Monday, 31 December 2012

Anyone else got F1 withdrawal symptoms?

The Brazilian GP...almost a distant memory

Over 5 weeks have passed since the Brazilian Grand Prix and already the mighty sound of V8 engines hurtling around Interlagos and the nerve-jangling tension of the drivers’ title showdown seems like a thousand lifetimes ago. I am now starting to experience severe withdrawal symptoms. I suppose absence does make the heart grow fonder (but then again I was pretty darned fanatical in the first instance) and we all need time to regroup, reflect and recover from the most incredible of F1 seasons. But all that aside, the lack of F1 in my life is almost killing me.

You know that you’re in a bad place when you hop onto Sky 408 (the remote is almost self-programmed to find that channel) only to see a re-run of the Indian Grand Prix and actually consider watching some of it. Luckily sense or a small child related crisis must have intervened and I was lured away. I did find myself wondering whether Sky were showing re-runs of every single race of the season, otherwise who on earth would ever have chosen the Indian GP, one of the most soporific coma-inducing races of the season.

These dark times call for emergency measures so here is the Dash of Eau Rouge Survival Guide for Winter 2012-2013:

1. Jake’s Humphrey’s book (The Inside Track: Paddocks, Pit Stops and Tales of My Life in the Fast Lane(aka. Christmas present #1)

Absolutely not a plug, I promise you (I’ll leave that to Jake himself who has been working Twitter to within an inch of its life to promote his book relentlessly). Actually to tell you the truth, I’m not even sure how good it will be. Put it this way, reviews on Amazon have labelled it ‘F1 for dummies’ and ‘pedestrian’. Not staggeringly surprised to be honest. Jake’s wide eyed ‘ordinary dude who randomly found himself presenting F1’ persona and faux banter with best buds, DC and EJ, became increasingly tiresome as the season drew to a close. Time for a change all round and looking forward to seeing how Suzi Perry handles DC and EJ (and indeed Bernie). Googling Suzi Perry throws up some interesting popular searches (‘bra size’ ‘pics’ ‘leather’ and somewhat bizarrely ‘tights’) but I’m keeping an open mind. At least she has a proper petrolhead pedigree.

2. Di Spires’ book (I Just Made the Tea: Tales from 30 Years Inside Formula 1(aka. Christmas present #2)

I have higher hopes for this book not least because the forewards are by Murray Walker and Michael Schumacher plus it gets excellent reviews. Going to go out on a limb here and say that this will be much more entertaining and insightful than Jake’s (not at all cashing in on his time in F1) book.

3. BBC Two’s Racing Legends

Sir Stirling Moss

Two programmes on F1 legends (and knights of the realm), Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart (a third programme on Colin McRae has mysteriously disappeared from the schedules?). So far only watched the first, on Stirling Moss, which was full of glorious black and white footage from a bygone age of F1. If the BBC Head of Programming (forever in my mind this is Tony ‘smell my cheese’ Hayers of Partridge fame) is stuck how to fill a few winter evening slots, please please please just commission a whole series of Racing Legends. Thanking you.

4. Formula 1 Retro: 1976 (and other years)

Bernie and James

As it was the husband’s birthday just after Christmas, the review of the 1976 season was selected from the bulging Sky Plus library. It’s a pretty legendary season so the big headline events (Lauda’s horrific crash at the old Nürburgring, a string of controversial disqualifications for McLaren, Lauda’s remarkable return at Monza and the final dramatic race in torrential rain at Fuji which saw James Hunt clinch the world championship) are well documented. What was utterly fascinating was to see rare up close and personal footage of Bernie Ecclestone (then owner of Brabham), Max Mosley (then owner of March) and Stirling Moss as roving reporter pouncing on the drivers for a quick interview as they were still in their cars after the race. Pure gold.

5. Formula 1: 2012 – What a Year (BBC Season Review)

And of course, the season review which we have all been waiting for. Well it’s the only season review I’ve managed to record. I think Sky did one but it mysteriously disappeared from my Sky planner but perhaps that’s all for the best. As much as I miss F1, I’m not sure I could have coped with any more of Simon Lazenby or Georgie and Ted’s stilted banter outside of a race weekend or, heaven forfend, a review of the season through the medium of the craptastic Skypad. Shudder. Having said that, I have not actually watched the BBC1 review yet. Apparently its pretty decent, the husband appears to have provided the soundtrack (Muse and Daft Punk heavily feature so I’m told) and there’s a bit of Schumacher bashing which will undoubtedly send me into rant mode. Sp pretty much standard fare for the season then.

6. 50 Years of Bond Cars

Slight cheat as not F1 related but cars is cars. This TV offering (as yet unwatched) has been billed by the husband as his dream programme for it combines two things he loves more than life itself, Top Gear (it is a Top Gear Special) and of course James Bond. The show just features Richard Hammond and not Jezza (Clarkson) or Captain Slow (James May) so the husband might be a tad disappointed but no doubt he will get over it while watching all those lovely Astons and I get to see Daniel Craig on my TV. Everyone’s a winner baby.

7. Internet forums

Often brutal, sometimes enraging, occasionally enlightening but totally addictive all the same. Rest assured, if there is the slightest sniff of a rumour or a car launch, then the petrolhead forums will be all over the news in a flash. Autosport already has a four page post entitled ‘Countdown to Australia 2013’. Take a bow, forumistas, that is true dedication to the cause.

8. Holiday plans 2013

Anyone fancy a VIP package to Malaysia?

Ah soddit, I might pretend for a moment that I don’t have any small children and, oh yes, that we’ve also won the lottery (and don’t need every spare penny to buy a new house, new car…both of which are old, knackered and suddenly too small) and do some investigative research into some Grand Prix race packages. Someone on Twitter asked me if I was going to any races next year and so the Dangerous Seed of Hope was planted in my mind. I’m now obsessing about going to a race quite badly. Husband, you have been warned.

9. Raid the DVD collection

Somewhere behind the mountains of children’s DVDs (no idea how we accumulated so many but put it this way, when my friends’ kids got chicken pox, another friend recommended our kids' DVD collection to them!) we have some real gems lurking that are long overdue for another viewing. Such as ‘The History of Grand Prix Racing’, ‘The Golden Years’, ‘Monaco Race of Kings and best of all (this is real class) the VHS of Damon’s title winning season that I bought on eBay a couple of years ago (there is no DVD equivalent anywhere!!).  

10. A quiz?

Right I was SO stuck for a tenth survival aid, that I asked the husband. And you’re going to love this (hash irony etc). He suggested an F1 quiz with such questions as ‘what car was known as Colin’s confusacar and why?’ and ‘what was the Tyrrell Project 34?’. You can probably deduce 3 things from this: (1) the husband loves a quiz, (2) he is quite old (hehehehe) and (3) the long winter nights until the start of the new season will simply zip by. Sigh. Bless him he does try. I have reminded him that he still owes me a guest blog and that the clock is ticking…

So 2012 is almost over and soon we will be talking of the new season that is starting ‘this year’. Thanks for reading and for all your lovely comments and tweets in 2012. See you all the other side of the Big Ben Chimes in 2013!

Australian GP (11 weeks to go and counting!)

1 comment:

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