Monaco is always an odd place to race, but this year was stranger than most: with seemingly all of the F1 action happening in small rooms out of the gaze of the public it felt as though GP2 was left to provide the action on track, to give everyone that had actually come to the Principality some racing to watch. Continue
No matter how close you are to the racing world, it's not possible to know everything that happens in all parts of it. That's what Alexa is currently telling everyone she meets after a clanger in the paddock this afternoon, anyway... Continue
The first weekend back in the paddock is a tense time for everyone, so most of us tend to fall back into our tried and tested routines: like any job, over the years you develop a sixth sense for what works and what doesn't, and in a high pressure world like motor racing there is a lot of comfort in falling back into the old rhythms that help you to get everything done efficiently. Continue
Racing drivers are always late: it's just a fact of life for anyone who has to deal with them on a regular basis. But even by their standards Alvaro Parente is famous for being late: like every other driver Alvaro would rather sleep than do just about anything else, but he struggles more than any of the others to get out of bed and into the track. Which is why, when we need him early for any reason, we tell him to arrive earlier than we actually need him, just so he is there around the right time.
(Alvaro, if you're reading this I am lying now, honestly: please turn up when we ask you to...) Continue
Part of the fun of turning up in the paddock for the new year is to see what has changed since you were last there. It's still motor racing, so change tends to happen glacially, but there is always new stuff if you look closely enough. Continue
The off season is a mixed bag for those of us who don't do the Asia series: at the end of the main season you're completely exhausted and looking forward to a break and being away from race tracks for a while, but as time goes by you start to itch. Then the craving just builds and builds as you watch the races and read the reports, and you get the texts and emails from your friends on the other side of the planet to tell you about all the fun they're having in sun while you sit at home in the cold. Continue