Thanks to Team Suzuki Ecstar’s partnership with Williams eSports, Joan Mir and Alex Rins were able to have a fantastic experience during the build up to this weekend’s British GP.
On Thursday morning they were welcomed at Williams Racing HQ near Wantage in the UK, an impressive facility which includes every facet of their motorsports operations from the museum which houses legendary Formula 1 cars, to the ultra modern wind tunnel, and the futuristic eSports zone.
This museum is something I will always remember.- Joan Mir
The riders also learned about Williams’ Advanced Engineering department, which uses their expertise to design everything from aerospace parts to incubators for infants who need urgent hospital transportation.
Mir and Rins were guided through each aspect of the British company’s history in their impressive museum where they learned more about the F1® cars, which spanned decades of racing and included legendary machines driven by heroes of the four-wheeled world such as Ayrton Senna and Damon Hill. Joan Mir explained: “I really liked the museum, seeing so many performance cars from past and present, and especially Senna’s car! It was mixed feelings but it’s something so impressive. This museum is something I will always remember.”
The riders were able to feel the weight of a steering wheel, check out the incredible aerodynamics, and even experience the feeling from inside the car as they got in the driver’s seat. For Alex Rins this was the highlight of the day: “It was really amazing to jump into Damon Hill’s FW16B, it was so small inside with the special molded seat, but it was surreal to sit behind the wheel of a car like that.” They also explored the workshop for the heritage department and saw the engines stripped down. Despite the obvious differences between Formula 1 and MotoGP™, Mir found parallels: “It’s very different but in the end we’re all the same in the motorsport world, we’re all pushing to find the best performance possible, and I really see the similarities in the two sports.”
After taking in the superb sights of the real life racing cars, it was time to head over to the eSports facility with Team Suzuki Ecstar supported rider Cristian Sanchez, and F1® eSports driver Alvaro Carreton. A fierce battle commenced in the virtual F1® cars which was eventually won by Alex Rins, the riders then moved onto the MotoGP™ game and had plenty of thrills and spills along with their eSports team-mate, Cristian. “I really enjoyed playing the games, Alvaro gave me a lot of good advice because I’ve never tried the F1® game before and it wasn’t easy. In the MotoGP™ game I was crashing a lot, but it was so fun because during the lockdown Cristian and I were playing online a lot together.” Commented Joan Mir. Alex Rins found the opposite to be true: “With eSports I’m better on four wheels than two, it’s a bit easier! We spent some time with Cristian, our team-mate, and it was so nice.”
This special event proved to be an interesting and exciting start to the race weekend which is now underway at Silverstone circuit and due to have a bumper sell-out crowd. It certainly gave Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders a boost: “I’m really grateful for the opportunity, this is a sort of ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.” Said the 2020 MotoGP™ World Champion.
Rins agreed: “It’s been an unbelievable day and it’s the best way to start the race weekend here in the UK.”