As we continue our quest to delve deeper into the heart of the beast that is Red Bull Racing Australia, our pursuit brings us to the odds and ends that make up the Car No.1 crew. They’re great bunch of lads, or so we’re told, but we can only shine the spotlight on one at a time.
Unfortunately for Matty Cook however, it’s a far cry from the spotlight of The X Factor he yearns for. But hey, it’s a step in the right direction and a helluva lot better for everyone with ears. You only have to read his words here – not suffer through hearing them…
Jokes. We love you, Matty C.
Q: Cookie, rumour has it you spend most of your time rehearsing for the next round of The Voice auditions. So what exactly is your role on the Car No.1 crew?
A: I am chief car washer, with the best bucket, sponge and chamois in the business! Kidding. I’m one of two technicians on Car No.1 for J-Dub. It involves the preparation, maintenance and management of the car. Basically, I perform any work that needs to be carried out on the car that comes from the engineer or Jamie himself.
Q: How’d you find your way to Banyo, Brisbane and get a start at Red Bull Racing Australia HQ?
A: I actually used to work for a Formula One team. It was always a dream of mine to make it to the pinnacle of motor sport. So after 10 years working for a V8 Supercar team I made the journey to the UK to work in single seaters. I worked in a series called A1 Grand Prix for three years, which gave me my foot in the door with single seater experience to chase my dreams. From there, I landed my first role in a brand new Formula One team owned by Richard Branson where I stayed until I returned home to Australia last Christmas and started my current role with Red Bull Racing Australia.
Q: And the best damn job you’ve had, right? Take us through the highs and lows of a mechanic on the reigning champion and series leader’s car…
A: The best part would have to be winning! I didn’t get to experience too much of that in Formula One, so it’s an amazing feeling. It’s also great in the hip pocket! We have an excellent prize money scheme here. There aren’t too many bad points at all but I would have to say the late nights. It’s not always the glitz and glamour that you see on TV, there is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes that not many people get to see.
Q: Speaking of behind closes doors, rumours of your alter ego refuse to go away. Any truth to it?
A: Oh, you meant JT? Justin Timberlake. I am an extremely good singer and after a couple of cans of courage I can get my dance on. It’s no big deal…
Q: We definitely seem to be learning that the work hard, play hard ethic runs deep here. What’s the low down on J-Dub outside of working hours? Is he the Beyonce to your Timberlake?
A: More Mary Berry than Beyonce – in his spare time he bakes muffins for the boys when we are back at base. Haha, no, don’t print that! Honestly, he is an unbelievable wake boarder. He can do back flips and all the cool tricks. The muffins come after wake boarding!
Q: Sounds delicious. What’s been your most embarrassing moment in the garage?
A: Well, the boys will say the playlist on my iPod is most embarrassing. But I really don’t get it though. Who doesn’t love a bit of old school N Sync during pack-up? Every song is amazing and when I play it in the garage at a race meeting the atmosphere is electric.
Q: It’s clear now you have no shame. And we appreciate that. Funniest team memory this season?
A: After the Texas race a few of us stayed on to watch the Indianapolis 500. Before the weekend we went to a shooting range. One of the boys, Scott “Shady” Wilkinson (mechanic on Craig’s car), had never shot a gun before, so naturally went straight to biggest hand cannon you could fire – a Desert Eagle. When he fired his first round the kick-back flung him backwards a good few metres, with him nearly dropping the gun as he went! The look on his face was priceless and we all had tears coming out of our eyes. It was all caught on camera, too! Sadly, we’re probably not allowed to upload it – the language was not exactly family-friendly. But then our media girl Jess shot the same gun and did it like a pro!
Q: That doesn’t sound safe… Right, last question. If you could replace RD, ATB or Jamie with anyone in the world, who would you choose to replace them with and why?
A: Easy, I would replace all three of them. I’d do a straight swap with RD for Elle McPherson for her great business-sense, ATB with Nicole Scherzinger for her fantastic leadership skills and Jamie with Miranda Kerr because my job can be very hands on…