An F1 Day out with Dell

One of the really cool elements of being a blogger are the various events and press conferences you get invited to. For nine to fivers it’s a great way to escape the office whilst for us full timer bloggers it provides an opportunity to network in person rather than on twitter. My latest blogger expeditation came courtesy of Dell, whom had a few new products to show us.

The event was pretty hush hush, we had to meet at Stanford tube station, early morning. We were then driven to Elstree Aerodrome where our transportation awaited.

Dell Helicopter

Flying in to Silverstone from London took around 20 cool minutes, last time I drove to Silverstone on race day from a B&B 5 miles away it took me over 2 hours. Can’t beat travelling in style (now if they’d take me on race day that would be really really cool).

Upon arriving at Silverstone we were taken to a welcome breakfast, which for me was much needed as we had the grumpiest assistant ever on the train that was too busy to serve the so called breakfast.

Next up was the Dell presentation of their new products, on CG I’ve posted about the new Dell Studio Laptop range and I’ll be posting another one shortly. They also spoke about how Dell is growing, including expanding their sales into existing retail outlets, and what seemed like hundreds of different Dell communities online. Finally BMW spoke about why they use Dell computers (not just because they are sponsored by them) and the crazy logisitics involved in transporting their IT infrastructure around the world each year.
Sexiest Dell Yet

This is one of the things that impressed me most about Dell (other than the obvious freebie), we had a blogger round table where six bloggers Gaj (Gaj-It), Simon (Zath), Matthew (Gadget Venue),Daniel (Tech Digest) and myself were able to openly discuss what we liked and didn’t like about Dell. It was a great no holds barred open forum, we learnt a lot more about Dell and they were very open to ideas and criticisms, it will be interesting to see what action Dell takes.

Now it was time for lunch, I was going to do a John Chow here, take and post a load of pictures of food but this is Self Made Minds not self made stomachs, so here’s a pic of pitlane booty instead (which is also something I’d expect John to do, bugger).

I missed the heads, oh well

Next up F1 driver Nick Heidfeld popped up to do a quick interview, considering he must do this all of the time he was still able to sound enthusiastic, he also had a great race on Sunday, nice one.
Nick Heidfeld
We now how a bit of free time where we could watch the F1 practice session, had the pleasure of seeing Lewis Hamilton zip round and be fastest in practice on the day (as he was in the actual race) and just as satisfying I saw Alonso spin off a couple of times 🙂 .

Alonso sulking off after spinning LOL Oops

Finally we were driven around the outskirts of the track and shown the different challenging sections (most speed, most braking etc.) and given a tour of the pitlane where I was told off for tryng to film, (come on it’s only a steering wheel) and nearly deafened hearing a F1 car rev in an enclosed garage.

The day finished with a helicopter ride back and I managed to bag a lift home (thanks Matthew) which saved me hitting the tubes during rush hour, followed by a 2 hour train journey. Also need to send a massive thanks to Alexis (GCI UK) for the invite, Gaj for putting me in touch with Alexis (though she did say I was on the list anyway 🙂 ), all the folks from Dell (especially Kerry) and BMW Sauber.

Next year race day 😀 .

Edit: Thanks to Gaj for making this video of the day:

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.


  1. Wow, I’m seriously jealous! I went to Silverstone a couple of years ago on a corporate hospitality gig and I was impressed then.

    It was a Renault show and they had a centre a few miles from Silverstone for the guests to “check-in”, but it was all drive-through and made to look like a pit lane. You got a free breakfast (this was about 6am), a goody bag, a car wash(!) and it was all done very well.

    A helicopter is a much more convincing win though!

  2. Al,,
    I don’t know if there’s such a thing as jealous tears,, maybe jealous gas, or violent jealous punches.

    Arrgh!!! Clearly jealous shrieks of envy.

    I’m so glad it sounds like you had just as much fun as you’d suggested it might be (though you could have played up the whole helicopter thing (WOW!) and maybe brought us a wee bit of video.

    Congrats on a great bit of fun (and sweet new bit of gear too).


    • Cheers Fred. I was chatting to a reporter there that I think you’d do time for. I was asking if this was the sweetest gig he’d been on, to which he replied (wording probably a bit different but you get the gist):

      Nah! I was here last year, so not exactly once in a life time. Also went to Monaco with Ferrari last month, they flew us out and I watched the GP from a yacht but I HAD to go to a party afterwards to see the drivers and had to queue.

      He also managed to say that without any excitement what so ever in his voice. Turd.

  3. OK, fine. I wasn’t jealous over the amount of money the site makes, you’ve earned it through hard work, and I’m working hard myself.

    However, a helicopter ride? That’s just awesome! If only my blogs had any attraction whatsoever to major retailers :p

  4. This was a brilliant day out and I do have a video of some of the days F1 highlights I will upload it soon.
    Al, you we defo on Lex’s list but somehow you must of missed it (aren’t you lucky I gave you a shout) 😉

    I’m hoping there will be a few more of these.

    Thanks to all involved it was a great day.

    Gaj’s last blog post..ASUS M70 Review: Packed with a Whopping 1 TeraByte of Space!

  5. It was a good day indeed! and good to meet everybody too.

    Matthew’s last blog post..Folding Bike – Back Pack Bike

  6. It was a brilliant day out and easily the best media event I’ve attended since I started blogging, I’ve already written about some of the Dell stuff we saw on the day and will be putting my write-up of the rest of the day up later today/tomorrow.

    It was great meeting/seeing you guys again, nice to know there are some other UK tech and gadget bloggers out there and have others to talk blogging with!

  7. Definitely, thanks for the shout Gaj. It was great meeting all you guys and finally putting some faces to names/

  8. Wah wah, I wanna go too!

    That sounds like an amazing outing, congrats Al! The race was just as exciting – watching from home tho – I was on the edge of my seat for the better half of it. And leave poor Alonso alone, he’s suffered enough… 🙂

    • Hi Slaven, great to hear from you and thanks for visiting (I’m a bugger for keeping in touch). Being a Brit my Alonso sympathies are a little on the low side, but I’ll admit he did better in the race than in practice.

      Great to see we’ll be meeting again at the Think Tank, really looking forward t it, DK looks to be doing a blinder.

      • Heh, you don’t have to tell me, I’m a Lewis fan through and through (with some love for Kubica)!

        Yes, really looking forward to DK’s event, should be grand…

  9. Wow cool trip, well done

  10. I have quickly managed to put a video together of the F1 highlights here (and a bit of a helicopter clip too)..

    There is a video the presentation from Dell on their blog..

    Gaj’s last blog post..Advent KC550 Pink Laptop: Cher will be Proud!

  11. Looks like a great day out, i do love the grand prix, but it can be an expensive weekend. Would have been awesome to get a chopper ride and meet some of the drivers thou.

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