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Old 4th June 2010, 19:55   #1
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Default F1 Marshall - An insider's look

Hi team!

The title says it all, doesn't it? So let me spill the beans straightaway. I am going to be a part of Formula One, the sport I've followed for nearly a decade now. I am going to be a full fledged marshall at the Singapore Grand Prix this year!!!

The process began in March when the race organizers were recruiting (By the way, although my location says Bangalore, I'm actually studying here in Singapore and only come to B'lore in my holidays). Now, I wasn't even aware that they select folks like me, with no racing experience of any kind to participate in Formula One, the pinnacle of motorsport. But, as it turned out, they do pick complete newbies and train them to be a part of F1! And I was among the lucky few who made it and are now set to be Race Officials (aka marshalls) at the GP. I will be a marshall for the support events like the Porsche Cup, Formula BMW etc. as well. The best bit will be Formula One of course!

My training began in early May and will go on all the way up to the race itself. And let me tell you, the trainings are serious stuff. I've been watching F1 for so long and a marshall's job seems relatively simple to the casual viewer: Wave the right flags, clean the track, escort the drivers and that's about it. But there's so much more to it than that. Every minor thing is so meticulously planned and executed. And I'm loving every bit of it!

I've only started on this journey and I have a long way to go. There are many many more trainings yet to come and we're starting slowly. As to what's happening right now, we're getting a general idea of how different marshalls do their specific jobs. For instance, a flag marshall and a track marshall have very different roles. But it is imperative to understand how everyone works together before we move on to training for our specialized roles. I'm in some very good hands as my trainers are wonderful people who know and love what they're doing. I'm confident that I'll be fully ready for the amazing experience in September this year.

And before I end, a big thank you to Team BHP. It has been great fun talking about everything that happens in the world of motorsport with you guys and I think its these little things, like interacting with a community of other motorsport nuts, that keeps the passion alive.

More to come in this thread but the important stuff will come in sporadically with long periods of inactivity. So do be patient!
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Old 4th June 2010, 20:00   #2
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A big congratulations from me. I am sure you would be cheering for Lewis all the way! Take care & All the best
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Old 4th June 2010, 20:08   #3
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Thats wonderful news !!! let me be the first to congratulate you !!! A T-BHPian at F1 Singapore. WOW

Let us know what exactly are you being trained on, I always thought marshals just wave the flags, what else are you being trained on?
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Old 4th June 2010, 20:11   #4
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A very big C O N G R A T S to you mate!! You have landed up a good one and will get to see most of your favorite F1 drivers up close!! All the best and do keep us posted.
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Old 4th June 2010, 23:37   #5
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Hope to see Got Bhp? Sticker sometime during the race incident
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Old 4th June 2010, 23:46   #6
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Wow! Congratulations McLaren!
We will wait patiently for your updates.
Arm yourself with a good DSLR (if that is permitted for the race marshals!) and make us happy!
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Old 5th June 2010, 00:04   #7
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Congrats McLaren. You are one lucky dude. This is going to be great. Wish you good luck and a safe safe race "marshalling"

You must sport a Team-bhp name somewhere so that we could see you during the race. Hey, you could message us where you would be positioned during the race...
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Old 5th June 2010, 00:44   #8
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Congrat Mclaren. We are looking forward to hear the whole process of how it happens and the training that is being undergone.all from the insiders perspective
This is gonna be fun
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Old 5th June 2010, 00:58   #9
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Awesome news, dude! Congratulations!!
Keep us posted on the events.
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Old 5th June 2010, 01:42   #10
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Hi Mclaren,
I've heard from a member on here who studied at NUS that university students are given the opportunity to be flag marshalls.
I have a few queries.
1. So, what marshall are you exactly?
2. Since this thread is on the insider's view, do show us the world of F1 through a marshall's POV.
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Old 5th June 2010, 12:34   #11
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Thanks a lot for the messages guys.

To answer your questions, photography is prohibited so no cameras and no photos or videos. Also, no communication with the outside world during duty. Even though we might be seeing the drivers themselves, no autographs either. It makes sense doesn't it, since we're there to do a job and all these take your focus off the job. And although I would love to, I suppose I can't put a T-Bhp sticker on my overalls as it would probably be advertising.

I will know of my specific marshall role sometime before the end of the month. As I mentioned, we're being trained on general aspects of marshalling and how the marshalls all over a five km track know exactly what to do at all times.

Let me give you an example: A simple incident like a piece of debris falling on the track is dealt with in the following way. First, the flag marshall will see if it is on the racing line or not and bring out yellows if necessary (simulatenously, green flags will come out at the next marshalling post to indicate that the danger is over). The observer (communucations marshall) radioes Race Control and informs them of the situation. Race Control will see if there is a gap on the track when a track marshall can run out and get the debris. If yes, then the observer is alerted to when the gap comes and the observer will indicate to the track marshall to run and recover it. If the marshalls think the gap is insufficient, they may request a Safety Car. And one way or another, the debris is recovered. Quite a complicated system to deal with such a simple incident! But this is the only way that the safety of marshalls and the drivers is ensured.

By the way, I realize many of you are interested in doing this kind of thing. Given that the Indian GP is going to happen next year, keep your eyes and ears open for this sort of opportunity. For me, I chanced upon the announcement when I visited the race website (not FIA website, but race website i.e. Singapore F1 - 2010 Formula 1 Night Race - Singapore Grand Prix) to book tickets. I signed up and submitted an application including my educational qualification, previous volunteering experience, motorsport experience and other things like medical details. The selection rate was about 10% and I suspect it will be even more competitive in India. But it is definitely worth trying out and I hope more of us get this kind of experience.

That's all from me at the moment. Ciao!
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Old 5th June 2010, 13:37   #12
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Dude Mclaren ! This is brilliant news !
A big congratulation for breaking into the world of Formula 1 .
The wait for the Singapore -GP must be agonizing .
Looking forward to all your updates!

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 5th June 2010, 13:59   #13
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Congrats M_R.
It will be a great experience watching the drivers and the cars from so close. Hope you have a great time and do share your further experiences.
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Old 5th June 2010, 14:43   #14
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Wow, congrats dude!
I am sure you are going to have a wonderful time.

We will be waiting for the updates after the race.
All the best
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Old 5th June 2010, 17:16   #15
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wow @McLaren_Rulez thats some big news you got for everyone. Big Congratulations to you!! and we hope to hear more about your experience as it happens. Do keep us posted.
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