Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Signing Off...

When I started this blog, in January of 2006, the idea I had was to document one year in motorsport from a fan's perspective. I had recently finished Tim Park's A Season With Verona, possibly the best book about sport, and specifically, about being a sports fan, that I've ever read, and it made me think that it would be interesting to give a fan's eye account of a year in the sport. I was aiming for something along the lines of Mark Hughes' weekly column in Autosport and its equally interesting predecessor, Nigel Roebuck's Fifth Column. And as it turned out, I kept at it a little longer than I had really intended.

I'm calling it a day now, though. For one thing, there have been times over the last year or so when it has felt like a bit of a chore. Besides which, I have begun to feel like I'm repeating myself a little too often for my own good. Certainly, the experience has given me an increased appreciation for those who can turn out worthwhile content on a weekly basis year after year.

The other reason I'm calling time on the site is that it simply isn't being read as much as it once was. Perhaps people have begun to notice I'm repeating myself. But more likely, the fact that an increasing number of professional F1 journalists have taken up blogging over the last year (Joe Saward, Adam Cooper and James Allen to name but three) means that the potential readership for the ramblings of someone with no inside knowledge of what is going on, who is simply watching events on television and giving his two cents, is shrinking somewhat. After all, most of us only have time to read so many websites, and if I no longer feel that I can keep up with all those writing professionally about F1, then the readership for what is purely a fan blog is not going to be huge.

It's been fun though. And for the record, here are some of the posts I've been proudest of over the last five years.

Rossi: The Real Deal
- Wherein I refuse to be over-excited by the performance of a certain motorcycle star in a Ferrari F2005.

Monty This Seems Strange To Me
I remember writing this in a hotel room in Bordeaux just after hearing that Montoya had walked out on Mclaren to go stock car racing. Nearly 5 years later, he's still to win on an oval.

The Write Stuff
- Writing about writing about motorsport

A Dose of Unreality - Simulators were perhaps not quite so ubiquitous as they are now, but here's what I thought about them at the tail end of 2006.

The March of Time
- The long view of how F1 has changed over the last six decades.

C'est La Guerre - Some thoughts on the falling out between Alonso and Hamilton during their time together at Mclaren.

The Damage Done
- The saddest racing story of the last decade or so - the mutually assured destruction of the Champ Car/IRL war.

Being There...
- Wherein, for once, I'm not just an armchair correspondent...

A Golden Age?
- Irking the purists, by suggesting that the grid of 2008 might just have been the most talented the sport has ever seen.

Last Chance Saloon
- One or two of you may know I write fiction in my spare time. Here's a bit of writerly self-indulgence, in which I enter inside Mark Webber's skull, just before qualifying for the 2009 German GP

Received Wisdom
- I don't know how many times I've read that aerodynamic downforce is the reason F1 cars can no longer pass each other. But is it the case?

Mid Life Crisis?
- Why, exactly, did Michael Schumacher decide to get back in the ring?

Worth A Thousand Words
- Cuttings from my photo albums...

Teen Spirit
- Teenage F1 drivers down the decades.

I might not be gone for good. Motor racing takes a break over the winter, and perhaps I could learn something from that. Maybe I'll come back feeling newly enthusiastic about all this come March of next year. If you're a regular reader, I hope you've liked some of what I've written over the last few years.