Thom Businger
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Cristina Sarhan
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The Zandvoort Experience

Although I had painted the show car for the Alfa Romeo F1 Team and designed a lot of merchandise, watching a race live remained elusive to me until August. Then came the big bang and it was like: Grand Prix of Holland – Boogie, do you have time? It seemed like they were planning something bigger with me, so in the weeks leading up to the race weekend, I had a lot of work to do. Marketing at Sauber was in full swing, and collaborations were coming together at short notice. Among other things, I was allowed to design the race suits and boots for Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu for the race in Zandvoort. I also painted the obligatory winner’s bottle, designed a helmet, various posters, and the manufacturer of cycling clothing ASSOS decided to make a cycling jersey with the ArtCar design. The whole range, including the merchandise collection, was supposed to be presented at the Dutch Grand Prix. Boy, was I excited! The weekend was approaching, and the day before departure, I received a sad call from Thom – my manager – that he was flat out with the worst cold and unfortunately couldn’t accompany me. Since my better half and two good friends were only arriving on Friday – but I already had my first appointments in Zandvoort on Tuesday – it was time for a one-man show. So, into the adventure!

ChatGPT Upon arriving at Circuit Park Zandvoort, everything was even more intense than I had imagined. The guys and girls from the Alfa Romeo F1 Team had really gone all out, and the motorhome was more like a Boogie show. OMFG! Boogie merchandise everywhere, the racing suits, the helmet, the posters on the walls, and the MakingOf video playing on loop on the screens. I was so proud! Dominique – the event manager – then asked me to come with her for a moment, as they apparently had a little surprise for me. When I saw the glass container branded with Boogie x ARF1 Team right at the main entrance to the grandstands, containing the ArtCar and serving as the sales stand for the Boogie merchandise, I was truly speechless. Did that really happen???

Over the next few days, several more of these surprises awaited me. Among them was a small bike tour organized to promote the new Assos jersey, with Valtteri Bottas and some Assos pro riders. All this, even though I had never been on a racing bike before. My only condition: Please, no clip-in pedals, or I’ll fall over!

On Friday, the long-awaited moment finally arrived, and Frau K., as well as Roy and Cassy, arrived, and we could dive into the race weekend together. Everything was just unbelievable, especially for someone who knows Formula 1 either from the 2000s with Michael Schumacher and Kay Ebel or from Drive to Survive. Hearing and feeling the sound of the cars directly at the track for the first time was overwhelming.

But another small surprise had been kept from me, and this one was to come on Friday: “Are you guys up for coming into the pit box? We have a small time slot available for you.” Experiencing a pit stop with headphones, where the original radio communication between drivers and the team is heard, is one thing. The other thing was that both the pit box and the vehicles for the race in Zandvoort also sported the Boogie look, which I didn’t know beforehand. A big ZANDVOORT in Boogie letters adorned the front wing of the C43, which I had drawn at some point – but the team hadn’t told me what they would use it for. Likewise, the names of the drivers were on the side panels. Even when labeling the exterior of the box, the team didn’t stick to the usual practice of using the official F1 font for the drivers’ names (as all other teams do), but instead, as the first team, they just used something of their own… and it was from me. That really blew me away and regularly left me speechless.

ChatGPT Overall, it’s a time I’ll probably never forget. Sure, there have been graffiti collaborations here and there in Formula 1, but I can proudly say that I was the first to get the “whole package” and thus our culture has become a bit more visible in this huge circus. Thanks for the trust and courage!

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