The most essential item I carry. Apart from the odd re-boot, it’s NEVER turned off! It’s been bashed, dented and dropped from a car (in Abu Dhabi) – and it’s still yet to let me down. After four years’ loyal service, it’s just about due a replacement. I’m pretty much inseparable from my laptop.
In Formula 1, caps are currency – always useful when requesting a favour or for supplying as a gift. Invaluable for driver appearances, too. You can never have too many – I have piles of them in my suitcase, on my desk, in my backpack. I get stressed when I start running low.
Waterproof team jacket
I have a singular rule for clothing: pack for every race as if it were Spa. By that, I mean you need to be just as prepared for wet and cold days as you are for hot and dry ones. So I always carry a jumper and a waterproof jacket. Don’t think you can predict what the Brazilian weather will be doing at 5pm before leave the Morumbi Hilton at 8am. You can’t – so pack a raincoat!
HUGO BOSS Bottled Sport
Is this product placement? Not really, it’s my second bottle, and I’m halfway through it. I like it.
See clothing rule, above.
Olympus voice recorder
Essential. Always in a trouser pocket. This particular model has a ridiculously large capacity – about 75 hours – so it’s always chock-full of voicefiles. Do I regularly empty it? Of course not…
I don’t use these enough. This particular batch is in English and Japanese – a nice touch.
Just makes life a little easier. And it fits snugly into a shoe when packing.
It’s always nice to have a little extra oomph in a hotel room. These mini-speakers are great – they’re also useful for watching videos or listening to voice files whenever you’re working during a track session when it’s invariably noisy.
There’s no better signing pen. The drivers like them too – which makes life easier. You always need more than one, as they never come back when they’re borrowed.
I’m a stationery junkie. These have 0.8mm tips – they’re perfect.
Equips the phone's camera with a fisheye or a wide-angle lens – great for adding an extra dimension on Instagram or Twitter. It has a macro lens too – I haven’t found a use for that one yet…
Get on an F1-personnel flight and you’ll see everyone sporting these. You quickly realise that you need noise-cancelling headphones in your life when you travel long-haul frequently. This particular pair was a very kind gift from a Mister L Hamilton...
You can’t really go travelling without one…
Smartphone (with optional ‘Tooned’ slipcase)
Utterly indispensible – not just because it allows you to make calls and send and receiv emails; it’s everything else it does that makes it so essential. From browsing the net, to editing photos and videos, to Skyping back home, to making music, it’s never too far away.
Soft cover, so it fits more easily into my pocket. I always keep a note of the laptimes and activity during the sessions in these notebooks. I have a stack of old ones in a drawer in my desk. They are a nice diary of where I’ve been and what we’ve done as a team. The circuit maps are useful aid-memoires – I label the corner numbers on them for ease of reference when the drivers are discussing set-up over the radio.
Portable hard drive
They say that if you don’t store your data in three places, then it’s not secure. I’ve learnt that lesson the hard way, so I always carry two of these. They’re 1TB each – handy!