Riedel has been involved with Formula One for 26 years, however prior to that, company founder, Thomas Riedel, had no idea what F1 was all about. Headliner meets Riedel on the hottest day of the year at the Hockenheim circuit where it al began for him, despite his attire failing to impress many years ago.
Headliner applies some more suncream. Due to meet Mr. Riedel any minute in his homeland at the Hockenheim ring ahead of the F1, today track temperatures are hovering around 42.6°C. A well-dressed Riedel appears and extends a friendly handshake, although he points out that he hasn’t always been known for making a great first impression:
“Hockenheim was the very first place we experienced F1. I had never been to an F1 race before I started working in it! I just sort of thought: that’s cars, oil, dirty. I had a perception of it which was very different to what it was – I put on old trousers and a t-shirt, and thought it would end up dirty.
“I went to Hockenheim, met the manager in charge of GP in Germany, he looked me up and down and said: ‘So you’re Thomas Riedel’. I don’t know what I looked like [laughs], but that was the start, and now it’s great to come back to that location – all those old memories come back. And travel-wise, I certainly like the fact that things are closer to home, too!”
Riedel clearly must have impressed in the end though, as these days, all team communications are handled through Riedel Artist Intercom mainframes and panels. Interfacing with Motorola Tetra digital radio systems, engineers, crews and drivers have clear communications that can mean the difference between winning and losing. More than 2,000 radio units are used during every race, and in addition to the kit, up to 22 Riedel engineers are on site.