The Inside Line #130: The finish line

TILI Logo PrintYes, the 2015 Formula One season has finished – and not a moment too soon unless you happen to be driving a Mercedes.

Compared to 2014, this season hasn’t been as memorable, but there have been bright spots. Max Verstappen’s arrival onto the scene and knowing that we have a decade or more of him up the front to come. Sebastian Vettel’s recovery after an anomalous year in 2014 and leading a Ferrari resurgence in a way that his great mentor Michael Schumacher would approve. Kimi Raikkonen’s management continuing to get Kimi employed by Ferrari for reasons that don’t appear to be entirely clear. And the afore-mentioned Mercedes, who came as close to perfection as any team in F1 history.

While the monotony of another Silver Arrows 1-2 finish tested everyone’s patience towards the end of the season, Mercedes shouldn’t be criticised for what they’ve achieved, more celebrated for it. It’s up to the rest to do better, catch up, work harder and smarter. They will in time – stability in the rulebook will help to narrow the gap between the best and the rest – and the spectacle will improve. Formula One has peaks and valleys of seasons, and next year should be better.

Me? I won’t be around, at least not on The Inside Line, to write about it. After two years, 90 episodes, prequels good and bad, a million uses of ‘penultimate’ and ‘back to the front’ and various other go-to lines and at least 50 ham and cheese toasties, this week’s episode (number 130) of the show reviews the 2015 season, and is my last. It’s been a mostly enjoyable journey for the past two years and I’ve learned a lot, and I think it’s been a relationship that has been mutually beneficial for all parties.

Thanks to Tim for the patience and passion for those prequels, Pete for taking a shot on someone who had barely written for TV before, Paul for his voice of gold, Andrew and Peter downstairs for their constant enthusiasm, and plenty of others who I’ve forgotten. And thanks for watching.

I have new pastures to go to/new challenges ahead/insert your favourite ‘moving on’ cliché here – and I’ll be at liberty to reveal them in due course.

So, for now. The Inside Line. Episode 130. Check it out.

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