This season is dead. It is an ex-season, it has run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. IT. IS. NO. MORE.
And hooray for that.
It hasn't been a vintage year for Red Bull Racing – barely even a house wine, in fact. Perhaps it's a sign of how far we've come. Those of us who were around when the team started up would have chewed off an arm to finish a year with a couple of podiums. In fairness, probably not our own arm, but an arm nonetheless.
The RB11's been an interesting car and it's a shame we never had the opportunity to find out how good it really was. It's been good to see it comes alive when circumstances make the race more about chassis and aero. The wise men of the media have nodded sagely and said 'ah yes, that shows how well-designed the car is' but they're rather missing the point: what it shows is how good the drivers are. Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Seb won the races and the plaudits this year – and rightly so – but given the merest sniff of a straight fight our lads were all over them like teenage acne.
Daniel, we know, is a stone-cold, flinty-eye goliath behind the wheel but Dany's definitely got him worried! Our new boy wobbled a bit at the start of the year – mostly not his fault – but once he had the car figured out, crikey! Spy could wax lyrical about his virtues but the team manager says it best: "well, he's just a double-hard Russian bas... bloke, isn't he?"
The drivers get on well (and trust Spy, that's not always the case) but that won't stop they trying to rip each other apart next year. They're ridiculously competitive – you only have to see them diving to get their luggage off the carousel to understand. It's going to be thrilling if we've got a car that's competitive – though quite possibly thrilling in the sense of many late nights and having to sweep up broken car with a broom and a bucket. Still, here's hoping.
Abu Dhabi was a good place to finish the year. It's a nice circuit with good facilities and paddock staff who really know their job. It helps that they're all ex-F1 bolties and truckies because, after nine months on the road it's a blessing to get to a circuit where everything just works, and you can walk in, set up and get on with it, rather than having to chase away nesting badgers or figure out an electrical board installed personally by Thomas Edison. Fireworks went off when the chequered flag was waved – which is good because it hid the whimpers of relief coming from most of the garages.
But now, finally, it's done. We've got a chance to rest up, a chance to take stock, a chance to loosen up and forget about F1 for a bit. A chance to relax and put our feet up for a bit.
Generally we get at least 20 minutes.
C'mon, what's wrong with you? Only 14 weeks to Melbourne!