Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

torstai 25. helmikuuta 2016

The first impression of the SF16-H

In my previous blog post I promised to tell you everything about the Ferrari F1 car launch. The brand new Ferrari F1 car named SF16-H was launched on February 19th. As one of the 10 winners in the ReadySetRed competition I was looking forward to this event with more excitement than ever before. However, the event turned out different from what I had expected.

I, alongside the 9 other ReadySetRed winners, were online on Skype to take part in the car launch. However, due to technical issues, I was unable to see the event live. I couldn´t see anything but a black screen. I could hear the Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen being interviewed and the technical key characters telling about the process of making the new car. But it was so frustrating not to see it live like expected. Although I can fully understand the technical issues as the event was worldwide and the internet connection must have been extremely overloaded.

Also I had very much looked forward to getting the chance to ask the two drivers a question live during the event. Earlier that week we had been asked to write two questions for each of these people: drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel, Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene, Power Unit Director Mattia Binotto, Technical Director James Allison and Chief Designer Simone Resta. I had spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it was what I actually wanted to ask these key figures at Ferrari. My hopes were so high that I would actually get a chance to ask something especially from Kimi and Sebastian, whom I admire so so much. However, a couple of days before the car launch Ferrari asked everyone to record one question, which they had chosen for a specific person. I was asked to record a question for the Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene. During the car launch we were told that Ferrari were going to use the recorded questions, which meant that we didn´t get the chance to ask anything from the Ferrari staff live. It was an honour to get the chance to ask Mr Arrivabene a question, I asked him what Ferrari´s strengths are compared to their rivals. Arrivabene answered with a twinkle in his eye that I should ask that again on Monday evening after the first test day ;)

But I wouldn´t be honest if I didn´t admit that I was extremely disappointed how the event turned out. I understand there are certain risks if you let fans ask questions live but since they decided to use the recorded questions, there was no reason for us to actually be online on Skype during the event. Although I have only myself to blame that I let my expectations rise so high during the competition. I had looked forward so much to getting the opportunity to ask the Ferrari drivers a question... And when it didn´t happen it really broke my heart. My common sense tells me I shouldn´t take this as seriously as I am but I feel all emotions so deeply, something that I don´t always like about myself but there´s very little I can do about it. So the past week could be characterized with heart-rending disappointment. After this event I was hit with a thought that if winning a competition organised by Ferrari didn´t bring me the chance to talk to the drivers, what chance would I ever get to talk to them? That thought has hit me quite hard although I know that sometimes miracles do happen when you chase your dreams...

In addition to all this I had put a huge amount of effort into the ReadySetRed competition like I told you in my previous blog post. Getting up in the middle of the night every 3 hours to tweet and organising my whole day around this competition for three weeks took a lot of effort and commitment. How this live event turned out, didn´t quite meet my expectations. Although the competition itself was a memorable and exciting experience, which brought me two new friends. So it definitely was worth taking part in. All in all it was a brilliant idea from Ferrari to get fans involved in the car launch although the live event left a little to hope for.

At the moment it´s the fourth and last day of the first pre-season test session at Barcelona. During the first test days the brand new SF16-H has proved both reliable and fast, although Kimi had a fuel supply issue yesterday, which cost him a few hours. The SF16-H looks absolutely beautiful with a shortened nose, a tapered rear and the intriguing red-and-white livery. In terms of the performance it´s still early days to tell where Ferrari stands compared to their rivals but the first impression is very promising.

I´m so happy that Formula 1 is back after the long winter hibernation :D I´ll be back next week as there´ll be a surprise on the way! ;)

sunnuntai 14. helmikuuta 2016

From the back of the grid onto the podium in the #ReadySetRed race!

 On January 18th Scuderia Ferrari announced an interesting 3-week competition on social media for their fans. The idea was to post Ferrari-related photos on social media with hashtag #ReadySetRed, to tweet and retweet with that hashtag and comment and like Scuderia Ferrari´s posts on Facebook to score points. The goal was to score as many points as possible. Those ten, who scored most points, would get a chance to take actively part in the unveiling of the new Ferrari via Skype. I found out about the competition  a day after it had already started and it sounded like fun so I registered and decided to take part in it. The first week of the competition was kind of experimenting how everything worked. Previously I had used Twitter for writing about Formula 1 but not in a massive scale. So I actually didn´t even know how many tweets it was possible to write in one day. The first time I checked my ranking on Ferrari´s page I was in P249!

I have a Ferrari toy car, which I´ve bought many years ago when Michael Schumacher was the shining star in the Italian team. I got an idea to take different kind of photos with the Ferrari so that the photos would tell something about my day. I started the competition by posting those photos of my own. There was a photo of the Ferrari next to my owly coffee mug and Ferrari on the ice of the frozen lake. There´s actually a funny story behind the latter one. This winter I´ve started a new hobby: winter swimming, which means that there´s a hole in a frozen lake where you go for a swim. This particular Friday the temperature was -25 degrees Celsius and the water was about 0 degrees. I had come up with a crazy idea to take a photo of the Ferrari on ice when I go swimming. Well, everything went to plan until it was time to get back to the locker room. When I took the car in my hand, it actually got stuck to my finger as it was so cold! I got it off after warming up for a while in the locker room. Me and my friend were hysterically laughing about the incident :D

By the first weekend of the competition I had made my way up to P49 already. By this time I had learned that it was possible to post or retweet about 300 photos before you were notified that you were over the daily status update limit. And that it took 3 hours before you could tweet again. Actually it was fun to take the Ferrari everywhere I went. On January 26th I travelled to Helsinki with my youngest son as he had a doctor´s appointment there. In Helsinki my son noticed a wonderful ice structure in the city center so I took a photo of my Ferrari in front of it, too. And after that we visited the Cat Cafe in the city center and of course I had to take a photo of my car there as well!

Day by day I got more and more involved with the competition and I wanted to see how high I could make it in the race. Spending a lot of time on Twitter I also noticed that there was another Finnish woman, who kept tweeting very often with the hashtag #ReadySetRed. I found it so great to come across with another Finn, who seemed to be as crazy about Formula 1 as myself. I contacted this woman and we started writing messages to each other. Every day I used to ask her, in which position she was in the race and we wrote supportive messages to each other. It was absolutely wonderful to get to know this Erja Pöytälaakso as I haven´t met many Finnish women, who would be absolutely crazy about Formula 1! Getting to know her was like finding a soulmate, someone who was at "the same wavelength" as myself! We had a lot of fun during this competition and we wanted to help each other to score as many points as possible :)

When the last week of the race got underway I was approaching the top ten as I was in P13. Making it so close to the top ten made me absolutely determined to achieve my goal and make it among the top ten. Usually when I´m determined to do something, I really make it happen as long as it depends on my own action. I organised my days so that I could tweet as much as possible. I even woke up in the middle of the night every three hours to tweet and make it higher in the ranking! Many people must have thought that I had gone absolutely nuts, hahaha :D Around 2 am on the last Tuesday I checked my ranking again and I had made it P9!! I was so overwhelmed that I couldn´t get any sleep after that! This time I thought I actually could have a chance to make it among the top ten for real!

During the last week of the race I didn´t take many photos anymore as there was nothing to take a photo of as I didn´t go anywhere after work and all I did was sitting on the sofa and tweeting and posting photos on Instagram! However, my neighbour lent me "a Lego Kimi", which fit perfectly in my toy Ferrari and I took a few photos of "Mini Kimi" as I called the Lego figure. My cat Miuku   seemed very interested in Mini Kimi, too ;)                                                                                              
Something unexpected and surprising happened during the last week of the race. One night when I had woken up to tweet, I got a message from Brazilian Stefano Sessarego, who was leading the race dominantly at that point. Without any obligation to do so, he wrote me a message and offered me help by telling how I would score even more points in the race! That made a huge impression on me as I hadn´t asked for any help from anybody and he wouldn´t have needed to help me like that. Although he definitely could afford helping me as I had no chance to challenge him for P1. It´s so heart-warming to face this kind of kindness and sincere will to help someone else!

I definitely didn´t sleep much during the last week of the race! By the final race day I had made it as high as P7 but I still kept tweeting as much as possible. Erja was marginally out of top ten on the second last day but I did everything to help her and I kept liking her tweets until I got the notification that my "action was restricted" ;) I also got help from my friends. My twin sister and my husband joined Twitter only to be able to like my photos so that I would score more points and I would have a better chance to get into the top ten!

After the last race day there were a few very long days filled with impatient waiting as the confirmation of making it among the top ten came not until on Thursday. I was sitting at a work meeting when I received the e-mail from Ferrari. Usually I always behave with restraint at work but this time I couldn´t help shouting out loud! ;) My colleagues asked if I had won in a lottery and I replied that it really felt like I have! It was so awesome to get a message from Erja, who told that she had made it among the top ten as well! I felt so proud that there were two Finnish women among the top ten! :D The final rankings were P6 for me and P8 for Erja. On the way home I also got a phone call from Maranello, which felt almost too incredible to be true! Luckily I didn´t drive into a ditch when hearing where the call was coming from!

Now I´m learning how to use Skype and waiting for Ferrari to inform the date of the car launch. This will be a dream come true for me! I´m feeling so overwhelmed with happiness that it´s difficult to find any words. These have been absolutely awesome three weeks and the highlight is yet to come!

Stay tuned, I will tell you everything about the car launch after the event! I know it´ll be absolutely memorable, no doubt about that!