Looking forward, looking back

F1PPA new year has arrived and today sees most of us cramming ourselves back into ‘normal’ clothes and striding back into the workplace, keen to start the new year with enthusiasm, renewed vigour and a sense of purpose. But of course, in order for that to happen, it’s always good to look back at the year that was for a little perspective.

Speaking for myself, 2017 was tale of two halves. A few personal set backs and challenges were balanced out with some great progress with the #F1PaddockPass community. As you’re probably aware, #F1PP was started to show friends and family what I was upto whilst working in Formula One. It now has a life of its own and run and maintained by just one person – me.

(At this point, it’s worth noting that #F1PaddockPass exists purely for entertainment purposes. It doesn’t make money, doesn’t have staff, fancy offices or a range of merchandise. We’re a minnow who runs with the ‘big boys’, an independant fan driven community that loves Formula One and all the craziness that surrounds it. Like most people, I have a day job so that I can pay the mortgage, and as much as I would love to do this full time, the idea of pop up ads, subscriptions and tacky merchandise just fills me with dread. So we’ll continue to plod along and do the best we can with what is at our disposal.)

I couldn’t run this part of the community without the help of some truly special people.

I’m incredibly grateful to those who gave their time (and their words) to the website. I actually toyed with the idea of folding #F1PP at the end of 2016 but then decided to give budding writers and fans the opportunity to write about the sport that we love. Hayley, Rob, Harry, Anil, Mike, Jamie, Ian, Steve, Miles, Rob, Dinesh, Michael, Sergio, Dave, F1 Stat Man and others, your enthusiasm for the task was incredible – and I give you my deepest thanks.

Reading back through a lot of the articles from 2017, I was thrilled to see that we had covered a lot of topics and had a lot of fun doing so. And that’s what this is all about. Having fun. I hope that the articles written provoked thought, engaged with you as they did me and most importantly, conveyed a little bit of fun, even a smile. The contributors worked hard on every word and deserve every credit for their work.

I’d also like to send a shout out to Mark Blundell, who after a random conversation decided that he’d like to be a part of #F1PaddockPass too – an association that I hope will continue in 2018.

Last year also saw us venture into Drivetribes – which was fun for a bit but felt a bit like we were cheating on the blog audience. So we parked it, for the time being. We also started a You Tube Channel and whilst an agreement for exclusive content fell through, it was a good way to test the water to see if it was something you wanted. I’m pleased to say that it’s something that I’m continuing to explore and hope to bring you more in 2018.

I won’t make too many promises as to what #F1PaddockPass can achieve in 2018. I’ve made promises in the past and for one reason or another, they’ve been broken. So, instead how about a list of things that I’d like to see happen.

  1. Continuing to provide you with fun and engaging F1 articles on the website.
  2. Continuing to have fun on Twitter.
  3. Engage with our community more.
  4. Engage with Instagram more with exclusive content.
  5. Run a few competitions with awesome prizes.
  6. Write a book (ok, so that’s more of a personal one).
  7. Update the website.
  8. Have a safe and thrilling 2018 F1 Season.

With over three quarters of a million people stopping by in 2017, all that is left to say is a huge thank you to you, the readers, followers, commenters, friends and foes. Thank you for making #F1PaddockPass an even bigger success in 2017.

We may have fell short of our goal of 50,000 Twitter followers in 2017, but the sky is the limit in 2018.

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