How decision to watch an F1 race saved a Georgia family’s lives

Robb Brady has been a Formula 1 fan for as long as he can remember.

How decision to watch an F1 race saved a Georgia family’s lives
The Brady home in Atlanta, Georgia, after a tree fell on it while they were watching the Australian GP
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 leads at the start of the race
The Brady home in Atlanta, Georgia, after a tree fell on it while they were watching the Australian GP
Race winner Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Race winner Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H celebrates
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, leads Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H, Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18 Ferrari, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 Tag Heuer, and Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-18 Ferrari, at the start
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33, Sergio Perez, Force India VJM11
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 spins
The start of the race

Robb has been watching since the days of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, and has travelled to grands prix across the world. He is a fan of Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari, while his wife pulls for Lewis Hamilton -- and their passion for F1 may have saved their lives on March 25.

They decided to stay up past 1am EST to watch the Australian Grand Prix, the opening round of the 2018 F1 season. Just over an hour into the race though, a massive tree came crashing through their Atlanta, Georgia home.

"It was the opening race of the year. I’ve been a fan for a while, my wife is a fan as well. We decided to stay up that night and watch the race," he explained to Motorsport.com.

"My daughter’s room -- I was currently repainting it so we had all of her stuff out of there. She was sleeping with us. So what my wife did, instead of just leaving her in the room, she brought her out with her and she was sitting on the couch. So we started watching the race and there was a storm that came through that evening.

"All we heard was a cracking noise and then we were staring right where the tree had fallen. The roof just kind of opened up. Where the tree impacted was right across part of the living room, like half the living room and my office was destroyed.

"My daughter’s playroom was destroyed and our bedroom, which is where we should have been at, was literally crushed. Everything from the roof, the ceiling debris and the tree on top of that was crushed into the bed.

"And of course, the house fills up with this dust that’s partly everything and partly some type of insulation. We made it back to the kitchen and about that time, one of our neighbors came running into the yard asking us if everyone was okay."

For Robb, it took about a day for him to realize how close of a call it really was.

"We were kind of in shock that night, but we came to the realization maybe the next day. All of neighbors came over and asked if we were okay and how did we survive this and I started thinking about it.

"I have enjoyed cars and racing my whole life. I think that helped us survive."

Unfortunately, Robb has been unable to locate some of his signed memorabilia within the wreckage of the home, but is simply thankful that he and his loved ones are alright. 

They've also been overwhelmed by the response from neighbors and friends who have offered to help the displaced family in any way they can.

And yes, Robb plans to be watching the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend.

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