Scotty James
INSTAGRAM | @scottyjames31

TO THE OUTWARD OBSERVER, Scotty James is many things. A three-time snowboarding halfpipe world champion, a five-time Winter X Games champion and two-time Olympic medallist, James is one of Australia’s best winter athletes, but to those who know him better, he’s also a diehard fan of Formula 1 motor racing.

After wrapping up the 2023-24 World Cup season and securing a third consecutive Winter X Games SuperPipe gold medal, James is back in Australia and making the most of his limited time at home. Over the weekend, the 29-year-old did the rounds at Albert Park during the Australian Grand Prix – an unmissable event for the snowboarder, given his love for all things F1. “I love the constant curiosity and competitiveness that the teams have to try and build an edge on each other,” says James. “Not just in the car but who is in the garage making that happen.”

Armed with his trusty camera, James had access to the stuff the broadcast misses. We’re talking grid walks, inside looks at the action in the pit lane, and up-close-and-personal moments with the biggest stars – and he took Esquire along with him. Here, you’ll see what it’s like to spend a day in the life with an F1 fanatic like James.

In between capturing just about anything that caught his eye at Albert Park, James also caught up with Esquire. Below, James talks F1, his personal style and, in the game of haves and have-nots, the one thing he’s yet to have.

Esquire: What do you love about F1?

Scotty James: I’ve been a longtime fan of F1 and I love the constant curiosity and competitiveness that the teams have to try and build an edge on each other, not just in the car but who is in the garage making that happen. Mark Webber was the first athlete I remember that got me intrigued with the sport. I started an F1 fantasy league, which has been a fun way to be more involved with the fans and community as a whole!

Who are the drivers you’re most excited to watch this weekend?

I’m excited to watch the battle between Ferrari and Mercedes. They seem to be the most head-to-head this year from a driver and constructor position. I think we may see them change up the standing a lot from 2nd and 3rd. Red Bull is also looking great, and I am, of course, excited to watch my brother-in-law, Lance [Stroll], and good friend Daniel [Ricciardo] at his home race.

You grew up in Melbourne, any favourite spots that you like to visit when you’re in town?

I love going to the South Melbourne Market, visiting my local pub back out in Warrandyte where I grew up, and spending time with the family.

You’re turning the big 3-0 this year, how are you feeling in the lead-up and any big plans to celebrate?

That’s scary, but I am excited to enter the 3-0 chapter. Definitely a party on the cards!

How would you describe your personal style?

I would say I have timeless style. When I buy clothes, I always ask myself if I would wear the items in 10, 15 or 20 years. Denim jeans and shirts, suede jackets and boots, leather strap watches etc. I also enjoy taking risks from time to time. I’m a big loose pants guy!

You’ve won almost everything there is to win in your sport and are coming off a third consecutive X Games gold medal, but there is one thing left for you to win: Olympic gold. Do you think you can complete your set of Olympic medals in 2026?

It’s certainly a mission I would like to see come to fruition. Regardless, it’s an incredible honour to be competing in the Olympics time and representing Australia. My journey has had some awesome moments of success in all my endeavours in the snowboarding field. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got!

With the Olympics and world championships a few years away and the X Games and World Cup wrapping up, what do you do in your time off? Do you keep on training or take a break?

I train quite consistently to try to be on my game physically as much as I can. Now that I’m also on the other side of the X games as an advisor, there is not much time off – but I enjoy it that way. I struggle to sit still, so off the slopes I’m always looking at opportunities to grow the business of the sport. Whether in my role as an X Games advisor or through my other endeavours, I believe it’s important to build a legacy off the snow while I’m still competing and chasing medals and make a concerted effort to provide opportunities for the next generation. When I do take time off it usually consists of being in Italy in the summer, cycling with friends, and coming back home to Australia to see my family when I can.


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