I’m writing this from a slightly less spectacular than a Hilton hotel. I’m sat in my university bedroom/office. I’m finally back at university after a long month off home. University is great for writing articles and having plenty of space to spread all my papers everywhere. Not so great for when I try to get to any track from Winchester…
It’s been a busy few days since I last updated.
So, first, back to the final day of Autosport International. Sunday was probably the busiest of the four days. I spent most of the morning and the early part of the afternoon rushing between the main stage, the Dunlop stand, and the media centre.
The morning started off at the Dunlop stand, where Ashley Sutton and Matt Simpson were being interviewed. I recorded the session as the two youngsters were interviewed, before grabbing a quick chat with Sutton before running over to the main stage.
I thought it was just Adrian Newey being interviewed on the main stage. Newey senior was an interesting interviewee but I was much more excited when his son, Harrison Newey joined him on stage. Harrison will be racing in the Formula 3 series this season, so I was keen to get an interview with the youngster for our European F3 coverage.
Whilst most of the people mobbed Newey senior once he came off stage, I was able to grab a quick interview with Harrison to get a few words about his 2017 season.
Next up was the main stage again, where Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal, Andy Jordan, and Colin Turkington were interviewed. Again, it was an interesting chat, and I’ve plenty of articles to write from the discussions. After that, I grabbed an interview with Neal as he made his way to his next appointment, before heading back to the BTCC stand for the interview with Rob Austin, Senna Proctor, and Mike Epps.
My only prearranged interview of the day was Gordon Shedden. I’d wanted an interview with Shedden all weekend and now I finally managed to get one. I’d started to transcribe the hours of audio I had when the champion came into the media centre. We sat down with Shedden in the room next to the media centre and asked him about his new teammate, the challenges he’ll be facing next season, and the recent departure of Colin Turkington from Team BMR.
Afterwards, I carried on transcribing until it was time to head to the main stage again, this time for the interview with Rob Smedley. There was little chance of grabbing an interview with Smedley afterwards, but there was still plenty to get out of the Williams engineer’s only stage interview.
Once everything was transcribed – which took about two hours – I headed home to start writing articles. Going through all the interviews, I had 18 articles to write for a few different websites. I got started when I went home, writing up about what Smedley said about new recruit Lance Stroll, what Ashley Sutton’s goals for 2017, and an article on Harrison Newey’s expectations.
The rest, I thought, could be done on the train back to Winchester. It would be a long, boring journey where nothing much happened, I thought.
So, a few hours into the train journey yesterday (Monday), I’d written an article on Smedley’s thoughts about sand bagging, Shedden’s thoughts about Matt Simpson, his thoughts on 2017, Neal’s thoughts on his challenges, Proctor’s expectations for his first season in the British Touring Car Championship, and Austin and Turkington’s advice to the new comers. It had been a productive train journey.
When I noticed photos of Valtteri Bottas in Mercedes gear had been leaked.
The news seemed to explode. Wehrlein was confirmed at Sauber. Massa was confirmed at Williams. And, of course, Bottas was confirmed at Mercedes.
Whilst it was great to finally have the news out in the open, it did mean that I couldn’t really post anything I had spent hours on the train writing. Everything would just be buried under the Mercedes news, people’s thoughts on the Mercedes news, and people’s thoughts on other people’s thoughts about the Mercedes news. Great.
Today, I went back to university for my first radio lecture of the year. We came up with a story for the bulletin next week and started to set up interviews to grab the sound bite. And, slowly, through the day, I posted articles that I had been writing on the train yesterday.
It wasn’t all about Autosport International articles today, though. Today, Pietro Fittipaldi and Rene Binder were confirmed at Lotus for this Formula V8 3.5 season. I had suspected it would happen soon. I had a dream not too long ago that Fittipaldi would be confirmed at Lotus (and the inevitable comparison articles would be written). And it all came true… That required an article for my motorsupport blog, which I’m hoping to keep updated well this season.
Finally, I’ve been in discussion with a new website I’ll soon be writing about. I don’t want to give too much away just yet, but I can’t wait to get started there!
2017 is already looking great!