If you hadn’t no­ticed… it’s all about me!

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

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…

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