Here are 24 things that all Formula One fans will have missed during the winter solstice as the countdown to Melbourne continues… Thank you to everyone on Twitter who got involved with helping this piece come together.
1. Those early starts for Australia, Malaysia and China.
You might claim to hate it, but that doesn’t stop you from crawling out of bed at 4am to watch FP1… which is then rained off.
2. …or, if you’re in the US, simply not going to bed…
Seriously, the times that they have to work with are bizarre. Australia and Japan start at 2am, China 3am, and Malaysia 4am. European races usually kick off at 8am.
3. In fact, just US fans in general. They’re awesome.
4. Us Brits aren’t bad either. F1 on a Sunday lunchtime is a ritual, much like a roast dinner.
In fact, it’s the one time that you don’t plan your Sunday around the roast. F1 first, then eat.
5. Of course, nothing starts a GP better than “The Chain”
Or, if you’re of the Sky persuasion, Alistair Griffin’s “Just Drive”.
6. And as for Eddie Jordan’s shirts…
We think “snazzy” is the right word to use. You can’t fault his ability to make predictions, though.
7. Ahead of the race, Martin Brundle’s grid walk is always a winner.
If Tanya’s about, it can get particularly entertaining. Gotta hand it to him for being a total pro.
8. Then there’s that tingling feeling you get before the race… but you play it cool!
9. But inside you’re like…
Just without the fluffy unicorn, of course. Embrace the excitement, don’t fight it!
10. Lights out! Time for some golden catchphrases from the commentators.
David Croft and Ben Edwards are both masters of the excitable – just what we like. Martin Brundle’s “Look But Never Stare” is another gem. It even has its own Facebook page.
Nothing tops Murray Walker’s “Go Go Go!”, although his Pizza Hut ad with Damon Hill comes close.
11. As the race wears on, there’s the heated debate over who’s going to make the tea.
12. Because nobody wants to miss some classic radio calls…
13. Or, for that matter, a Kimi radio call of any kind.
14. Actually, pretty much anything Kimi does is hilarious.
15. Then you get little gems like this that bring out the child in you.
Lotus do like to point this out a lot. You have to love their Twitter.Probably best that we don’t mention the rabbits, though. Or Sochi. Or “National Orgasm Day”…
16. Come the end of the race, we have the wonderfully awkward podium interviews and celebrations.
Who can’t forget Malaysia 2013? Oh the awkwardness.
17. Did you enjoy the race? “For Sure”
Those two little words which mean everything and nothing in F1. If there was a drinking game where you did a shot for every time someone says “for sure”, you’d be bungalowed by the end of the press conference on a Thursday.
18. Then comes the heated post-race arguments – don’t lie, you miss the debates, trawling through your recordings and playing analyst.
19. Probably best to leave it to the pros. You miss the Sky Pad, as gimmicky as it might be at times.
20. And Ted! His notebooks are class!
Haaaaave you met Ted? The carrier bag he took to Jerez even has its own Twitter account now: @TedsCarrierBag.
21. You even miss the post-race blues…
22. And if your favourite driver hasn’t won…
23. But never fear, there’s another GP next weekend!
Or, if you’re Seb, another GP victory next weekend. He might struggle to make it ten in a row though…
24. Because that’s what we really miss: just knowing that there’s a GP in a few days’ time.
Not long now, folks. We’re nearly there…
Images for numbers 6, 7, 17, 19 and 23 are copyright of Octane Photographic. Richland F1 claims no rights to the video used or the content of those videos.