Throwback Thursday: TBMF1Show at the launch of Racing Point F1
One year ago today, The BackMarkers F1 Show attended the launch of a new era in Formula 1, Racing Point F1 team.
Lance Stroll & Sergio Perez pose in front of the first car under the Racing Point name
Toronto, Ontario Canada - It's the season for Formula 1 launches and that got us feeling a little nostalgic as we looked back on a very special day in 2019. On February 13th, 2019, we were lucky enough to attend the official launch of Racing Point Formula 1 team in Toronto. Attending our first F1 car launch was special enough, but what made it even more unique was the fact that we were going to be apart of history. After a consortium lead by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll saved the Force India team in 2018, the team was renamed to Racing Point and a new era was launched at the beginning of 2019. We were part of a small group that witnessed the birth of a 'new' Formula 1 team. Also, it was the first time in history that a Formula 1 team held a car launch on Canadian soil. The launch itself was exciting, but it's what happened behind the scenes that make this a memorable event.
The 2019 Racing Point F1 livery
The Racing Point launch was held at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. The auto show in Toronto is one of the largest in North America and made it an ideal location to showcase a racing car. For us that meant a road trip was on the horizon from our home base in Ottawa, Ontario. Toronto is around 450km away from Ottawa and would normally take you around 4 and a half hours to drive there (depending on how much you respect the 100km/h speed limit). Now the only problem with this car launch was the month in which it was held, February. In most parts of Canada, February is a month in which you can expect bitter cold temperatures and a lot of snow. Well, we got plenty of both as we began our drive to Toronto. It just so happened that a mega snowstorm was predicted for the day we were supposed to leave for Toronto. Almost everybody we spoke too advised us against driving in those conditions and just staying home. But we couldn't pass up on this amazing opportunity that was ahead of us. So as the snow began to fall on the afternoon of February 12th, we embraced the elements and tip toed our way to Toronto. Words will not do any justice to the terrible road conditions we faced, but luckily we documented our trip showcasing the challenges we faced in just getting there.
Our VLOG of the drive to Toronto showcases the tough elements we had to face just to get to the launch!
If their was a driver of the day for February 12th, 2019, it was Shekhar Bharti. With a set of winters on and the confidence of all-wheel drive courtesy of brilliant German engineering, (VW Tiguan) we made it to Toronto safe and sound in relatively good time. The one positive was that we faced almost zero traffic thanks to about 40cm of snow! The weather conditions really were terrible and had it not been for the launch, we definitely would not have been on the road that day. But one of the biggest winter storms of that decade made this trip a memorable one before we even got to see a Formula 1 car!
The official launch event was very enjoyable and well organized. The covers were pulled off the car by drivers Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez and the whole event had a great vibe too it. A short question and answer session with the drivers followed by official photos saw the conclusion of our first Formula 1 car launch, or so we thought. As soon as the proceedings finished, we couldn't wait to head down to the stage to get a close look at a modern Formula 1 machine. The sheer size and magnitude of the car was enough to leave you in a daydream and taking more photos than you knew what to do with. As we were about to head back upstairs to record our thoughts on the launch, we see Sky Sports' David Croft walk back into the theater. 'Crofty' was hosting the launch and we used the opportunity to talk to one of F1's best commentators. Not only was he gracious enough to give us an interview, but he was very kind and wished us luck with our channel. Certainly one of our most favorite moments on our channel was getting to speak with David Croft at the Racing Point launch.
Tyler McDonald's interview with Sky Sports commentator David Croft
The 2019 Racing Point F1 launch was an unforgettable experience. It is one of the reasons why we've dedicated a whole article to our experience a year to the date that we were there. Unfortunately we missed out on speaking with Lance Stroll or Sergio Perez that day. We were disappointed we couldn't interview an F1 driver but little did we know a year later we would get that chance to speak with a current driver..
Hopefully that's not our last Formula 1 car launch as we had a lot of fun covering the launch last year for our viewers. One can't help but laugh when you realize where Racing Point is at the moment. At the car launch, Racing Point was branded as the new era in Formula 1 and now, a year from now when they launch in 2021, they'll be known as an Aston Martin works team. It just goes to show that it is not just the cars that go by fast in the world of Formula 1.