Exclusive F1 items – including signed clothing from Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, signed car parts and a picture autographed by every driver as well as Bernie Ecclestone – have been generously donated by the sport's teams to a charity auction in aid of raising funds for the special-needs Castleview School in Stirling, Scotland.
The charity effort is being made in memory of Ethan Batchelor – son of F1 photographer Russell Batchelor – who died suddenly in April of this year at the age of just eight, having spent extended periods in intensive care with severe physical, visual and medical difficulties.
Ethan suffered from a very rare, life-threatening condition – Congenital Disorder of the Glycosylation (type 1a) – for which there is no known cure. Despite having the most severe case in the UK, and specialists saying he had, at best, just a 50 per cent chance of surviving to 18 months – he displayed amazing courage to live life as best he could.
The Ethan Batchelor Fundraising Appeal is aimed at providing his friends at Castleview School with much-needed interactive equipment. Castleview School is operated by the local authority, and provides education for young children with a range of severe and profound additional support needs. Therefore, all of Ethan's schoolmates would benefit from the specialist equipment that can be bought from the proceeds of the auction.
“It would be a great comfort to know that, out of the great loss of our dearly precious son, much stimulation and fun can be given to his friends by providing them with interactive equipment in Ethan's honour,” remarked Russell Batchelor. “I would like to thank everybody for their help and donations.”
The auction began on 9 September – the day Ethan would have celebrated his ninth birthday – and will conclude this Sunday evening (18 September). Thus far, more than £7,000 has been raised.
Amongst the lots to bid for are as follows:
One-off photo (measuring 36 inches by 29 inches) featuring an image of every member of the F1 2011 field, signed by all drivers and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone
Signed Sebastian Vettel fireproof vest (Red Bull Racing)
Framed McLaren T-shirt signed by Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
Signed Fernando Alonso overalls (Ferrari)
Mercedes GP T-shirt signed by Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg (Mercedes GP)
Signed Nico Rosberg cap (Mercedes GP)
Rear-wing endplate from Force India F1 signed by Paul di Resta, Adrian Sutil and Nico Hülkenberg (Force India F1)
Fireproof vest signed by Sébastian Buemi (Scuderia Toro Rosso)
Racing boots signed by Jaime Alguersuari (Scuderia Toro Rosso)
Williams F1 car and picture book signed by Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado (Williams F1)
Team Lotus wing mirror signed by Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen (Team Lotus)
Gloves signed by Vitantonio Liuzzi (Hispania Racing)
Racing boots signed by Narain Karthikeyan (Hispania Racing)
Signed Dario Franchitti TW Steel watch and box
Signed Emerson Fittipaldi TW Steel watch and box
For more details about the auction and how to bid, please visit: www.castleviewf1.com