Our old friend Panos Seitanidis has been a member of the Greek F1 commentating team for 15 years, working with the biggest national TV networks and numerous other media outlets as one of the leading Formula 1 journalists in his country. Today “Seitan F1” (his fan-given nickname on social media) shares a typical F1 race day with the Paddock magazine.
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07:45. Usually, on Greek free-to-air TV, we cover just a couple of Formula 1 races per season from the circuit, all the rest are being broadcasted from the network’s studios. So for the past 15 years, my typical race day would involve commentating from Athens, Greece. Either way, the luxury of sleeping is limited, but who needs sleep when your job is about the most… awakening sport in the world!
08:15-08:45. After a small breakfast, it’s web and social media time. It’s an area that I’ve heavily invested through the years, has achieved to create a fan base of dedicated petrol-heads – an “F1 Fans in Greece” community with thousands of members who meet every now and then to discuss their favourite sport and have even created a special kart championship!
09:00. After I kiss from my 4-year-old daughter, I’m ready to rock and roll! Unfortunately, TV studios are located on the other side of Attica County. Luckily, Sundays ensure that there isn’t much traffic.
09:30. As far as the F1 TV Show is concerned, I always had… multiple tasks, to put it gently. Like the few Spartans, we have only a handful of people for the whole TV show. So having already translated all the quotes and incorporated subtitles on most of the edited stories the days before, created the action-music clips, race previews, tributes, etc., I have to go through every edited minute for the last check.
11:00. I look for new stories worth posting online. So a small break from TV activities in order to get this done for my online partners. Plus, another chance to share something on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.
12:30. Final pre-on air meeting. Going through the details of the TV show with everyone involved.
13:00. Time to get ready, get dressed up for the show and let the make-up people try to make us look better – it’s the only part of the job I’m still not used to! I’m just not into putting things on my face to look more… presentable.
13:30. A quick look online for last-minute stories and to interact through my social media.
Who needs sleep when your job is about the most… awakening sport in the world!
14:00. And we are on the air. During the pre-race show, the first years my position was mostly in the control room, guiding the presenters through the script of our show and popping in the studio at some time during the pre-race for comments about what is about to come. Then, after taking over the lead presenter role, I had to get into the battlefield.
14:55. Part 2 of our TV Show, enough with the built-up, time for the race. Two long hours of extreme pressure.
17:00. The Formula 1 Grand Prix is over, now it’s my turn to “race”. I write the review for the websites I collaborate with, edit a 1-minute preview for the TV news show, get some press releases for Greek media done plus I try to be as active on social media as it’s physically possible at that time.
20:00. Back home. Not for some rest though, just to continue working from there. I grab a small bite, spend some time with my daughter in order to restore all the lost energy and… full-throttle again.
02:00+. I know I can continue all night but it’s time to stop for the day. This article in the Paddock magazine maybe about my race day but the truth is that except being on camera, the other days aren’t that much different. The Formula 1 world never steps on the brakes, so neither do I. This is a job that one could never endure unless he or she loves the sport.