F1 autograph search TIPS for people with little money. (Legal matters only) If you don’t have the money to pay for paddock club access, how the heck would you get close enough to the F1 drivers to have them sign your merchandise / autograph / photo? You are not even related to any F1 team. That was my question since I first attended my first Formula 1 race. How did I manage to get autographs and photos with F1 celebrities not to mention some world champions (Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Niki Lauda, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikonnen) from past and current lineup? Here I share my advice ->
Tips 1 – Identify your goal.
Get to know the family members of the drivers, gf’s, race engineers, technical team, team managers, owners and the whole team if possible. It is always good to know who is who. Reason? not many people know them, so +1 point as competition to take photos with them is less. You can even ask them where and when the F1 drivers will arrive at the circuit. Don’t focus on just one famous F1 driver. You may not know that a young rookie will be famous one day. My circle of F1 friends took pictures with Sebastian Vettel while he was still the third BMW Sauber driver. Imagine it now and you will know what I mean. So the keyword here would be identify and not be picky.
Tips 2 – Always bring a marker + merchandise
Carry autograph gear in your backpack at all times during Grand Prix weekend. You will never know who you meet. A friend of mine ran into Sebastian Vettel at a local Puma store and there was no publicity about it!
Tips 3 – Identify yourself and hang out at the drivers / crew’s hotel.
How? – You must be good to the hotel personnel before F1. You can even go ask the receptionist and pretend you’re staying at the hotel. It may not be that ethical, but the important thing is that it is legal. You will be surprised how easy it is to get some driver photos or even autographs. You can also check local forums and ask where the drivers are staying. Someone might know!
Tips 4 – Wait in front of the access door to the paddock.
On some circuits, drivers walk to the paddock. Example (Singapore GP). This is a great opportunity for you to have your photo taken or autographs signed.
Tips 5 – If the paddock lane is open, exit to the front of the garage.
On race day, teams that win P1 will normally have a team photoshoot. The smaller teams will celebrate P2 and P3. But you will never know, so be sure to ask yourself about the teams that made it to the podium. Personally, I took photos of Ferrari, McLaren Mercedes 09 and RedBull team photos. The drivers were so close to me and I manage to take photos with them too! The best time is after the race when the teams are packing up, but you have to be sensitive enough, some teams that did not do well may ignore you, but don’t stop and just go to the next workshops / teams.
Tips 6: Ask yourself at your local airport the day after the F1 race ends.
You will be surprised how little friendliness there is at airports! You will never know who you may meet. Seriously, I’m talking from experience. Some friends and I met Fernando Alonso once at the Changi airport.