Some girls get all the luck: girls like Anna Bermudez and Anna Diez, who at this weekend’s European Grand Prix in Valencia are working with Red Bull’s Formula One hospitality team at one of the most scenic locations of the F1 year.
Surrounded by swanky yachts in the harbour development made pristine for the 2007 America’s Cup race, Anna and Anna will spend this weekend tending to dozens of VIP guests of both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Both are motorsport fans – “the Spanish are crazy about motor racing”, says Anna D – so the opportunity to get this close to the Formula One action is one they can’t pass up.
And unlike team ‘helpers’ in any other country, the Annas get two chances for a racing thrill in Spain: they joined the team at the Spanish GP in Barcelona earlier this year as well as this weekend in Valencia.
“We’re very lucky,” says Anna D, 30. “We’re the only country in the world that has two Formula One races and while they’re both special, they are also very different. Barcelona is a permanent track, so it feels more ‘traditional’. Here you can see the boats and the sea and somehow, with the sea air, it feels… I don’t know… fresher. It has some Monaco style, I think.”
'The Spanish are crazy about motor racing' – Anna Diez
Both Annas hail from Madrid and are quick to praise the culture and nightlife of their Spanish capital home town. But they’re quick, too, to point to the attractions of Spain’s ‘other’ cities. “Barcelona is Barcelona,” says Anna B, 25, “which means it lives from tourism. And Valencia has started to do that too.
"It has made a huge investment in the City of Arts and Sciences, with the Calatrava buildings, which are so stylish and modern. There has been a lot of change in a very short period.”
The race weekend days start early for the Annas – perhaps as early as 6am, with an alarm call to get to the track and be on hand for the team breakfasts.
Fifty or more ravenous mechanics are just the first of many demands to met throughout a day which might not finish until 8pm. They’re followed a few hours later by the corporate guests who come and go throughout the day, each with their own particular requirements.
“It’s important to remember how special being at a grand prix is for many of our guests,” says Anna D. “For most of them the chance to have a garage tour, or to meet Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi, Mark Webber or Sebastian Vettel is something they might have waited many years for and which may never happen again. We have to try to make the Formula 1 experience special for each of them.”