Drivers sign up for Zoom


Never let it be said that Formula One drivers don’t do their bit for charity. Last year Pitpass’ business editor Christian Sylt came up with an idea for a charity initiative which broke new ground. It occurred to him that although F1 already does a lot for charity it all tends to follow the same format of getting drivers to sign photos of them or their cars. Instead, Sylt suggested it would be more interesting if the drivers took the photos themselves and then signed the snaps before they are auctioned for charity. All of the drivers and team principals soon came on board.

Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH) was selected as the charity partner and the initiative was given the catchy name of Zoom.

Pitpass became a media partner of the event and exclusively revealed many of the photos which included world champion Sebastian Vettel’s shot of the Alps taken on a climbing trip, his team-mate Mark Webber’s snap of his two pet dogs and Lewis Hamilton’s driver’s eye view from the seat of his car in the pits. Not only did all the drivers take part but so did all the team principals along with F1’s boss Bernie Ecclestone who took some unusual photos of his chalet in Switzerland.

The auction took place in September at an event in the Wyndham hotel in Chelsea which was attended by motorsport personalities including Damon Hill and Eddie Jordan. Planning for the 2013 event is currently under way but before then a one-of-a-kind Zoom item will be auctioned in aid of GOSH.

An official Zoom book, containing prints of all the photos and an introduction written by Ecclestone, was released late last year. It can be bought for 20 in bookshops across the UK and online but one very special edition will not be available until the end of June. However, you will need very deep pockets to buy it.

In October Ecclestone autographed his photo in the first edition of the Zoom book and it is in the process of being signed by every one else who contributed to it. Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button were among the latest personalities to add their signatures.

The book will be put up for auction at the annual F1 party during the week of the British Grand Prix and all proceeds will again go to GOSH. Zoom is the only auction of photos taken by the stars of any sport and only one copy of the book has been signed so it is rare to say the least.

The driver signing isn’t the only support which Zoom has received recently as the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) has also come on board as a partner. Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, chief executive of BIC, says that “the Bahrain International Circuit is proud to be associated with the Zoom auction as it is in aid of a wonderful cause which is close to the heart of Formula One. We’re looking forward to working together and building on the success of the first event.” As with last year’s auction, Pitpass readers will be the first to find out about the developments.

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Published: 11/05/2013
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