Is there a book in me? I’d like to think so…
one of the most iconic periods in motorsport would have been heaven itself. But then you didn’t have to go to the British Grand Prix every summer for the rst 15 years of your life, to watch your mum and dad working.
You think some recent Formula 1 races have been boring? You have no idea: we didn’t even have a telly! Just a man with a silly hat and a microphone connected to a wire that led to a wooden box full of wasps on top of some scaffolding.
In my youth, I spent a lot of time exploring race circuits. In those days, if I had wanted to walk onto the track and wave to my dad, there was no one to stop me, and they probably would have thought it was a jolly good wheeze anyway, like a scene from some Enid Blyton adventure: One Goes Nuts in Northamptonshire. Nope. My upbringing in motorsport made me about as keen for more cars as a schoolkid with the opportunity for extra maths homework. I hankered for the other worlds that existed outside the tiny, self-obsessed paddock. I never got there. Still here 55 years on. How did it happen? You’ll have to read the book. Ha! Got ya. Don’t get me wrong, I have come to enjoy our crazy sport, but it is a love/hate relationship. For every moment of sublime thrill or beauty, there are as many moments of tedium and crassness. Is it this unpredictable extreme contrast that makes us keep coming back? Like a man panning for gold?
And the politics! It’s a wonder the show goes on. That it does should give us hope in humanity, for when the crunch is near, and we look annihilation in the face, we do actually do something to save ourselves. I suppose sailing close to the wind is what denes F1? Perhaps I should call the book How Time Flies? Interesting title, because it can also refer to how our perception of time is altered depending on what we are doing. Like, for instance, when we are racing or on a qualifying lap: our minds adjust to the demands made upon them. Time, or should I say, the ‘normal’ second, expands into 10 seconds. Our minds literally race to cope with our ever increasing speed. And there is so much more capacity than you would ever believe possible. I know. I’ve been out there. Into the twilight zone. Some people might say I’m still there.
To write a book about oneself might seem a little self-indulgent, and I cannot deny that. But I do nd myself fascinating, so I thought some of you might do, too. Think of it as a gift from me to you. For $39.99.
Actually, I haven’t got a publisher yet, so it might end up free on the internet. Would you like lots of luxury photos? Maybe I should do a Platinum Card Holders’ version with a USB stick containing a special personalised message from me to the two of you? Let me know. I’ll give a prize for the most insulting rejection.
So, before we get stuck into F1 2016, if you liked this hors d’oeuvre, put a little aside for a Christmas present for your mum and dad. They might remember when we ruled the world and celebrated great victories together. Also, they are probably aching to know what really happened with Sir Frank Williams and what on earth possessed me to drive for Arrows. I’m still trying to nd out myself. Now. I promise never to mention my book again. Much.
“This will be my 20th birthday since being reborn as an F1 champion. I’ll celebrate by writing about my racing career”