It appears that ank maintains its advantages. In the case of Trent Alexander-Arnold, this means that his Liverpool teammates are out of luck if they wish to view something that conflicts with Formula One. Alexander-Arnold is a huge fan of the sport and has a strong support system with someone who also shares his interest.
According to Alexander-Arnold, his teammate’s fellow Dutchman, Max Verstappen, is also a big fan of F1, just like Virgil van Dijk.
As the captain and vice-captain, we have the privilege of choosing what we watch on the TV during coach travels. This gives us the authority to prioritize our preferred sport over others. Recently, there was a conflict between a race and golf, and we had to assert our positions to ensure the race was shown. This decision did not sit well with some of our teammates who are fans of golf.
Football has always come first for the Liverpool and England right-back but he has an enthusiasm for F1 stretching back to watching it when he was six with his father. This past week he became directly involved in the sport as one of the backers in the Apex investment group that has bought a stake in the Alpine F1 team.
The pleasure it brings to be part of the sport is writ large as he discusses the decision to get involved. He attended his first race at Silverstone last year and was at the Spanish GP in June. “TV doesn’t do it justice. It was one the most special things I have ever seen up close,” he says. “Seeing how the team works and operated it was mind-blowing. It was one the best experiences I’ve ever had, it was incredible.”
For Alexander-Arnold, his investment is an opportunity to be part of something he holds dear. The 25-year-old reels off a list of summer grands prix that he will try to attend when his footballing commitments wind down with the ease of a man who has already thought long and hard about them. He also feels the sport, for all that it is a world away from football, shares some common ground in the nature of top-level competition.
“I am fascinated by the level of attention and precision that F1 teams put into gaining even the slightest advantage over their competitors,” he explains. “It’s intriguing to see how, at the highest level, players and teams are evenly matched, but it’s the small details that make all the difference. Every day, every year, every training session and competition is about finding those tiny margins that give us the edge over our opponents. This idea really struck a chord with me.”
Alexander-Arnold was influenced by Michael Schumacher and Ferrari during their dominant era in the early 2000s. Despite football being his main focus, he kept up with Formula 1 and took note of Lewis Hamilton’s arrival and skill. He recognized Hamilton as a trailblazing black athlete in a sport dominated by white athletes.
“I used to believe that most athletes in my sport resembled me, but I soon realized that this was not the case in Formula One,” he explains. “Lewis faced numerous challenges on his journey to the top, and it’s amazing to see how he not only made it into F1, but also became one of the greatest drivers in history.”
Alexander-Arnold’s Liverpool teammates greeted his entry into F1 with great interest and he concedes Alpine’s performance will be under no little scrutiny at Anfield. “All the lads were asking questions wanting to know about it,” he says. “They were really excited by it because it’s something that doesn’t really happen in football. So if we have a bad weekend on track then I will get a bit of stick but hopefully I will be the one laughing in the end.”