A Word From Annabelle:
"I cannot remember a time when cars have not been a part of my life. From motor shows to Grand Prix to car tests and launches, they have always formed an integral part of who I am as a Frankl. If you read my Jaguar article you will know that one of my earliest memories of getting new cars, before anyone else had even seen them, was not a happy one. Me; age 5. The Jaguar XJS; age 0. Me; violently ill. Father; rather unhappy. Happily, this sort of experience was a one off and I was undeterred in my love for all things automotive.
Another early memory is of tearing around the back garden on a tiny little motorbike (I think about 25ccs), with little control and probably even less success. Although at least I didn't demolish the fence, like some fraternal relations I know. This time it was my mother's turn to be less than pleased!
I have been extremely fortunate, both at a young age and more recently, to have access to the Grand Prix races, and I grab every opportunity to attend. Walking around the pits and the paddock one feels extremely priveleged, knowing how many thousands of people in the stands or at home would kill to be in your place. The noise and the smell of these occassions is unforgettable and stays with you long after you have left the circuit, and this especially is something that one simply cannot fathom if one's only access to racing has been on TV. That said, the best of both worlds is to be at the race, in a good vantage position so as to be able to see both the cars and a TV - otherwise you haven't a clue as to what is going on or who is where! Furthermore, hanging out with F1 drivers is something which does not seem like a huge deal to me, eventhough I can fully appreciate their imact on the average F1 fan. I wonder what they would think of the gold, plastic, glitter-covered bowler hat which adorns my study and which belonged to Mika Hakkinen, until around 6am on the morning after he won the Monaco GP, when he frisbe-ed it to me as he was helped home by 2 friends after a night of celebrating?! Don't get me wrong, this is the sort of thing which makes me smile as I recall it because I know it's not something which happens every day. Moreover, I cannot recall another sport for which I will drag myself out of bed, at some ungodly hour, to see broadcast live from another corner of the globe.
The love I have for what I do is that, having driven everything from a Ferrari to a Mini, I can appreciate the difference between just getting from A to B and actually having some fun on the way. And it's not even a case of money because, I can tell you, that little, yellow mini was a whole lot of fun! Mind you, I draw the line at a Trabant."
I hope this is the sort of thing you had in mind, but if you want me to add, illustrate or anything else,, please let me know.