Well, it's that time of year ago. It's the F1 shutdown, and school is out for summer. After a pretty intense first half of the year, it's time for adventure holidays, lazing on the beach, or simply spending the day pottering about the house – anything but F1. The factory is now empty, with only the tick and whirr of the tank where we keep Adrian's extra brains to interrupt the silence.
Why do we have an enforced summer break? It's because F1 cars are like sharks; they're either constantly moving forward or they drown. It's a question of lap time. Not every new thing works, but there's a fairly close correlation between the number of hours spent working on development and the amount of time gained on the track. The brutal but simple equation is that any team not working 365 days of the year is losing out to a rival that is.
Now, of course, sensible people understand that all work and no play isn't very healthy, but F1 teams are staffed by lots of people with quite…extreme personalities - the sort of people who would gladly sell their mothers for 50 points of downforce and a copy of Autocourse. They'd never take a holiday, and the first time you'd realize something was wrong was when they went all "Here's Johnny!" in the model shop. The have to be gently led outside, eyes shaded against the bright scary orb in the sky, and made to take a break. Naturally there's anger, tears and ill-advised attempts to use The Force in an attempt to get back inside – but it's for their own good.
And then everything shuts down. Servers are turned off, gates are locked, and "A Gone Fishin'" sign is hung upon the front door. Maintenance pixies are allowed in to fix stuff, but otherwise it's like the Mary Celeste on Bradbourne Drive, if the Mary Celeste had autoclaves and a simulator, obviously. Everyone is sent away for two weeks. No access to the factory, the wind tunnel, engineering software or even work e-mail. The instruction is to go away, relax and not even think about work. The latter is difficult to achieve without some sort of mind ray – and there's a technical directive banning those. Probably.
The hope is that everyone comes back on August 18 fully refreshed, completely recharged and raring to go. It worked out pretty well last year; we won the last nine races.
But for now, race updates will be going dark for a couple of weeks. We know you'll miss us. A bit. Maybe. What can you do in the meantime? Doubtless you'll find inspiration somewhere – but we can't help as we'll be too busy putting the Scott bikes on top of the Infiniti Q50 and Renault Scenic (polished to a coruscating shine with Sonax), filling up with Total, checking the pressure in our Pirelli P Zeros, packing a crate of Singha (and some Rauch), plus some Red Edition Red Bull for Spy (who gets crabby if he doesn't get a daily dose of Cranberry), stowing the UE Boom, lacing up the GEOX trainers and getting comfy in our Alpinestars T-shirts and Pepe Jeans before heading into the sunset.
What? Too much?
See you after the summer break.