F1 autograph hunting TIPS for people with not much money. (Legal stuff only) If you have no money to pay the paddock club access then how on earth would you ever go close enough to the F1 drivers to get them sign your merchandise/autograph/photo. Your not even related to any F1 crew. That was my question since I first attended my first Formula 1 race.So what did I do to tackle this problem? How did I manage to get autographs and photo’s with F1 celebrities not to mention a few World Champions(Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Niki Lauda, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikonnen) from the past and current lineup. Here I share my tips ->
Tips 1 – Identify your target.
Know the drivers family members, gf’s, race engineers,technical crew,team directors, owners and entire crew if possible. It’s always good to know who is who. Reason? not many people know them, so +1 point as competition to take photos with them are less. You can even ask them were and when the actual F1 drivers will arrive at the circuit. Do not focus on only 1 famous F1 driver. You might not know that a young rookie would be famous one day. My F1 circle of friends took photos with Sebastian Vettel when he was still the 3rd driver for BMW Sauber. Imagine him now and you know what I mean. So the keyword here would be identify and do not be picky.
Tips 2 – Always bring a marker pen + merchandise
Bring stuff for autograph in your backpack at all times during Grand Prix weekend. You will never know who you bump into. A friend of mine bumped in Sebastian Vettel in a local Puma store and there was no publicity on that!
Tips 3 – Identify and hangout at the drivers/crew Hotel.
How? – you need to be good to the hotel personals before the F1. You can even go and ask the receptionist and pretend as if you are going to stay at the hotel. It may not be so ethical but the important thing is it’s legal. You will be surprised on how easy to get some drivers photo’s or even autographs. You can also check your local forums and ask around where the drivers are staying. Someone out there might know!
Tips 4 – Wait in front of the paddock access gate.
Some circuits, drivers walk to the paddock. Example(Singapore GP). This is a great opportunity to get them to take a photo or sign autographs.
Tips 5 – If the paddock lane is open, get your way in front of the garage.
On race day, normally teams who win P1 will have a team photo session. Smallers teams will celebrate P2 and P3. But you will never know, so make sure you wonder around the teams who made it to the podiums. I’ve personally took pictures of Ferrari, McLaren Mercedes 09, and RedBull team photo’s. The drivers were so near to me and I manage to take pictures with them as well! Best time is after race when the teams are packing but you must be sensitive enough, some teams who didnt do well might ignore you but don’t stop and just go to next garages/teams.
Tips 6 – Wonder at your local airport the day after the F1 race finishes.
You will be amazed on how little supporters are at airports! You will never know who you might bump into. Seriously I’m talking of experience. Some friends and me have meet Fernando Alonso at Changi Airport once.