An interview with F1 artist Paul Oz
We chat to well-known and highly acclaimed F1 artist Paul Oz about his recent work and why his work is perfect for F1 fans.
So Paul, how did you first start out as an artist?
“At 16 I wanted to go to art college, but my grades were higher in maths and physics. The advice, which I’m sure any careers advisor is correct to give even in hindsight was ‘art is difficult to earn a living with – you should follow the engineering route’.
“I studied aerospace engineering at university instead, with a view to moving on to car aerodynamics. Which didn’t happen.... but the mindset of which I do think contributes to my thought process now in creating artwork, 25 years on.
“I cycle raced for much of the next decade alongside a string of IT and sales roles – it was only upon stopping racing in 2005 that I had free time again and immediately started messing around with paint.
“I had my first small gallery show in 2006, the knowledge of marketing and positioning from sales roles helped me make that initial step. I was made redundant in 2009 from the London software firm I was working for... my only option at the time was turning the pocket money hobby into a full-time focus. I thought I was doing okay balancing the two – but as soon as I went full time, everything went nuts!”
Tell us about your creative process and techniques
“I always have a vision in my mind, the challenge is to then bring that into reality. With a portrait it can take weeks to find the right reference image, pose and lighting that I know will work best. I work with most of the best photographers in F1 which helps in that regard!
“Lighting is the most important thing to me in a painting, especially with portraits, to bring shapes and features out, and give the strongest 3D effect. From there, I just dive in with paint, and use solely a pallet knife for everything. I’ve been using the same one for 10 years, it has the flexibility of thin card and so much paint build up on the handle that I don’t even have to hold it, it balances in my hand perfectly.
“All of my oil paintings are about 1cm thick in paint in places, and yes that takes several months to dry properly. Even longer for my home-made neon colours. The same thickness of paint on the embellished limited editions too, but acrylic paint there as that matches the print tone best and dries in a couple of days.”
You’ve created a wide range of art, depicting some of the sport’s greatest. Which has been your favourite to work on?
“I think by now I have painted most of the sport’s greatest yes, and will continue to do so, as history creates itself. That’s what I love so much about my job – marking history, capturing the emotions and celebrating the icons of F1.
"That’s what I love so much about my job – marking history, capturing the emotions and celebrating the icons of F1."
“My favourite piece changes continuously, I guess as I’m always trying to develop what I do, my tastes and preferences move with that. I guess too that for me it’s more the story behind the artwork that is most important. Like when a team sponsor commissions me and I paint it live at an F1 weekend, or the pink helmeted Jenson piece that Jenson bought himself and then used the image for his Christmas card.
“As an F1 fan first and foremost it’s that kind of thing where I have to pinch myself and have to try really hard to not be too much of a ‘fan boy’.”
Which piece has been the most challenging and why?
“Probably the Leclerc piece that I’ve just finished - it has been a battle! I’m already finding the new generation helmets with the smaller eye port trickier to paint, when trying to capture the driver’s expression – as the smaller eye port makes it darker inside.”
You’ve just launched a 2019 Lewis Hamilton piece. Tell us about this – how long did it take, what made you choose this shot?
“The challenge with Lewis paintings is that because he keeps winning (and it’s those moments of F1 that I need to mark) it’s tough to continually do something different.
“The painting of any images from his actual celebratory moment of the 2019 title, would have looked very similar to the piece I created for his 2018 title – in a cap with the Union Flag behind him. So instead I chose the moment he started to get out of the car, almost forming a cross shape, which I thought was perfectly in keeping with his ‘Still I Rise’ moniker.
“The painting took me about one week to paint, the original is 4x3ft and included my usual home-made neon paint for the red in the helmet and the Monster Energy logos. For the first time I included reflective beads in the paint too, the stuff they use in road signs – so at very specific angles it shines like crazy! I have yet to experiment if the same material will work for the ‘embellished limited edition’...but I think it will.”
Your artworks are available on Memento Exclusives in different styles - can you express why your 2019 Lewis piece is a ‘must have’ for fans this year?
“It will be the only piece I paint with this composition for sure – and it’s a limited edition of 50 pieces worldwide, which don’t normally hang around for long.”
How do you choose who to paint and how?
"The subjects chose themselves to be honest! For instance when I met Mark Webber in the street after his Monaco 2012 win, when I was next to where Lewis threw the flag in the air in Mexico City 2017, and when Max won there in 2018 and I spoke to him at the baggage carousel in Heathrow the morning after.... all those moments were the first thing I painted when I got back home.
“I know what to paint and when to paint it because I live and breathe the sport and know which moments need marking, celebrating or commemorating.”
I try to remain as impartial as I can for professional reasons. There are a few teams I work with repeatedly – but I’m still wary of limiting myself by being too known for one team or being too much of a fan of one driver.
Besides being an F1 artist, you must also be a fan of the sport - do you have a favourite driver and team you support? Or a particular race track you like to visit the most?
“Fundamentally I’m a British patriot though so I’m always going to lean towards British teams and drivers. I’m very impressed with Lando, both with his talent and as a person – I think he needs to be painted soon!
"I’m very impressed with Lando, both with his talent and as a person – I think he needs to be painted soon!"
“As for track.... Monaco is easily top of my list. I’ll never miss a race week there if I can help it – not because of the quality of the racing but because of everything that surrounds the race. Mexico City too - the atmosphere in the Foro Sol stadium section is like nothing else in F1! Singapore is a must visit for any F1 fan too, a truly unique experience. Although from a working perspective it’s one of the hardest to do anything constructive at, with the temperatures, logistics and crazy schedules.
You also have created statues – please can you tell us more about this process – is there anything you’re working on currently?
“Oh just a bit! Everything went a little nuts last year with the Senna statue, and we’re still flat out in the foundry casting the 60% size versions of that, now in the same bare bronze finish as the famous life-size. And there are two new completely different statues being cast right now... not Senna. You’ll see the first one in only a few weeks, unveiling with McLaren. The second one I’ve been contracted to say absolutely nothing about until it’s unveiling.... but watch this space!
“The statues are all modelled on real life, which is how they are so detailed. We’ve pioneered a method of stitching together 100’s of 2D images to create a 3D model, and I work with the most prestigious foundry in the world which is handily only 20 miles from where I live, hidden in a valley outside Stroud, to realise those models in bronze.
“I aim to get a similar sense of dynamic and movement in my statues as I do in my paintings, to make them appear almost alive. I have so much in my mind for bronzes, but with each project taking around nine months, many of my ideas will have to wait a while. All will have a life-size statue, then an edition at a more manageable 60% size – the size the F1 teams work to in the wind tunnel.
What artworks have you got in the pipeline?
“Much of the next few months will be in the foundry rather than painting in the studio... but aside from the new Leclerc, a Lando portrait and a Verstappen in his orange lid are definitely coming soon. Additional to the Lamborghini and Ferrari carbon shields I’ve been creating, I’m working on a Porsche specific shape too, which should be ready soon. Through mid summer there are some big projects that I can’t talk about as yet, but really looking forward to those too!
If Lewis wins again in 2020, he will have matched Schumacher’s record. Will you plan an extra special piece for that?
“For sure. And it won’t be just a painting either...”
Shop our Winter Sale NOW!
This Winter we’re offering F1 fans special discounts on a selection of our most popular products – don’t miss out on these incredible prices!
A selection of our popular 1:2 scale helmets are now on offer. Get your very own mini helmet for £99, down from £125. Among the selection include Charles Leclerc's 2019 helmet and Kimi Räikkönen's 2019 helmet.
Up to 30% off selected Clocks and lamps
Yes, that’s right, we’re offering a whopping discount of up to 30% off our stylish clocks and lamps. What makes these items so special is that each one has been handmade from re-engineered race-used car parts, including gear ratios, break discs, layshafts, and wheel nuts!
Up to 30% on selected reengineered products
If our discount on clocks and lamps wasn’t enough, we’re also offering up to 30% off a selection of our other re-engineered products and furniture, including some of our bodywork in acrylics, re-engineered tables, and phone holders, plus discover much more.
Up to 30% off selected Racewear
Some of our excellent driver racewear is also discounted, including our framed Nico Hülkenberg 2017 Race-worn Suit and Daniel Ricciardo replica 2019 helmets, with savings of over £1000! What are you waiting for? The perfect way to celebrate your favourite drivers, head to our racewear collection now.
19% off Selected Amalgam Model cars and Steering wheels
If you were worried that you’d missed out on our festive offers of 2019, think again as we’ve extended our discounts on selected Amalgam models. These include the W10, RB15 and SF90, plus the 2019 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and Scuderia Ferrari Steering Wheels. Save 19% now!
20% off Paul Oz Art Range
Redecorating in January? Not a problem, as we have the answer. We’re giving you 20% off our Paul Oz artwork range, meaning you can reinvent your walls with some of the sport’s finest drivers, depicted through Oz’s designs – available in a variety of different styles, from prints to hand embellished canvases.
Abu Dhabi: A focus on the final race of 2019
This week, and for the final time of 2019, we look back over a Grand Prix; this edition – the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
This weekend marks the final race of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship™ which has been full of excitement and has featured five different race winners including Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.
We look back over the two most successful drivers at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Lewis Hamilton – a four-time winner in Abu Dhabi
Having just claimed his sixth World Championship title, it comes as no surprise to know that this man has topped the charts the most when it comes to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Having won the race four times, in 2011, 2014, 2016 and 2018, the British talent is no stranger to the taste of success.
He took his first win driving for McLaren, outperforming his teammate Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso who were both chasing the win themselves.
Fast forward to last year’s race in 2018 and his win in Abu Dhabi marked his 11th of the season, proving his dominance and rounding off the season in style, having already claimed his World title a couple of races prior.
This race also marked Fernando Alonso's final race in F1 and fans will remember Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso performing donuts down the straight to celebrate the Spanish champion’s triumphant career.
Despite a sixth title under his belt and a multitude of wins this year, Hamilton is said to still be chasing the win at the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel – a three-time winner in Abu Dhabi
Despite having a somewhat rocky season in 2019, Vettel is still considered one of the best drivers on the grid, which comes as no shock what with four World Championships to his name. And the Yas Marina Circuit is among the tracks the German has experienced more than one great victories at.
Vettel took his wins here in 2009, 2010 and 2013, driving for his previous team, Red Bull Racing and was the first driver to win at the circuit, which debuted on the racing calendar in 2009.
His win in 2010 was particularly special because not only did he lift the first-place trophy but his victory made him a World Champion for the first time in his career – an achievement he would go onto experience another three times, to date.
In 2013, his win marked his 7th consecutive win of the season. Already a crowned the World Champion for that season (and a four-time World Champion overall), Vettel still went on to lead every single lap of the race, beating his teammate Mark Webber to the top spot.
Shop our collection
If you’re an F1 collector looking to add some excellent memorabilia to your display or you’re looking for the perfect gift for an F1 fan this Christmas, Memento Exclusives has a great range of incredible, official products.
If you’re Team Lewis Hamilton then the ‘must-have’ product this season is the 2019 mini helmet, which you can find here.
You can also celebrate his and the team’s success with a selection of re-engineered products, which make the perfect furniture pieces for motorsport enthusiasts, from brake disc tables, to clocks made from gear ratios.
If you’re a Sebastian Vettel supporter, you’ll be pleased to find out we have a collection of Ferrari products linking to the German Champion.
You can buy your very own 2019 mini helmet for Vettel too, as well as find a selection of model cars and steering wheels available to purchase.
Find your dream Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport gift
Find Renault F1 Team gifts this Christmas
Fan of Renault, or know someone who is? Do your festive shopping on Memento Exclusives and find the ideal present.
1. Daniel Ricciardo 2019 Framed Replica Signed Balaclava - Renault F1 Team
Own this fantastic framed signed balaclava belonging to Daniel Ricciardo during the 2019 season in which he drove for Renault F1 Team. Featuring the Renault branding from the 2019 season, this balaclava has been signed by the man himself and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
The balaclava has also been professionally framed so it is ready to be displayed!
2. Brake Disc Clock- Renault F1 Team
Raced in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship™, these carbon fibre brake discs from Renault F1 Team car have been transformed into stylish F1 wall clocks.
F1 brake discs take up to 5 months to manufacture, in a careful process of compressing and baking the carbon fibre. On the track, these discs need to stop the car traveling at 200mph in around 4 seconds!
3. Race-used Bodywork & Photo – Renault F1 Team
This official framed photograph is part of the official Renault F1 Team collection and incorporates a genuine race-used piece of Renault F1 Team Sidepod!
Professionally framed with a black wood frame and conservation-grade white/black double mount, the A4 photo is the perfect addition to your loved one’s collection.
4. Layshaft and Gear Lamp - Renault Sport 'Heritage Collection'
These race-used gears and layshafts have been re-engineered into stylish lighting for your home.
Made from toughened steel and in its original race-used condition, the layshaft forms the stem of the lamp, with the gear ratio as the base - mounted to a moulded carbon fibre plinth. Each one of the 80,000 Renault F1Team components which make-up each race car has a unique identification number - and these original part numbers remain on display on the gear ratio and layshaft.
5. Brake Pad Phone Holder - Renault Sport 'Heritage Collection'
This practical mobile phone holder is re-engineered from a race-used carbon brake pad. Retired from the race, the carbon brake pad has a routed grove to transform it into the perfect perch for your mobile phone.
Have a happy Christmas with our Haas F1 Team collection
Need ideas for your F1 loving friend or family member? Shop our Haas F1 Team gifts now!
1. Kevin Magnussen VF17 Bodywork & Photo - Haas F1® Team
Professionally framed with a black wood frame and conservation-grade white/black double mount, the A4 photo is accompanied by a hand-carved piece of bodywork from Magnussen’s VF-17 Sidepod and an official Haas F1 Team plaque containing Magnussen’s printed, digital signature.
2. VF-17 Skid Block Phone Holder - Haas F1® Team
This skid block was originally attached to the underbelly of the Haas F1 VF-17 car in the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship™.
Also known as 'legality plank', skid block is the mandatory attachment to the underside of a Formula One car. Introduced in 1994 as a safety improvement following Ayrton Senna's death, the plank is fitted beneath the central plane of the car. It is designed to restrict the minimum height and prevent taking corners at dangerously high speeds.
3. VF-18 Sidepod (Left) - Haas F1® Team
F1 sidepods serve several key purposes; they cover and protect the radiators and fuel tank, they act as side impact absorbers, they generate downforce, and of course are a highly visible and lucrative advertising space.
The iconic sidepod was part of the VF-18, as raced by Grosjean and Magnussen - An impressive piece of Haas F1 Team heritage.
4. VF17 - Romain Grosjean Bodywork & Photo - Haas F1® Team
Professionally framed with a black wood frame and conservation-grade white/black double mount, the A4 photo is accompanied by a hand-carved piece of bodywork from Grosjean’s VF-17 Sidepod and an official Haas F1 Team plaque containing Grosjean's printed, digital signature.
5. VF-17 Kevin Magnussen Bodywork in Acrylic - Haas F1® Team
Each piece of bodywork has been carefully hand carved from a race-used VF-17 Kevin Magnussen sidepod. Your piece of bodywork is hand embedded in high optical quality acrylic for an impressive show-piece which preserves the racing heritage for generations to come. From the front, you see the beautiful sheen of the Haas F1 Team livery, and from the back you can study the intricate honeycomb structure of the carbon fibre.
SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team gifts to add to your Christmas list
Treat Lewis Hamilton fans to the ideal gift this Christmas
The best of Brazil: gearing up for the Grand Prix
With the Brazilian Grand Prix around the corner, we’re celebrating legends such as Ayrton Senna, as well as Felipe Massa and Rubens Barrichello, and past winners at the track.
The World Championship (both Drivers and Constructors) may have already been decided, but there’s still reason to get excited about the upcoming Brazilian Grand Prix, taking place at São Paulo in Brazil this weekend.
Many great drivers have come from Brazil and many great drivers have won at the circuit in Brazil, and we have plenty of memorabilia for fans of all of them.
The legendary Ayrton Senna, considered by many to be one of the greatest Formula 1® drivers ever, is not only Brazilian but also a winner of the Brazilian Grand Prix, twice. He took his wins in 1991 and 1993 driving for McLaren both times. Despite tragically losing his life in 1994, Senna remains one of the most popular drivers, adored by fans all over the world and inspiring the F1 drivers of today.
Felipe Massa had a successful F1 career, missing out on a World Championship title back in 2008 by 1 point, as well as taking many podiums and wins over the years before retirement at the end of 2017. Two of these wins came at his home race in Brazil, in 2006 and 2008, when he drove for Ferrari.
Despite a long and successful career through F1, Rubens Barrichello, another of Brazil’s finest drivers, never won a Championship nor a Brazilian Grand Prix. However, his racing resumé is full of race wins and podiums taken at other circuits across the globe, collectively adding up and aiding him to two 2nd places in the Championships in 2002 and 2004, both from his time with Ferrari.
Sebastian Vettel has had the most success at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace circuit of the current drivers on grid, having won the race three times in 2010, 2013 and 2017 for both Red Bull Racing and Ferrari. The German four-time World Champion will no doubt be looking for a fourth win at the track this weekend.
With his sixth World Championship now under his belt, Lewis Hamilton will be aiming for a third Brazilian Grand Prix win, having won twice with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in 2016 and 2018. Hamilton has a lot of support in Brazil having many times openly spoken about how Ayrton Senna has been a huge inspiration for him growing up and throughout his racing journey.
How the United States Grand Prix has become Hamilton’s race
A look over the United States Grand Prix’s history and why Lewis Hamilton excels at the Circuit of the Americas.
Lewis Hamilton is set to win his sixth World Driver’s Championship in Austin this weekend, providing all goes to plan in the race.
The British driver could have claimed the title last week in Mexico, however the odds were against him, with him having to outscore his teammate Valtteri Bottas by 14 points – a task that, considering both drivers’ dominance throughout the season, seemed less than likely.
With Lewis winning the Mexican Grand Prix and Bottas finishing third, the title fight, which is now only between the two of them, is being taken to Austin for the United States Grand Prix.
Having closed the gap even more, all Lewis needs to do this weekend is finish in eighth or higher to win the Championship, regardless of where his teammate finishes.
Lewis Hamilton – a winner in America
Hamilton stands a good chance of succeeding in Austin; having lifted the first-place trophy at the circuit five times already, in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, he is somewhat of an expert (he also won the US Grand Prix when it was held in Indianapolis in 2007).
In 2017, the US Grand Prix was held prior to the Mexican Grand Prix, meaning it was a crucial race in the build up to Lewis winning his 4th World Title. With his biggest competitor that season, Sebastian Vettel, 66 points behind, the title at that point was within touching distance. Despite Vettel overtaking Lewis on the first lap, the Brit was able to take the position back without too much challenge from his opponent. He then went on to lead a masterful race and put himself in pole position for the title.
The 2018 race win went to Ferrari and Kimi Räikkönen (his first win in five years), with Lewis still stepping onto the podium but this time in third place. Once again, the race was held before Mexico, highlighting itself as an all-important race for the soon to be five-time World Champion. It was Hamilton who qualified in pole position, however the Finnish competitor was able to take the lead at the start and maintain his upper hand. Frustratingly for Hamilton, if he'd have managed to finish one place higher, in second, he would have clinched the World Title that day. However due to Max Verstappen taking that podium place, Hamilton's battle was once again taken to the next round.
Now, in 2019 we see the same scenario, with the two races swapped around.
History of the circuit
The Circuit of the Americas was constructed back in 2011 and is one of the newest circuits on the F1 calendar. The first F1 race held there was shortly after in 2012 - the first US Grand Prix held since 2007, where it was previously held in Indianapolis. In fact, the United States Grand Prix has had a lot of different homes before finding its current.
Only three drivers have won the United States Grand Prix since it being held in Austin, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel.
In previous years, the US Grand Prix has supported the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the largest Breast Cancer organisation in the United States, with many of the teams and drivers wearing special pink race wears to raise awareness for the charity. A charity auction, including an array of these products, is being held over on F1 Authentics (Memento Exclusives’ sister site) in support of the organisation. Visit F1 Authentics here.