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.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the time and effort you put into this site, my favorite source of Formula One writing. I loved the thoughful analysis. It will be missed.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous dank said...

Similar sentiments to the chap above.

Enjoyed reading your 'ramblings' and I hope to see you tippy-tappy some more stuff in the future.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


As per the previous comments, thank you for your useful insights. I'll keep you in my RSS reader in the hope that you do feel inspired to share some thoughts in next years season.

I understand that it is a tad cold at the moment in the UK so stay warm - written from Australia where it is somewhat warmer!

12:52 PM  
Blogger Pat W said...

I hope you'll get as far as F1 winter testing and realise you feel suitably refreshed to return.
Perhaps post ad-hoc rather than committing to a schedule?
I can also recommend switching between shorter and longer posts, see if you enjoy that, although I guess a short post isn't a rambling..

I've enjoyed your stuff for the last couple of years, come back soon.

Might start a campaign.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Thanks all, much appreciated.

I might make a 'return' come March next year....

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Patrick, I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. Your insights have been on par and sometimes above that of professional journalists and your writing style imminently readable. Your blog will be missed.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Lobo said...

Regularly read your post, long, interesting and as much as I can tell very little biased. It will be missed.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Peter White said...

I entirely understand that the time comes when writing a blog becomes less of an urgent necessity and more of a chore. All I can say is that I have always enjoyed reading your ramblings. And I re-read your own favourites tonight and enjoyed them all over again. If we were in a pub in Edinburgh (and I wouldn't want to be outside in this weather) I hope that I could convince you that high downforce really is a problem for the sport. But I suspect it is here to stay for a while longer, and if 2011 is as exciting as 2010 it wont spoil things too much. Ciao.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous motor said...

This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

10:32 AM  
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Choosing a motorcycle is a personal experience, it has to be like that so you can enjoy your new life style as you want to experience it. Every type of bike will give you a little different feeling and view of motorcycling, with no view being more right, better, worse or wrong.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous plumbing said...

Turkey brought a sprint race win, but it really should have brought a feature race win too. Again, Glock found himself a victim of a bad call during a safety car period, and was left with the difficult task of building up such a lead that he could afford a tyre stop and still retain his position. In the circumstances, his fourth place was a very remarkable achievement indeed.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous cardealerships said...

I like your way of Authoring.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Ayasha Kieth said...

I learned a lot from your blog,it's a little bit sad, that your signing off, but thanks for sharing your insights, GOd bless you!

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6:25 PM  
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4:56 AM  
Anonymous Morgan said...

Thanks for all the links to other blogs. Sad to see this motor sport blog go. Morgan

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Armytrix UK said...

Sad to see you go! I've only just stumbled across this blog and it's already closed!

1:28 AM  

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