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#IAMSTORIES | Mariana, Brazil

Cars. Speed. Brazil. For Mariana, these three words have been a way of life for her and her family. A passionate fan of Formula One, watching the race on a Sunday became a key part of her family's weekly routine. 

#IAMSTORIES | Mariana, Brazil

That is, until the Ayrton Senna accident. An accident that led to Mariana taking a hiatus away from watching F1. 

When the pandemic struck, however, Mariana found her way back to the sport that she loved and now, with Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team getting ready to race in Brazil, Mariana heads to Interlagos for her first ever live F1 experience. This is Mariana's story, written in her own words. This is #IAMSTORIES.

"I've always loved cars, ever since I was a little girl. It's a love that runs in my family's blood.

"As with most Brazilians however, F1 stopped being a part of our Sunday routine after Ayrton Senna's accident.

"It wasn't until 2016 when one of my close friends started talking about the Championship again. I started watching some races, but I wasn't hooked and didn't pay attention to every race.

"Then, during the COVID 19 pandemic, when we were in quarantine, I found myself home with no college or anything to occupy my time. One day I heard that Formula One was returning and it made me so happy.

"So from then on, I gave it another chance. I watched the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix from start to finish and that was the turning point for me.

"I now never miss a single qualifying session or race, and I've become known in college as 'that girl that loves F1'. There's just something so beautiful about racing; about the unforeseen circumstances leading to the unexpected.

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"My favourite Formula One driver is Lance Stroll. I've been intrigued by him since I started watching F1, as he's only a year older than me. His skills, especially in wet conditions are amazing, and his history in motorsport is brilliant, ever since he was in karting.

"What I like most about him is the way that he does not back down, and always says that 'he does his talking on the track'. He keeps his head strong and shields himself, and proceeds to amaze us - like his performance in Turkey last year (I actually cried from excitement).

"I actually had the opportunity to talk to him in the video conference with fans before the new AMR21 car launch this year, and he was very kind.

"My favourite thing about this team, summed up in one short sentence, would be its meaning. Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team has a multi-year plan; it's a long-term game plan and its embracing new individuals along the way.

"The mechanics, the engineers, the drivers, the media staff, the people at the factory; they're all working collectively towards an end goal, improving all that they can week after week.

"As a fan, you can see how much you're valued, be it in your artwork, your commitment, your efforts or in your opinion. I do feel like a part of the team, like my voice is heard and my experiences matter.

"Messages on social media are replied to. I got to be on the fan video in The Vault. I had the amazing opportunity to talk to Lance, and members of the media team during the video conference that I mentioned before and my question was also featured in the official car launch. Even the Valentine's Day heart graphic on social media at the beginning of the year had my name on - it was so cute and so cool!

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São Paulo GP through the lens of Conor McDonnell

Globally-renowned photographer and Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team fan, Conor McDonnell, is embedded with the team at Interlagos this weekend to capture a different angle of the Brazilian Grand Prix and tell a different story from inside the F1 Paddock.

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Sebastian Vettel, shot by Conor McDonnell
Sebastian Vettel, shot by Conor McDonnell

"You don't feel like you’re speaking into the void, and that's rare in a large Championship like Formula One.

"My favourite of Lance's on-track moments this year has been his 39 laps on the softs in Portimão. Or maybe at Paul Ricard when he climbed from P19 to P10. That was impressive.

"I chose to sign up to the free I / AM membership, firstly, because I'm a huge fan of the team, but also because of the opportunities that it gives us.

"The best thing about being a part of the I / AM community is how we all bond over our shared passion. The Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team fans are, above all, passionate people. For a team that's relatively young, the bond over the Team is phenomenal.

"The I / AM community has so many amazing artists and content creators, people that are eloquent about their love. It creates friendships, which gives the whole community the feeling of being a family.

"I love to express my passion for this sport by simply spreading the word. Every single person that knows me knows that I'm an F1 and an Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team fan.

"It's evident in my clothes, I share it on my social media, I watch races with other people to get them into F1, I go on live feeds with other girls and blogs to talk about how F1 is definitely a space for women too.

"My favourite ever moment in Formula One history has to be the classic Brazilian favourite; Ayrton Senna's first home win. From being stuck in sixth gear to winning the race and then being almost too weak to lift the trophy – that entire moment holds so much meaning.

"Every Brazilian knows that story by heart, because if he wasn't already, then in that moment, he was crowned a national hero."

Thanks to Mariana for sharing her story: #IAMSTORIES

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