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“You’re going to all of these places, but it’s actually quite rare that you actually see the places”

Meet ESPN's Formula 1 globetrotting journalists who this week are reporting from the Miami Grand Prix, airing Sunday on ABC

Nate Saunders (center photo top, L) and Laurence Edmondson cover Formula 1 racing worldwide for ESPN.com.
(Illustration: Rich Arden/ESPN; center photo top: Andy Hall/ESPN; all other photos courtesy Laurence Edmondson and Nate Saunders/ESPN)

MIAMI – Avid fans of Formula 1 who follow the sport on ESPN’s dedicated F1 website are very familiar with the writings of Laurence Edmondson, deputy editor, and Nate Saunders, associate editor. Their prolific reporting and writing serve F1 fans year-round.

This week, they’re in America for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, which airs Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

But just who are they? And how do they handle the rigors of the F1 schedule that takes them to Australia, Asia, the Middle East, North and South America, and many places in Europe?

“I wasn’t a journalist – I was a fan,” Edmondson said. “That’s where I came from – the love of the sport. My dad watched it; I watched it – so I wanted to be part of it.

“But I looked at my skill set, and I’m not a brilliant mathematician so engineering’s out, and I’m certainly not good enough to be a driver,” he said. “I can write a little bit, so I focused on that.”

After an unusual path that included entering a writing contest and then getting a job from that, he joined ESPN in 2010, working in the London office, and eventually started covering F1.

Saunders also started as a fan but took a different route to his career.

“I was a huge fan of Michael Schumacher,” he said. “My dad’s side of the family were Italian, so if you watch F1, you’ve got to be a fan of Ferrari.”

He was reporting on rugby union when he was hired as a freelancer by ESPN. When one of the F1 reporters left, he applied for and got the job, starting on F1 in 2014.

With the world travel involved in covering Formula 1 and going through so many time zone changes on long trips, Edmondson and Saunders have learned to pace themselves and make it work.

“Sleep is a key to it,” Edmondson said. “I’m really lucky because I can sleep on planes – and that’s one thing that you’re going to miss when you go through the time zones.

“You’re going to all of these places, but it’s actually quite rare that you actually see the places,” he said. “You go airport, hotel, track – as long as you’re working, as long as you’ve got stuff to do, you just work through it – it doesn’t matter what time it is, no matter how tired you are, just get it done.”

Both said the thing they enjoy most about their work is the people – the F1 traveling circuit is mostly the same people in every race.

“Once you get to know people in Formula 1, it’s got its own little community, and you’re all traveling together,” Edmondson said. “You’re in it together with everyone – and it’s nice. It’s a culture.”

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