Where did the winter go?!!
After visiting my daughter, Sam, in Australia for Christmas 2014, it had been nearly three years before I got the chance to visit her again, that being Christmas 2017. Working factory-based in Formula One, the whole year is busy, but it’s particularly busy in the off-season, so having any time off over the UK winter period just isn’t possible. My daughter also works in motorsport, and her best chance of taking time off work is in December and January. And that is why the Christmas period is the perfect time for me to visit. A conumdrum for sure!
Working at Manor GP since returning from my 2014 trip, until it folded in January 2016, wasn’t the greatest experience ever! And I felt a great deal of frustration that although it was going bust in November, instead of going through the motions of working long hours on the 2017 car build, that I could have been visiting my daughter. And this frustration and overwhelming need to see Sam stayed with me throughout 2017.
After losing that job I took a short-term contract at Honda F1 from March until the end of November 2017, booking my flight to Australia for the 4th of December, purposely early to make sure I got to see Sam that Christmas, and that I couldn't be persuaded to stay at Honda. I was asked to extend my contract, and felt quite mean to decline, as my boss, Taniguchi-san was such a lovely guy.
I fully engaged in the project I was hired to work on at Honda, and also took on another project, processing the 2018 Energy Store design, that kept me busy! I’m not really sure what the Japanese Honda folk made of me, the older I get the battier I become!! Unexpectedly I was very sad to leave their employ when the time came at the end of November, for the first time ever I was very upset at leaving a job, which speaks volumes of the people at Honda. I hadn’t realised that we had started to gel as a team. I often wonder where I’d be if I’d not had the flight booked!