Journalism graduate chases his motor sport dream
'Petrol head' Jack Giordmaina creates popular website about Formula E circuit
By Martin Voller
Many sports journalists dream of travelling the world reporting on their favourite sports, but very few are doing so at the age of just 21.
There’s always an exception, however, and in this case it’s University of East London (UEL) sports journalism student Jack Giordmaina.
A self-confessed 'petrol-head', Jack is a very driven young man.
By the time he completed his degree in May 2016, Jack had received FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) media accreditation to cover his beloved Formula E motor circuit and had reported live from races in Monaco and Berlin. It was an experience he described as “unbelievable”.
He made the first step towards achieving his dream when he identified a gap in the market.
Formula E was set for its inaugural season in 2014 but there was very little coverage of the circuit. So, with the help of a friend, Jack created his own website, formulaezone.com, and immediately got to work reporting.
“I contacted Formula E and I managed to find out which teams had entered and who was driving for each team, Jack explained.
“I gradually started talking to the teams and built up relationships with the press officers and I got stories from the drivers.
“Eventually, my site was getting hits, it was getting likes and retweets and it astonished me! From there a whole new world had opened.”
A few races into the season Jack received media accreditation from Formula E. He then made a huge step forward when he interviewed ex-Formula 1 driver Jarno Trulli.
“He [Jarno] had started his own team and I thought it would be a great story to find out why he decided to do so,” Jack said.
“Obviously he’s a big name, a lot of people would be interested in that in terms of the Formula 1 community and doing that got us quite a few hits.”
The people at Formula E soon realised how seriously Jack was taking his coverage, but he was juggling this with his degree and a part-time job at Waitrose, something he found “unbelievably hard”.
“It took a lot of effort,” Jack revealed. “I was constantly on Twitter. I’ve done 5,000-odd tweets for the website. I have to get stories out and I have to communicate and that takes time, dedication and effort.”
However, Jack wasn’t deterred and in January 2015 he applied for accreditation from the FIA, the governing body of motor sport.
“I thought, ‘Okay, I’ve made a reputation for myself, people are visiting the website, and I’ve already interviewed a couple of key people’. So I applied and a week later I got the email to say I had been accepted.
“I jumped around a lot that day! I had that press pass which opened me up to so much more. It enabled me to go to the races in Berlin, Monaco and London. I could walk around the paddock and say hello to the drivers and have a conversation.
“When people like Nick Heidfeld, Bruno Senna and owners of teams say hello to me and recognise me, that’s the biggest satisfaction.”
Having now completed his degree, Jack has his eyes set on landing a job at Formula E.
“I love my website and I’ll keep it going, but it’s incredibly hard to get sponsors. I used my own money to go to Paris and Berlin this year, but I don’t mind because of the opportunity it has given me.
“I know everyone on the media team at Formula E and that’s critical as that is where my next step lies.”