Just over a fortnight ago, at 2.26pm, Jeremy Clarkson posted little over 15 words on his Twitter channel.
At the same time, Esteban Ocon was flying through Sainte Devote and up the hill towards the Monte-Carlo Casino on his way to a thrilling podium finish in the Monaco Grand Prix.
Fast forward to today, Monday 12 June, and those simple words on Twitter have come to fruition. Shortly after midday, the rumbling noise of a supercharged machine pierced the airwaves on a calm, sunny day in the Oxfordshire countryside. And it was not the A523 Formula 1 car, which propelled Esteban to his podium on that Monaco Sunday.
Out of the trees through the narrow country lanes, which meander to the factory, a large silver tractor came into view. Seeing such things is actually a normal occurrence for Enstone given its rural location and so many local farms.
However…the clinking of glass as it rumbled down the lane was a good indicator for the owner’s identity.
“I’ll buy you all a pint if you get a podium here,” quipped Jeremy on Twitter. And here he was, delivering on his promise and ensuring all 875 staff members of the team received a bottle of beer, his very own Hawkstone beer, brewed a stone’s throw from the team’s site to celebrate the team’s first podium of the 2023 Formula 1 season.
Just as delighted as Enstone’s staff members was Esteban who, with a grin as wide as he displayed on the rostrum, jumped aboard the tractor with Jeremy - trophy in hand - before driving through the gatehouse and onto the iconic Enstone site.
Clapping Jeremy and Esteban into parc ferme were the 400+ daytime staff - taking a short break from their work - to welcome the pair with the all-important goods.
“A big round of applause for our podium producing driver…and our neighbour,” said Otmar Szafnauer, microphone in hand, to welcome Jeremy and Esteban in front of the team’s display comprising of the A523 Formula 1 showcar and the Alpine A110 roadcar.
“I said I’d buy you all a beer, so I’ve bought you all a beer,” replied Jeremy as he climbed down from his now world famous tractor.
“Thank you very much for having us here today, we are delighted to give you this beer as it was a great result [in Monaco] and very fun to watch sitting at home,” he added.
“You carry on beating the drum for Chipping Norton and we will continue to support you!”
The man of the moment, the podium man, Esteban then added his words to conclude the gathering.
“Thank you, Jeremy and Kaleb,” Esteban said.
“It means the whole world to us. It’s extremely special. I’m proud to bring the trophy home, and it’s been an awesome ride recently. You guys have helped improve the car massively. We still need to push; but this trophy is yours and it’s from the work we’re all doing!”
Time to unload the truck filled with the hundreds of bottles and beer kegs ready for a special summer’s day…
Thank you to Jeremy, Kaleb and the Hawkstone team for a memorable afternoon.