Is there a book in me? I’d like to think so…

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

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 denes 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”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.