Social media has opened the door to a whole new generation of journalists and content creators who now no longer need to be employed by national and global publications for their work to be read. However, it has also created an environment where fans of anyone or anything can find others with similar interests. Over the last few years the motorsport world has grown hugely online with those supporting particular drivers or teams able to connect with others who are just as passionate. For Tami, also known as @vetteleclerc on Twitter, social media has provided her the opportunity to share her hobby of translating and love of motorsport with those who really appreciate it. Having spent the last 3 years sharing Italian and German Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari-related interviews in English, she has amassed a large following who find it difficult to find such content elsewhere. I spoke to her about her love of Ferrari, being multi-lingual and why working in interior design provides her with a good work-life-balance.
Like many, Tami’s love for motorsport was influenced by her parents who are passionate racing fans. “I always had an interest due to my parents being huge Michael Schumacher fans. I was very little and even though I didn’t understand what was going on, I was still very fascinated by it. Like most drivers, it was always the red car of Ferrari that I was following and cheered on,” she said. But it’s not only racing that has been a long-term passion, having studied several different languages since she was a child. “I started to learn English when I was in Grade 1 and then French in Grade 6. I was very interested in languages when I was younger and that has carried on! Since I loved English so much, I was even able to do the English advance courses at school and that improved it further,” the young German explained.
As a native speaker of German and almost fluent in English, it’s clear Tami has a natural talent for learning languages. “Thanks to a friend of mine, I also learned Italian which is why I can understand the Italian motorsport articles. Although I still need to further improve, eventually I will be able to speak it very well. Generally, if you always put 100% effort into something, everything is possible, not just with languages but with everything you want to achieve in life. The most important thing is to never give up,” she told me. It was in 2017 that Tami combined her two interests of motorsport and languages when she started translating racing related articles. After noticing a lack of content about F1 driver Sebastian Vettel outside of Germany, she decided to start sharing online, with her saying: “Sebastian usually has quite interesting interviews with German media, there is a lot of coverage about him. It was quite a shame to see that most of it is not shown to the worldwide media. So, to change that, I started to translate his German interviews and articles. I really liked the response I got from the Vettel fanbase. I want to take this opportunity to thank them because my ‘popularity’ has grown thanks to them. I started very small and most of them were there with me since ‘Day 1’. They appreciated my work and that made me extremely happy. Thanks to their positive feedback, I continued with my work and eventually also further increased the translation beyond Vettel.”
Despite this, when she joined social media, Tami had no intention of her account being anything other than just for friends. “Eventually it turned into a motorsport account due to the fact that I started my translations,” she said. “My Twitter account grew more and more and I am so grateful and thankful for that because I never expected to grow this big.” Having grown-up with a passion for motorsport, particularly Ferrari, and Sebastian Vettel having raced for the team since 2015, it was a natural progression to start translating articles about the Italian team. “I have always supported Ferrari and there was no other team for me. My parents were and are still huge Ferrari fans and naturally I was also captured by the team. There is something magical about Ferrari that no other team has,” Tami said.
Ferrari’s fans are some of the most passionate in sport, with the ‘tifosi’ never failing to turn up to Grands Prix wherever they may be around the world. The loyalty to the team by their supporters is unrivalled and Tami believes there are many reasons for this and why there is such a high demand for articles and interviews featuring the team. “The history, the passion that Ferrari shows every single race weekend, their will to never give up. It’s not about their success that means Formula One fans love Ferrari, it’s about the history, it’s about the brand and about the passion that this brand represents. You just want this team to get back to where they belong and that’s at the very top. You feel for this team. I remember I cried so much for Felipe Massa in 2008, I was extremely heartbroken for the whole team. I don’t think that every team could make you feel this way, and that’s why Ferrari’s fanbase is growing and growing and people won’t stop supporting them. I never wanted a team to win as much as I do with Ferrari,” she explained.
Having spent the last 3 years translating articles, Tami has built quite the following online. Currently boasting 11,800 followers on Twitter, the response she gets from other fans is what encourages her to continue what she loves. “I love sharing stuff about something I like. When I started to translate articles about Vettel, I got really nice messages from people saying that they appreciated them. Some people didn’t even know certain things about Sebastian and were able to learn, that made me extremely happy. Afterwards I started to translate articles about Ferrari. I love this team and I am happy to share things about them with other fans that possibly don’t see these articles. It makes me happy and the response I get from my followers is a good motivation to keep on doing it,” Tami told me. However, she never expected that this would be the case and is extremely grateful for the endless support she receives. “To be quite honest I never expected so many people to follow me, it still surprises me now. I am extremely grateful for every single follower and supporter I’ve got from what I do. I will never take this for granted. I translate articles because it’s my hobby and passion. I have a real job and it has absolutely nothing to do with motorsport, and I think that’s quite a good mix also for my work-life-balance,” she told me.
Her love of motorsport has allowed her some unforgettable moments and this is without having even worked in the sport directly. “Being in the Formula One paddock is definitely the highlight so far,” Tami said. “Feeling and absorbing the atmosphere there was amazing, being able to meet my favourite team that I supported since my childhood, I’ll never forget these experiences and will treasure those moments forever. I have to say that I enjoyed seeing the feeder series live too. I think that it is a shame that that they do not get as much as attention as Formula One gets, I really hope that this changes in the future. A good example: I have supported and followed Charles Leclerc’s career since his time during the junior categories (2016) and seeing him now at Ferrari is an incredible feeling. There are so many young and incredible talents who all deserve to get more attention. And everybody started small…” Although not actively seeking out work in the industry at the moment, if it was to come along, Tami would definitely jump at the opportunity. However, for now she is happy with the work-life-balance that her day job in interior design, and therefore outside of motorsport, gives her. “I would love to do something in a social media department but it is not something I am working for. I love my current job and want to continue with that. If someday there is a chance to be able to work in the F1 industry, I would appreciate the interest but for now I am happy to just do all my work as a hobby,” she told me.
Tami’s love of motorsport started at a young age with Ferrari being a team she has held close to her heart for many years. Having started translation of motorsport articles as a hobby, after 3 years, it remains that. To me, it’s obvious that she does this purely for the love of it and her love of the team. Listening to her passion so eloquently explained just shows how important and powerful motorsport can be.
heading photo credit: motorsport.com