I started watching Formula 1 in 1992 when it has been first broadcasted on Russian TV. To be fair those days it was not easy to follow F1, as there was no full coverage of the season, they used to show some of the races, and sometimes it was not live and you could wait for 1-2AM sometimes to turn on the TV and watch the race. The biggest problem was to avoid any kind of radio and TV sports news to avoid knowing the results before watching the race. Luckily those days there were no social media, and it was much easier to manage the information flow.
Racing had been in low priority on TV for a long time and even in 2000-s you had to call all of the sports bars in Moscow to find the one who would have live broadcast from RTL (in German, obviously) or another foreign channel, and it was not easy to get there as I was 14-15 years old those days.
I remember one day we went a sports bar together with my father, and there were no places to sit and we have joined a German man's table, who was in Russia on business. In that bar, they had a contest, so each table could make a forecast for the Top-3 at the end of the race and will get a 6-pack of beer if they make it right. Our German friend was kind enough to offer me to take the call. I guess that was the only time I was lucky enough and 2 hours later we shared the prize. As I was 15 those days none if prize reached me, obviously.
My first F1 merchandise was a Ferrari cap, which a friend of mine has brought from Austria. Apparently, it was a fake one made with a bit of a poor quality, but still having those laurel wreaths on the cap visor was something really cool. I felt like I am the one in the world who knows what it is and I have never met other boys with this kind of caps.