A key member of our on-site team, William Plant plans and executes our Thursday and Friday fan experience activities at the track and also conducts tours of the F1 Paddock. Aged 24, he comes from Stratford-upon-Avon in the UK, birthplace of William Shakespeare.
How did you get involved in Formula 1?
I raced cars myself, starting with karting and then junior formulas. I also raced historic cars and got involved in Porsche racing. Through this, I met Sam Power, who had started working in Formula 1 and asked if I wanted to help him out by working at a few races. This is my second year and I’ve now worked at 17 races.
Tell us about your role with F1 Experiences. What do you do on race weekends?
My role with F1 Experiences is to plan and execute the Thursday and Friday fan experience activities. On Thursday, we have the Guided Track Tour, Exclusive Pit Lane Walk and photo with the trophies. On Friday, I organize F1 Insider Access in the pit lane. I work with the Safety Car Driver Bernd Mayländer and Christian Pohlhammer of Formula 1 to get our guests on the podium, plus organize various other stops on the tour with Pirelli and Alpinestars, for example. It’s my job to co-ordinate it all; to make sure everyone is in the right place at the right time and knows what to do. Every race is very different, depending on a number of factors such as the number of guests and accessibility at the circuit. Every race has its own set of challenges. We are always trying to improve the guest experience and make sure that everyone gets to see Formula 1 in its rawest form.
You also conduct tours of the Formula 1 Paddock, correct?
Yes, I’m also the main tour guide for Guided Paddock Access across the weekend. We take guests from the Paddock Club and the Champions Club inside the Formula 1 Paddock for around 30 minutes so they can experience what goes on behind the scenes. They get to meet drivers, commentators, celebrities and team personnel. Sometimes we even get photos and selfies. It’s another form of exclusive access we provide that normally money cannot buy. Working in the Paddock is still amazing for me, but even better is seeing our guests experience it for the first time.
Why choose F1 Experiences?
From Starter through to Legend Ticket Packages, no other programme gets you the same kind of access inside Formula 1 that we provide.
You are travelling to 19 races this year. What’s the most challenging aspect of this?
Living outside of a suitcase is difficult. For example, we just had back-to-back races in Germany and Hungary. I didn’t go home between them. When you travel back, you lose a couple of days in travel. I’ve done all 12 races this year, so I’ve had no time off since January. I’m looking forward to a 2-week break during August. I’m staying in Hungary for a few days after the race, then I’m off to Cornwall in the UK to get away from the city and just relax.
Favourite Formula 1 city?
Budapest is pretty cool. So far, it’s the best for me. The vibrant atmosphere, warm weather, friendly people. It’s also pretty cheap, which is always a good thing. I also like Montréal. Many of my colleagues say it’s their favourite.
Make a bold prediction for the second half of the 2019 Formula 1 season.
Hamilton is definitely going to win the championship, but I think we will see a McLaren on the podium before the season is out. On pure pace alone, without any of the luck we saw at the German Grand Prix.