Hello everyone, Spy here, for one last time before building maintenance fill a long-harboured wish and ‘accidentally’ drops a large Douglas Fir on my head. The future holds frosty afternoons, Spy’s nearest and dearest and a collection of horrible sweaters – but enough about winter testing, before then there’s a holiday to struggle through.
F1 really doesn't do time off. Faced with the prospect of an actual holiday people tend to get the rabbit-in-the-headlights look of panic. Line managers will attempt to coax junior designers out of their offices by leaving a trail of Minichamps scale models to the loading dock, whereupon HR will bring then down with dart guns and deposit them in the car park for family to collect – having first put their coats on with the mittens carefully tied through the arms with a piece of string.
The fear, obviously, is that while they're sitting at home reading Autocourse or attempting to dangerously upscale the transformer on a young relative's Scalextric, there's a rival team beavering away in their factory, shunning tinsel and human contact, finding extra points of downforce and thus, GAINING AN ADVANTAGE while you could be despondently shoving sage and onion up a turkey's bottom. It's enough to make anyone sweat. Not just the turkey.
We do, at least, go into the festive period with the prospect of an actual engine on the other side of it. Rumour has it the design office erred on the side of caution and developed four versions of the chassis to fit any eventuality – so expect at least three quarters of the design staff to spend most of 2016 insisting their version of the RB12 was faster.
The race team won't give a partridge in a pear tree about any of that – they'll just want a new car to play with in the race bays before heading off to Spain. It's generally nicer to have the luxury of building it, taking it apart and building it again in the comfort of your own home, rather than heading off to testing with a flight case full of bits and an in-depth technical blueprint scribbled on the back of an envelope complete with arrows and phrases like 'attach rear wing here'. Of course, in the modern age that sort of thing is a bit of a luxury – like sleep and healthy living. We'll call it a victory if we don't have to cannibalise the garage hoover for spares. Again.
Speaking of the modern age. Spy is going all futuristic for the New Year and launching on Instagram – just as soon as I work out what Instagram is. It is the one with the pictures of cats or the one with the videos of cats? I don't know – but the earnest young folk in the marketing office reckon it's a winner. Hopefully Spy'll be able to take some pictures of trophies. Beats a turkey any day of the week.
This is Spy, signing off. Merry Christmas if such is your thing. See you in 2016.