I had a dream a few nights ago. I dreamt that I was walking through a square in Mayfair and suddenly remembered that I had left a Honda test car at that very location at some indeterminate point of time in the last few weeks.
I even knew where to look, but the parking space was empty (it was a dream, after all). I woke up in a state of mild panic. I must do something about it, I thought, Honda will be upset. I had better call them. I reached for my mobile phone. It was not there.
As reality kicked in, I remembered that when I got back home from China after the most recent grand prix, I did not have my mobile phone with me, which is another story entirely but one also related to the fug of confusion prompted by F1-induced jet lag.
I stopped to think about it and realised that, as I live in Paris – and have done for more than 10 years – it was rather unlikely that I had ever had a Honda test car in Mayfair. Added to which I had not been in London since February, which seems a very long time ago now.
The reason I relate this bizarre tale is to give you an insight into the state of mind of the average Formula 1 reporter at the moment. We are all over the place, literally and metaphorically.
In the last six weeks we have been to races in Australia, Malaysia, Bahrain and China. Those with commitments have been home between races when it was possible and so I have covered 56,018 miles (90,123 kilometres) of flying (not allowing for the times when we were stacked up over Dubai) and been in and out of more time zones that I can even consider calculating.
Bernie Ecclestone, the 83-year-old who is responsible for the scheduling of the races (and does not go to all of them) is going to court later this week in Munich to face charges of bribing a public official – and, consequently, to discover whether he will remain in charge of Formula 1 in the years ahead.
Given the F1 schedule in recent weeks, I tend to think that he deserves some jail time for 'crimes' against F1 team personnel, but I cannot help but wonder what will happen if he is removed. Bernie has his faults but he has been the man who has built the sport, with an iron fist, for the last 30-odd years.
F1 is screeching into a major intersection – you can hear the brakes this year – and we are all wondering what will happen next. All empires fail if there is not the right leadership to drive them onwards.
By the way, if you are from Honda UK and you did loan a test car to this particular Formula 1 reporter a while ago, and are wondering what may have happened to it, may I humbly suggest that you try ringing TRACE, London’s towed vehicle tracking service, on 0845 206 8602 – as they will know more about the car than I do.