Just came back from Japan last night and now i’m back at the airport here in KL about to fly to China. My apartment feels more and more like a hotel room, without the house keeping.
Anyway i was in Japan coaching our young Air Asia development driver, Nabil Jeffri. He had a couple of top ten finishes in Formula BMW Pacific and while we hoped for better results i was pleased with his progress. He is a bit more aggressive and racing better. Shows good promise, but needs more experience.
Other than that, Japan was interesting. It’s been 8 years since i was there last and its changed a bit. Noticeably in how the young people dress there. It used to be all extreme, either really conservative or very punk, but this time i was impressed to see some really well dressed teenagers.
I met someone there away from the track and had an interesting conversation. We chatted about everything and i started talking about my years in F1. This person was from America so i really had to break it down about what motor racing was all about. How the sport worked, revenues, feeder series, etc.
Towards the end of of the conversation, at some point 2002 was mentioned as being the year i was in F1 and this caused a start in my companion. “Hold on, F1 was 8 years ago? You talk as if it was just a couple of years ago.” she said. Now this shocked me, did i really talk about it like yesterday? I mean i spend most of my time trying to forget about those years, to focus on moving on and upward and all that sort of junk.
I stammered at this point, “Well everyone always asks about it, and i guess i was on cruise control and spewing out the usual shit.” But it was a bit of a wake up, i mean am i really over that that time of my life which happened so long ago?
It does not help i guess that i am still in the sport. I commentate on it, write about it, i preach to young drivers about it, use it for analogies in talks.
No getting away from it i suppose.
Anyway its a yucky subject so on to other stuff.
I’m actually pretty happy to be going to Zhuhai, China because its for actual driving this time. Racing an Audi R8 in the Le Mans Series and its great to be paid to do your first love. So baby, i’m coming and you better be ready for a wild weekend.