Joe Saward, a well-known Formula One blogger, has attended every Grand Prix since 1988. His reflections on the confluence of today’s long F1 calendar and the Christmas holiday season are revealing and poignant.
Back in 1962 and 1963 the last race in South Africa was on the last weekend of the year, while the United States GP in 1959 was on December 12. Back then of course there were only a handful of races so it was a very different world.
Nowadays, you really have to love the sport to do it fulltime. The season is so long and so intense. Everyone in Brazil was tired, not surprising given the time zone jumping we have done in the last 10 weeks. It puts strains on families, on finances and on the human body. We are all coughing and sniffling. Put me on a plane and I will be asleep before the wheels leave the ground. We have all developed the ability to adapt to pretty much everything and we forget that sometimes, wondering why normal folk cannot do the same.
Despite the privations most of us are well aware of just how fortunate we are to do what we do. It is never dull. It is never too easy. I get up each morning with enthusiasm for the day ahead and without any sense of drudgery.