F1 Club speeds into Suffolk

Formula 1 is a sport that’s not a household name here in the United States, but the Suffolk F1 club is looking to change that.

The F1 club met for the first time on Feb. 10 and their main goal is to provide a space for F1 fans and for people who are trying to learn more about the sport.

The club plans on providing a series of different opportunities from teaching about the basics of F1, to planned movie nights and even having go-kart competitions.

The club also serves as a space for international students to convene, as F1 racing is primarily sought after in countries abroad.

“I had noticed there weren’t really any motor sport-related clubs on campus,” said Ellen Marcelo, president and founder of the club. “It’s been something I’ve always been passionate about watching and I thought it would be cool to have as well because of all the international students we have on campus as well.”

Marcelo, whose family is originally from Brazil, has said learning from her dad about F1 has been a great bonding experience for her family and also was the source of her interest in the sport.

“There’s this driver named Aryton Senna, who’s basically the greatest of all time, and he’s kind of been an idol for my family,” said Marcelo. “Similarly to how people love watching football or basketball, that’s what Formula 1 is to us.”

One of the reasons for F1’s recent rise in popularity is due to the popular Netflix series; “Formula 1: Drive to Survive.” The show acts as a reality television show which gives an inside look into the world of F1 and all that goes on behind the scenes.

“Our secretary of the club, Irlanda, calls it the ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ of Formula 1,” Marcelo said. “They actually made the show to cater to an American audience and to try to get more fans from the United States and it’s been working.”

Alfredo Serrano is a senior at Suffolk who is originally from Madrid. He’s one of the F1 club’s newest members and said he was drawn in by his interest in Formula 1, as well as the welcoming environment the club offers.

“I know that the e-board has some great ideas and projects going on for the members,” said Serrano. “As an E-Board member of another club, I admire their ambition and the environment they are creating for us club members.”

For any interested members, Marcelo reiterates that the club offers a space for all people interested in F1 no matter how experienced they are.

“It’s a great opportunity to find people who also love the sport and want to learn more about it and be able to bond over it,” said Marcelo. “[F1] has a very diverse fan base and there’s so much to learn about it, it’s always evolving and it’s great just to be part of something like that and make new friends and just love what you love to watch.”

The club meets Thursdays during activities period (12:30-1:45 p.m.) in Samia room 219. They can be reached on Instagram @SuffolkF1 and through their discord server, which can be found here.