Ardent McLaren supporter Brad Budarick was left fuming at this year’s Australian Grand Prix when the team he has followed for over twenty years gave his place on a pitlane tour away to another fan by mistake.
But thanks to a timely intervention by Forumula.net and a very helpful lady at McLaren Brad has received a fantastic consolation package which includes a VIP tour of the McLaren Technology Centre, a signed Lewis Hamilton picture, and a guaranteed place on next year’s pit tour.
Brad, 28, from Adelaide, got his first taste of Formula One at just 8-years-old when he saw Ayrton Senna win at his home town in the famous red and white McLaren. He never misses a race and attending the Australian Grand Prix each year has become something of a ritual.
This year the event was set to be even more special as he was given a place on one of McLaren’s coveted pitlane tours, a service the team endeavors to offer members of its fan programme.
Unfortunately it didn’t all go to plan. The tours can never be fully guaranteed due to the limited number of passes available to the teams, but a mix up over telephone numbers compounded the problem for Brad and saw a phantom fan take his place on the tour.
“Finding out that my pit tour had been cancelled was very disappointing,” recounts Brad. “The pit tour would have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience, like getting a backstage pass at a rock concert,” he adds.
Forumula1.com contacted McLaren on Brad’s behalf to find out what went wrong. They acknowledged that a communications error had occurred and apologized to Brad for the disappointed caused. Most importantly though they offered him a fantastic consolation package compromising a VIP tour of the McLaren Technology Centre, a signed Lewis Hamilton picture, an exclusive limited edition of McLaren – The Cars, and a guaranteed place on next year’s pit tour in Melbourne.
“We have investigated this internally and understand there has clearly been a mix-up with communication for which we are sorry,” a McLaren spokesperson said. “We take our members extremely seriously, they are very important to us, we know that many of them are as passionate about the team and Formula 1 as we are and they are a key part of the team.”
Brad is thrilled to bits with the response from McLaren and plans to take up the offer to visit the McLaren Technology Centre when he flies to the UK to attend the British Grand Prix in June.
“The response from McLaren has been overwhelming to say the least!” he said. “I’m in a shock state right now. I feel like an eight-year-old kid again, but at Christmas time!
“This has well and truly made up for the mix up at Melbourne and I am going to take up the offer of the tour of the MTC this year while popping over to Silverstone for it’s last grand prix.
“Thanks to Forumula1.com and McLaren for making my day no, year!”