Greece may not be known for its numerous fans of high speed racing but the ones that do exist are a passionate lot.
A great example of this is Jim Tzovaras, a fan of Formula One racing, who has been following the sport for many years and is now at the Formula One race for the eleventh year in a row.
Speaking with Neos Kosmos, Tzovaras explained the thrill of being part of the Grand Prix experience and how it keeps him coming back for more.
“This is the number one type of race in the world and we’re lucky to have one in Australia. Many other countries in the world want to host a Formula One race but they don’t get it. The speed, the sound, the smell… all of it. It just gets you hooked. And Melbourne does such a good job of hosting it,” he said.
I’m a Sydney-sider, I don’t live in Melbourne, but the whole culture, hosting the events, guiding you to and from the venue, the whole city’s abuzz. It’s brilliant and it’s just so good to be there.”
Having the chance to attend the Australian GP for so many years in a row, Tzovaras and his friends have come across more than a few popular icons.
READ MORE: Will Athens get a Grand Prix circuit?
“I have so many (good memories). I’ve met legendary drivers such as Alain Prost. I met Michael Schumacher about eight years ago, I’ve met so many other people,” Mr Tzovaras said.
“I’m lucky because I have a good friend there who’s well connected and helps me get into areas that only VIPs go to and I have my other friend with me as well. It’s just so awesome seeing all the older drivers like Jackie Stewart or Niki Lauda. To see all these amazing drivers gathered in Melbourne is simply breathtaking.”
Speaking about how he sees this season, the faithful F1 follower says there’s some young blood coming in that are looking to steal the show.
“There are a couple of new drivers coming in like Charles Leclerc for Ferrari, he’s only 21 years old. These youngsters, they have no fear. They have more guts than a lot of the older generation because when you’re young, you don’t think of death or consequences,” he said.
“So the youngsters come in and begin to challenge the older drivers. And some of the older ones, like Sebastian Vettel think that their win is guaranteed. But the youngsters come up and they challenge them and force them to drive better and drive faster.
“But, regarding the cars, we won’t know until the official races start because a lot of the teams are sandbagging in the preseason. They don’t want to show their full potential just yet, so we won’t know until Friday when the qualifiers begin.”
Turning his sights to Athens, Tzovaras is excited when considering the possibility but only if the proper requirements are met.
“I would like that but only if they make the most of it. For example, if they get it, I would want for it to be used and for people to actually go. So, if the Greeks want it, they should get it, I know they have many tracks there, but they need to make use of it,” he said.
“I believe it would be beautiful, anywhere in Athens, the backdrop, the buildings, the history around it, I reckon it would be fantastic. If they did get it, I would love to go,” proclaims Tzovaras.
But until that time for that race to come to pass, we still have the Australian Grand Prix and he and his friends will be getting ready to make some great memories.