Reflecting on a great British Grand Prix
There is no doubt about it, working on Formula 1 just makes your life fly by!
I'm still feeling the physical effects of spending four days stalking up and down the pits and paddock at Silverstone, and I've just received an e-mail from Anne our production Manager entitled 'German GP details'!
It feels like five minutes since we were in the garage with Jenson Button celebrating his title triumph in Brazil last October and, while I still remember the details of that weekend pretty clearly, we're rocketing towards the end of the following season already, with Silverstone pushing us past the 50% mark.
Our plan over the past weekend was not just to cover the race, but to do justice to the 'event'.
The British Grand Prix has become so much more than just another race on the calendar and that's why we headed off into the campsites, chatted to youngsters in the pit lane, and hosted our post-race red button Forum from the British Racing Drivers' Club clubhouse.
Silverstone is like nowhere else we visit and we wanted living rooms across the country to feel what we felt.
One of the highlights of the weekend was going with Eddie Jordan to one of the many campsites and spending a couple of hours chatting to the real stars of the Grand Prix - the fans. In reality, Eddie just chatted away to people while criticising my cooking, but it was clear that people appreciated him putting in an appearance.
F1 is full of people who have made lots of money, achieved great success, and enjoyed a wonderful life thanks to racing. But to find someone who has done all that and not lost the connection with the fans is really rare.
Eddie's race team existed to please the fans and I feel EJ now fulfils that role. He wasn't in the slightest bit fazed about heading into a campsite and shooting the breeze with the fans. He's one of them at heart - a racing fan and a racing man.
I thought it was pretty funny when Rubens Barrichello joined us live after the race on Sunday and commented that we don't know how to do a barbecue and next year we should call him... we might just do that!
However, EJ is as mad as he is approachable. On the way to the shoot he thought it would be funny to put his foot on the accelerator of the golf buggy that we were using... as we approached a sharp right-hand bend!
I was on the outside of the buggy and I couldn't prevent my laptop bag (complete with F1 pass, computer, car keys, wallet etc) from falling off the buggy. To make matters worse, EJ kept his foot planted as we powered through a car park in a cloud of dust. Luckily, a kind passer-by collected the bag and returned it to me. Panic over!
It was great to get good driver access after the race, with Button interviewing Barrichello, Lewis Hamilton laughing at our Oasis rendition, and so many people joining us live in the paddock after the grand prix.
I remember Louise the production assistant in the gallery saying down my earpiece: "Off air in 50 minutes" after the podium celebrations. And I was thinking: "How on earth will we fill all that time on BBC One?!" Well what seemed like just a few minutes later we were off air and even managed to fill another 45 minutes on the F1 Forum!
So now, without really chance to pause for breath we head to Hockenheim for the German Grand Prix. Between now and then though I'm heading to the Williams factory to interview team owner Frank Williams about a life in motorsport.
Like many other people, I've been fascinated by Williams's career and his team's achievements as they went from paddock paupers to kings of F1, finding some of the greatest driving talent along the way.
Clearly, Williams's life has been altered and affected hugely since his accident in 1986, which left him paralysed from the neck down. Yet when you meet him you realise that the hunger to win and the burning desire to be the best hasn't wilted in the slightest. I'll send a couple of tweets to let you know how it goes next week but I've been doing plenty of prep and research, including reading Maurice Hamilton's excellent book.
One other story I'd really like to cover while we are in Germany is the tale of Jim Clark. One of the most gifted drivers to ever grace F1 lost his life at Hockenheim in 1968. I've long been quite fascinated by Clark and actually have a black Lotus badge that the team produced after his death. I think it would be remiss of us not to visit the site and pay our respects at the memorial to Clark that is in the woods there.
Anyway, I'd better dash. We're having some building work done and my wife Harriet has commissioned me to be the official cameraman of the build. And as one of the supporting walls is about to come crashing down I'd better grab the camera - the only person missing is Kevin McCloud!
P.S. Talking of Kevin, he was at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend and I was there with Murray Walker (wasn't it great to see him on the forum).
I took Murray for a spin up the famous hill and decided to do a few burn-outs, donuts and generally let the crowd show their love for Murray. Except when I got to the top I got seriously hauled over the coals by the stewards for breaking just about every rule in the book.
Being told off was a little embarrassing, but on the way back down the crowd were on their feet and had clearly loved it. Murray then uttered the classic line: "Annoying the marshals and pleasing the crowd means it was a rather successful drive!" Classic!