Conor Daly – Williams F1

Written by Team USA. Posted in Conor Daly, Driver Blogs

Published on October 22, 2008 with No Comments

Grove, England (October 22, 2008) – Today we got the opportunity to visit the Williams F1 factory. It was a great experience mainly because it was a FORMULA 1 TEAM Factory and Formula 1 is my ultimate goal in racing. After Prodrive, which was incredible in itself, this was an awesome follow up!

When we got to the front gate at Williams F1, we were told there was a power outage. I hoped this would not affect our tour. The man at the front gate was very nice and assured us this would not be a problem – aside from the fact he couldn’t open the front gate because of the power outage so we had to park outside and walk in to the reception building!

We arrived at the reception building and right outside there was shrubbery/bush sculpture of an F1 car and pit crew – I had never seen such a thing before! Luckily the reception building at the time had power. Inside, the first thing we saw was a 2006 Williams F1 car. This was very cool but it took us a while to notice the Jacques Villeneuve championship-winning car HANGING above us from the ceiling!

Since the power was out in a few of the buildings, the receptionists offered us tea and coffee just to pass the time which I thought was very nice of them. Eventually we started the tour by going through the machine shop and race team bay where they prep the cars and load the team trucks. Everything in the factory was immaculate. It was so impressive just to see everything clean and in working order and everyone wearing the same team clothing. It was truly a very professional operation.

Since we weren’t allowed to go into either of the TWO wind tunnels, we headed back to the reception building. In the reception building they had an automated tour section of the building which was incredible! In this part of the building they keep one car from every year the team has been in operation. For every era there was a video that played explaining the drivers and how they did. There was some awesome race footage that I had never seen before. In the 80’s era they had one of the cars my Dad had driven and had his name up on the wall with the other drivers of the era. I thought this was very cool because I don’t really see much evidence any more of my Dad’s racing career other than pictures and trophies at our house. But now I see an actual car, his name, his helmet in a trophy case, and when I was introducing myself to everyone that I met in the factory and reception building, they seemed to acknowledge me as a very important person being the son of a former Williams F1 Team driver. I felt incredibly honored by this.

The fact that everyone who was with Josef and I – Francis, Bob and Cliff – was allowed to come on the tour with us was very a nice touch. It was a great tour and a great experience and I thank everyone at the Williams F1 Team for their hospitality!

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