Motor Valley Stories
From engines to socials: Carolina’s Formula 1 experience
Carolina Tedeschi, aka @f1withcarolina, is a young content creator who, from her bedroom in Cavriago, Reggio Emilia, landed a gig on Sky Sport F1 by pursuing her endless passion for motorports.
Carolina grew up breathing in the air of the Motor Valley, born into a family who had always considered cars to be an integral part of their story. Her journey as content creator started out as a desire to project her passion to other young people like her, accompanying them in their discovery of the world of Formula 1.
Today, Carolina is here to chat to our editorial team, guiding us through her origins as content creator, and above all, as a true F1 fan.
When somebody says Formula 1 to you, or motorsports in general, what’s the first thing you think of?
When I think about Formula 1 or motorsports, the first memories that spring to mind are the ones that are tied to my family. I think of the Ayrton Senna poster that my brother had in his bedroom. I come from a family that grew up in the world of cars, it’s something rooted deep inside us.
So yes, when I think of cars, I think of home, and my ultimate idol: Ayrton Senna.
So your passion was born from that poster and from your family. And that’s where the Carolina we know today came from?
Yes, but it wasn’t a linear journey. It took time for me to discover who I really was, what I liked and what I didn’t like. For years, I didn’t find the world of cars particularly interesting. My brother was a professional kart racer, my cousin raced in the Formula 1 junior leagues, and my uncle was an Italian motocross champion. During my early childhood, I spent every weekend in a camper van, following my brother around from race to race. I wasn’t that enthusiastic about it, I’d often shut myself away in the van and watch the wrestling on TV to pass the time. I’ve always been the odd one out in my family, the creative one. I actually wanted to be an actress.
I now realise that everything I do takes me back to my childhood. My memories of those years travelling around Italy’s circuits are deeply intertwined with a united, happy family, and every time I hear the sound of an engine on the track, my mind goes straight back to those moments. And it’s this realisation that really triggered the start of my journey.
What was the first job you ever did for Formula 1? Do you remember the first piece of content you created?
Of course, I remember it very well. I was in Rome studying drama, and on my bedroom wall I had a poster of Lewis Hamilton. I’d often look at it and think about how I could have done something big too.
My first piece of content was a video on Instagram: “5 interesting facts about Ayrton Senna”, which I filmed straight from my phone. I posted it without thinking about it too much: at high school, I had already started a YouTube channel where I’d post videos of myself speaking and acting, so I wasn’t embarrassed about being in front of the camera.
And how did that video go down?
I think it got a few likes from my Mum, my Gran, my neighbour and my brother.
I’m lucky that I’ve never had high expectations: in that moment I didn’t do it because I wanted to become famous, I just did it for myself. I did it because I needed to feel happy. Inside of me, there was something much bigger than simply wanting to get lots of likes, and this was my saving grace and what really pushed me to keep going.
Since that first video, you’ve made so much other content and experienced so many other things. You often make race predictions, but if you had to choose your top three experiences for a place on the podium, what would they be?
First place would go to my experience on Sky: getting to work on Race Anatomy was a dream come true. When I arrived at the studio for the first time, I felt like I was suddenly part of this amazing new world. I never thought I’d get to work for Sky, it seemed impossible, but there are so many roads you can take to reach a goal, and I found mine.
Then in second place, I’d put the event I organised, “Il coraggio di sognare” (“Find the courage to dream big”), which was born out of a desire to give my young followers something concrete. I know what it means to feel lost and not know what you want to do with your future. We invited people to the stage who had transformed their passion into work, who really had something to teach or leave my followers with, creating a wonderful opportunity for people to share ideas and learn from each other.
And third place is being chosen by New Era to go to the Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes. It was my first experience abroad, and I was chosen directly by a Formula 1 team representing Italy. It was a huge sense of achievement.
What was the turning point, if there was one, when you realised that your passion could also become your job?
The first turning point was definitely the call from Carlo Vanzini and Fabio Tavelli from Sky. After I put the phone down, I burst into tears like I do whenever I get good news, and that was definitely one of the first times in my career that I ever cried from happiness.
Aside from that, I also vividly remember the first piece of paid content that I ever posted on my social media. In that moment, I truly realised how lucky I was to be able to be doing something for work that I enjoyed and that made me happy. It felt great.
Now moving onto the Motor Valley, what does it mean to you?
For me, the Motor Valley is family. We’re a land of great workers, we have so much passion, creativity and drive. We’re famous all across the world for what we’ve created. When I think of the Motor Valley, I think of all the excellence this land has to offer, of all the great figures and brands it’s made up of.
And then on a work level, I think of Imola, because it encapsulates so many emotions, experiences and opportunities that I’ve been able to discover over these past years. I think of Maranello, Ferrari, F1, Moto GP, my first Grand Prix in Misano. The Motor Valley represents home, 100%.
How does it feel to be a content creator now, especially in the world of motorsport?
It’s not always easy, and sometimes explaining the role and the importance of a figure like content creator isn’t straightforward, especially in industries in which it’s not yet been fully accepted. In some worlds, like fashion for example, there are lots of young people doing this job. But in the world of motorsport, it’s not like that yet, and so it’s often difficult to explain to other people what advantages social platforms can have and the visibility that this kind of language can bring.
You have to know how to create your own opportunities and your own space, reinforcing your credibility day after day to the outside world.
We’re used to thinking about motorsport as a bit of a men’s world: is it still like that? And what kind of relationship is there between traditional press and the role of a content creator?
Motorsport is typically a men’s world, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, there are so many amazing women performing various roles in this industry. Things are definitely changing, albeit slowly, but that’s OK!
The same can be said for the relationship between journalists and creators. Things are evolving there too, more and more people are embracing this new aspect of the profession and seeking to harness its full potential. For me, within this relationship between printed press and new forms of media, there’s certainly a lot of respect and a desire to learn.
Let’s talk about Imola, starting again from your memories. What springs to mind if you think about the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari? Are there any moments that bring you back to this circuit that’s so important across the world?
The very first thing that springs to mind is Senna. I was tiny when I first heard Ayrton’s famous story: I watched every imaginable documentary that existed with my brother. So if we talk about Imola, I immediately think about that year 1994, as told by him.
After that, my memories are much more recent, extraordinary images of people who have an endless passion and live for the Imola Circuit. Pietro Benvenuti, Gian Carlo Minardi, Elena Penazzi, Marco Panieri: they’re all people who have welcomed me with open arms, inquisitive and attentive towards the new generation. For me, Imola represents their passion, and the passion of so many others too.
Let’s finish with your dreams and aspirations. What are the things you’d like to see the Carolina of the future experience?
One of my biggest dreams would without a doubt be to follow the Formula 1 around the world and interview a driver. Actually, I’d like to interview Lewis Hamilton before he retires from Formula 1. I’d like to be able to speak to him as a person, independently of his work, to hear about his life. I’m not sure I’ll manage that, but it’s a dream all the same.
Another dream is to succeed in balancing work with volunteering. I’d like to bring a little bit of the magic of motorsports to children who haven’t been lucky enough to experience it yet, to explain the cars to them and let them play around with them. I’d love to transport them, even just for a little while, to a world that’s different to the one they’re used to.