No… not mine. But it’s still rather harsh to hear a story of a fellow marshal losing his personal property while volunteering for a MotoGP event at the Circuit of the Americas.
It could have been me. It’s not a secret that I have taken photos at previous events. I share them on this very blog. I hope that they help in promoting what we do – marshalling to others who may not have known volunteering in motorsport is possible. Certainly the marshalling clubs don’t do enough to recruit new people, this is quite evident through the dwindling numbers of marshals/corner workers. And after the news of this confiscation I bet more racing fans will be turned away.
Is it wrong to take pictures at the track? Some say “Of Course!” unequivocally. But to me it is one of the perks of being so close to the action, of being a volunteer. I’m not saying I or others should take pictures the entire race. But certainly during our downtime it must be one of the privileges of the job. One of the perks. A way to make a keepsake memory. The whole idea behind the photo books I publish after each F1 race. It preserves my memory.
I’m afraid the current attitude of the folks that have been marshalling for many years: “I’ve seen everything, it’s just another race.” There’s no excitement in this logic. They do their task like robots. Without much appreciation for what they are a part of. And yet watching the social media pages of people who always preach the no photo rule, they tend to have a great deal of their photos in action from each event. What about the little guy? The newbie trying to get started in volunteering. We all want memories, and not just mental ones.
I strongly disagree with what took place at COTA. Whether FIM or Dorna confiscated the GoPro, or one of the COTA officials. I feel that by not returning it to the marshal after the event they send the wrong message. You want to teach someone a lesson, kick them out of the event before the start. The person was caught red handed, punish them right away. Don’t steal their $500 camera equipment. That is wrong on so many levels!