Formula 3.5 and the Fittipaldis

I’ve never been to a Formula 3.5 race before. Technically, I don’t cover it, but it’s one of my favourite series to watch, along with the European Formula 3.

A series that I do cover, though, is the Ginetta Juniors. Enzo Fittipaldi, driver for Douglas Motorsport in the series, has become a friend to Overtake Motorsport since he started driving cars, after I spent a good couple of weeks trying to get an interview with him. And Enzo was attending the race, as his older brother, Pietro, was driving.

Last week, Enzo turned fifteen, and is now old enough to drive in the British Formula 4 series, and the teenager was immediately testing in one of the single seater cars. I wanted to find out what was going on with that, and to make sure I was kept up to date as he builds up to his single seater debute.

 

Enzo invited me into the garage to watch the first race of the weekend. The last time I watched a race from a garage was when Aiden Moffat qualified on the front row of the grid at Thruxton. It’s the most tense thing in the world, and this weekend was pretty much the same.

Pietro’s team mate, Louis Deletraz, had problems coming off of the grid and seeing everything behind the scenes as everyone reacts and tries to put things right is amazing. The behind the scenes is just as exciting as the race, most of the time. Whilst the drivers are the face of the team and the ones everyone wants their autographs, motorsport is definitely a team game and you can really tell that when you’re stood in the garage with the majority of the team.

20160723_140003Every emotion in the garage is intensified by about a million percent. So, when Pietro took his first rookie win of the championship, the excitement was obvious. I followed Enzo as he rushed out into the pit lane to go and watch his brother on the podium. The entire family was there to celebrate, which gave me an idea.

The Fittipaldis are a very close family, which gave me an idea for a feature. Officially, I was at the race as a fan, but a journalist never stops being a journalist.

Over night – I stayed in an amazing B’n’B – I got started making a plan of the article before going back to the track on Sunday.

I managed to get to the paddock just before the qualifying finished. After the session, I caught hold of the older Fittipaldi brother to ask him a few questions about his brother, before managing to ask Enzo the same questions.

The answers were good, and now that I’m home I’ll start to build up the article and, if there’s anything else I need this weekend will provide the perfect opportunity.

Because Enzo and Pietro are actually lovely people, they invited me into the garage again for lunch, where I ended up talking to their mother. Between her trying to make sure I was eating enough, we chatted about the boys, which gave me a little more background information to bare in mind when I write the article.

Overall, it was an amazing weekend. I didn’t set out to be a journalist this weekend – with the exception of making sure Enzo keeps me up to date – but it still worked out well. Now, off to get this article done.

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