I popped my black wristband on, which by the way allows you to access pretty much everywhere, I knew I was going to struggle as a spectator.

I didn’t realise that I’d caught the marshalling bug and that I had so much orange in my blood until I was stood at Copse Corner when one of the GP 2 cars pulled off. The urge to jump to action and get the car to a safe place gave me itchy feet and the only thing stopping me was a catch fence!

When the incident was cleared, Nadine Lewis Incident Officer on that corner for the weekend, noticed that I wanted to get involved and said, “You looked like you really wanted to help out there, you don’t like being that side of the catch fence do you?”.

Never has a statement rung so true; the urge to go and help really was a tough one to restrain. It wasn’t just the incidents I was missing. When I saw a friend and fellow Oulton Park marshal, Jamie Kelly flagging with his partner, I knew I was no longer cut out for this spectator lark.

It wasn’t all bad though, from the access we had from our wristbands we were able to wander around and didn’t have to fight many people to get a spot to watch the race. The location we chose meant we were able to watch the cars come through the Village Loop and then turn around and watch them come through Copse and onto the Maggotts/Becketts complex which gave me the great view of Max Verstappen’s spectacular overtake on Nico Rosberg.

So, what you’re probably wondering now is ‘how can I marshal the F1 so then I don’t get caught up on the wrong side of the catch fence wanting to get stuck into the action’? Well like I mentioned before, the first port of call is to get your upgrade from Trainee/White Badge to Track/Green Badge.

Once you have done that then you’re in business. The next step is to accumulate over twelve signatures in one discipline either incident or flag for example, and then fill out the volunteering form at the end of the year.

At this point, however, it is out of your hands, but I hope if you do want to do the F1, then don’t make the mistake I did last year and miss the deadline! Hopefully, I shall see you there next year.

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