Founder & Group Managing Director of PRISM, a respected international sports marketing, public relations and event management company that works with Formula 1 a lot, Mr Steve Madincea gives the Paddock magazine his exclusive and frankly quite extraordinary fantasy Formula 1 set.
My fantasy Formula 1 team is a bit different from others I’ve seen in Paddock magazine. This is probably because I strongly believe that without a complete understanding of the complex world of Formula 1, you will most certainly fail in this sport, even as a solid team of professionals. That’s not necessarily true all the time, but more often than not it is.
My choice for the team’s owner is Claire Williams, aged 50 or more. I enjoy seeing her get smarter and better each and every year. She simply keeps improving herself and her team, so I suspect by the age of 50 she will be the ingenious Formula 1 mastermind that Bernie is today, so I definitely want Claire owning my team.
Having spent some time with Sebastian Vettel since 2011 away from the tracks, I know how driven he is and how much the man knows about Formula 1. He also loves it! Any Team Principal has to have buckets of passion for the sport. As Sebastian and I have spoken on many occasions, I know he will likely never leave F1. You could actually say he is a Team Principal in the car right now.
Driver 1 – Bernie Ecclestone! He’s the right size, has the right background and quite frankly I am told could handle a car in his day. Let’s give him a shot and see what he thinks about going flat out in a modern car through Eau Rouge. The reason he would be my number 1 driver is that he’s first and foremost a fighter. Bernie and I bonded many years ago, when we realised that no one ever gave us anything, we both fought for everything we have. So perhaps we appreciate a fighter more than some rich kid driver with more talent. Plus your number one driver has so many setbacks and pushbacks that without having that fighter attitude you simply fade into the midfield and then out of the sport.
No one I have ever come across in Formula 1 has ever had such a strong hold on the media from all continents.
Driver 2 – Sir Jackie Stewart. I think we didn’t really see everything Sir Jackie had to offer given he stopped after 99 races. He could do that many races in less than five seasons of Formula 1 today. But as smooth and skilled as he was, I’d like to see him square up against a feisty number one driver like Bernie. That inter-team fight would be audacious! Plus we would be the media darlings with these two very quotable figures. Jackie would obviously be great for our team partners and he would ensure our profile remained very high.
Gary Anderson, who could do more with less than anyone I have come across in Formula 1 circles. I’ve worked closely with John Barnard and Adrian Newey in my career, so I know about highly talented perfectionists. While Gary may not be in their league, what he brings is a very workmanlike attitude and a sense of camaraderie with the entire team. Besides, with my drivers, Team Principal and owner, we have enough characters, I now need someone that get can get things done quickly.
It has to be the early Benetton liveries that were so colourful and non-corporate they stood out no matter where they were on the track. Luciano Benetton was a huge influence on me as he was well ahead of his time as a global marketer. His striking liveries were as good of indication as any that he was not a conformist.
Flavio Briatore, absolutely. No one I have ever come across in Formula 1 has ever had such a strong hold on the media from all continents as Flavio. Maybe some are good with the Brits, others with the French and others with Italians, but Flavio could mesmerise them all. He was engaging and interesting, while also being brave in the early days with things like Zoolander-like photo shoots in pit lane or interesting party themes. Flavio would make sure our team was never spoken about poorly!