During the course of the 2016 F1 season, Mobil 1 and Esso brings you exclusive access to some of the personalities in the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team. Meet the men and women who keep the team on track throughout a race weekend, at the circuit and back at the McLaren Technology Centre.
Racing Technical Advisor for ExxonMobil to the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team
PIT STOP ROLE:
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT McLAREN?
I have worked as a partner of McLaren for the last 15 years. Early on, within Technical Marketing, then progressing to Formula 1 trackside 10 years ago with ExxonMobil/McLaren satellite teams. Finally progressing to the McLaren Formula 1 team fully, two years ago. I provide the technical support for all fuel and lubricant related products for ExxonMobil (Esso, Exxon, Mobil and Mobil 1).
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN 3 WORDS…
Adventurous, enthusiastic and committed.
FAVOURITE RACE LOCATION?
I would have chosen Monaco in the past for its scenic beauty and diversity in a small place. However Australia moves top now, as my son lives in Sydney, so I can mix a great grand prix with visiting the family. Melbourne is the equivalent to our Goodwood Festival of Speed for the week. With the best on track action on the GP circuit. New South Wales has some great dive locations as well, if we have time either end of the race week.
FIRST McLAREN MEMORY?
A Corgi Yardley McLaren Car I had in my childhood collection, as a memento from 1973. This actual car is now on the Boulevard in the McLaren Technology Centre!
BEST McLAREN MEMORY?
I recall the late 1980’s and the battles between Senna and Prost, but was awakened by McLaren F1 GTR at Le-Mans. I was there on that weekend in 1995, to witness the fantastic win and the amazing debut entry finishes, for the 4 McLaren cars entered.
FAVOURITE RACE IN McLAREN HISTORY?
The 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix where Lewis took the Championship from under the nose of celebrating Felipe Massa (who won the race). He beat my team driver (I was with Toyota at the time) Timo Glock, on the final corner into 5th place, taking the single point he needed to beat Massa!
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR THREE F1 TRAVEL ESSENTIALS?
1. My Kindle for reading on aircraft - I have been known to read a book a race! On a rough calculation, we are in the air about 235 hours a year, so have plenty of time and there are not enough good films!
2. Paddock Pass - Do not forget your pass!!!!!!!! You do not want to have to go to the Team Manager to explain yourself!
3. Mobile Phone - communication is essential, as I can be on-call 24/7 from anywhere in the world.
BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?
From a personal perspective, I get to visit some fantastic locations and sample some fantastic Asian cuisine, which I love. From the job side I am in one of most envied team garages in the paddock. I have not sampled any wins since being here, but the “Phoenix” will rise! Hopefully while I am here.
FAVOURITE McLAREN DRIVER – PAST OR PRESENT?
It has to be Senna. He is still revered as the best driver of all time and his recall of the Monaco dream lap is of driving legend!
WHEN NOT AT WORK, I LIKE TO…
Ride my motorcycles. I have covered most of Europe by bike watching Moto GP’s or travelling to a race weekend by bike. I have also riden the “Green Hell” Nordschleife on numerous occasions. Another passion is scuba diving, and I am working on doing the best dives around the world! I also adore rugby (watching now!). I coached the local junior team for 12 years. I mountain climbed for many years, but now restrict myself to walking with the wife and family black labrador when I can. Crib Goch is a good walk to Snowdon!
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF…
Personal fact: by 22 I was married to Carol, owned my first house and had my first daughter, the first of 3 children; Emma, Kim and Rob. Emma, is now 37! Professional fact - I have machined plastic explosive on a lathe. Quite nerve wracking!!
WHAT FUELS YOU THROUGH YOUR DAY?
The thought of winning! At the moment we hope for a good result, when this happens, the mood in the garage is intoxicating! This leads to the next question...
YOUR FAVOURITE LUBRICATION (DRINK!)?
Ha ha lubrication – very good! I love a wee dram or two of Johnnie Walker Black Label. Spain has the best measures!!!! My birthday over the last 10 years has always been in Barcelona.