It is with sadness that I should inform you all that my weather forecast and report writing is ending after 10 eventful years.
Formula 1 and weather have always gone hand in hand for me. The sheer chaos that is generated when rain or a sudden change in conditions occurs, thrilled me when I was barely into my teens. This was demonstrated perfectly in the early laps of the 1991 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. For my generation of F1 rain lovers, this was ‘our’ Silverstone 1975. Granted, most of the race may have been as dull as ditch water, but those first four laps will stay with me forever.
It always pained me on Sunday mornings in the 90s, wondering if the weather had changed in the break between the end of the morning warm-up session and the start of the afternoon race coverage. The arrival of the internet gave enthusiastic Joe Bloggs’ like myself a great platform to try and convey that passion and enjoyment to others. In my case it has been through the advent and development of text commentary and racetrack weather through the course of a weekend.
But as you get older, your priorities in life change. In my case, I have just taken on a move to a bigger house and it is going to take a lot of work to get things the way my wife and I would like them. For 36 years my morning view was a concrete jungle – not any more. Now, I open the curtains and look out onto an idyllic countryside scene, on the edge of the town park. Within a minute or so, you see dog walkers, joggers, or some bloke training hard giving it full beans on his mountain bike. It really does inspire you to become more – especially for someone who is now seriously unfit and hasn’t done any physical exercise or training since the age of 19 or 20, other than playing a few minutes of football in the back garden with my son before getting knackered. I have stopped smoking since seven weeks and have not touched a can of Red Bull since January 1st – the first crucial steps towards what I hope will be a healthier life. When you suddenly have no pairs of jeans that fit you anymore, you know it’s time to act.
As a result of more work to keep up the the home and more play at the weekends, something had to give. I will still maintain a relatively busy online presence during F1 weekends. I will be with AUTOSPORT Live again for this season and I’m always dropping lines in about the latest weather during the commentary. My @radarguruf1 Twitter account will also continue and I’ll be banging on about radar updates, upcoming weather changes and short daily forecasts on there.
Thank-you to all of you who have followed my meteorological musings over the last decade – whether it be in on AtlasF1.com, Autosport.com or through the last 12 months on F1weather.com. In the meantime, I have a home office to finish setting up while the snow falls outside and I can’t wait for the new season to start.