True Life Tales… Marc Gené
I first arrived in England in 1992 with two objectives in my mind: continue my career towards F1 and completing an Economics degree. I first had an interview with Professor Malcom Rees from the Economics Department at the end of 1993 and during a walk in which he showed me the different departments I heard a familiar noise. “It sounded like a F1 car…Silverstone circuit is just a few miles away” he said. “This is leading to something big”, I said to myself. By then, I had no doubts that Buckingham Uni was the place to be, it was special.
The three years I spent there were very good. In my first year I finished 2nd in the European and World Championships of Formula Ford. In 1994 I competed in F3 with Alan Docking Racing, and the team was based in Silverstone!!! Sometimes I would finish my lectures and before going to study I would go and visit the team to check the car and talk to the mechanics. During the season, whenever racing at Silverstone a lot of students would come and see the race. Even some professors would do that.
Obviously racing in such high level and studying was not easy, but with a lot of dedication everything worked out fine. It was also of a lot of help the gym that I used everyday to keep fit, since the fitness level required for racing is very high, and the gym was very good to me. Thanks to my studies I perfected my English, learnt about marketing, accounting, law and economics. All this has been very helpful since F1 teams are like big multinationals and that way I understand perfectly both the way they work internally and their needs.
It was very nice to come back to Buckingham in 1999. The reason to come then was to take part in my first season of F1 racing. Since then I’ve come every year, this year as BMW Williams F1 test and reserve driver. When I drive through Buckingham all my memories come to my mind…and I have no doubts that everything I learnt at Buckingham Uni has been so useful now in F1.
My best memories are still in Buckingham, with all the students from so many different countries…all the journalists in F1 always ask me about my days at University, and sometimes ask me if the picture in which Margaret Thatcher hands me the Economics degree is real !!