If you hadn’t noticed… it’s all about me!
editor himself! All I can do is hope he has found something I’ve missed and pray that ‘something’ is going to be worth cultivating in my post-F1 driving career allotment (see ‘Long Interview’, page 24).
But whatever this edition contains, in these days of rapid change, it’s quite an achievement still to be printing a magazine in the twenty-teens at all. I can remember when it all started (collective groans and mutterings of ‘Oh, no. Here he goes again…’). But, sadly or not, it is true. I was there at the beginning, at the dawn of F1 Racing time, back in the days when what we now proudly call The Internet, was just a weird nonsense term used by techno geeks in California. How could anyone have #known that we were about to enter a new era of communiTwittercation @ F1Racing_mag and that cameramen would charge up their Nikons with electricity before posting their digitised images on something called ‘Instamaticgram’?
But the more it changes, the more it’s the same. Images of F1 cars are still as evocative as ever, and the day that 140 characters can convey the complete viscerality (another new word) of standing next to, or of actually being in an F1 racing car at full honk, is the day we will have died as truly feeling beings; just my view, as a nearly mature adult. A few months ago I caved in to the power of the smartphone. After years of telling my son not to play with computer games for 48 hours at a time, and castigating my daughter for clinging onto her iPhone like it was a holy relic, I am now no better than the worst of them. The urge to tweet my thoughts to all and sundry has overwhelmed me. I’m like the hermit in Life of Brian (showing my age again) who howls out after 18 years of silence. Now I can bark out any thought that comes to mind as fast as I can move my fat thumbs, radiating the worthless bauble across the globe to be returned like a ping pong ball by anyone engrossed in their own urgency to communicate. Because tweets are like tears in the rain, lost in the puddle of human drivel forever – unless you happen to be unlucky enough to step on a sociopolitical landmine. Then better turn off the phone for a few weeks. They will have found some other poor hapless twit to intimidate by then. You hope.
There are two kinds of communication: call and response. After that, it’s a dialogue. But we never get into the dialogue bit because we are into the next calling-out bit before we have time to think about what we are thinking about. By the time you’ve posted your photos on whatever platform you are on this week, you have slipped so far behind the curve that you’ll be on Wikipedia before you know it. So it’s reassuring that a magazine like F1 Racing can make things stick for a whole month.
When the printing press arrived they said we’d have unemployed monks. When photographs arrived they said it was the end of painting. When the movies arrived they said it would kill photography. When TV appeared, they said that it would kill the movies. When the internet arrived, they said it was the end of TV, the newspapers and the movies. But we’ve still got all these things. Even monks. So here’s to the 30th anniversary of F1 Racing magazine. Only ten more years to go, guys and gals!
How much Damon Hill can even Damon Hill take? Who knows – there’s plenty more of him still to come in this issue…