Ten years ago, I was given an opportunity that completely transformed my career and my life. Joining the GP2 Series at its birth as Press Officer, and later becoming Director of Communications, I spent three of my happiest years in motorsport living and working in Switzerland for Bruno Michel, Laurence Eckle and with the wonderful Marco Codello and Didier Perrin, Philippe and Riton, the engineering genius of Bernard Dudot and ably assisted on weekends by the sanity-ensuring calmness of David Cameron.
After those first three years I found myself in a position of having to make a tough choice, but ultimately followed my passion for journalism and stepped back to the other side of the fence. GP2 stayed in my heart, the press office now run by the brilliant Alexa Quintin, and I began covering the series alongside F1 until one day a phonecall from FOM saw me pick up a microphone and begin a television career that I never dared to dream I would have.
It has been a joy to be a part of the series, to get to know the drivers and teams and to publicise, report on, and eventually commentate the incredible races GP2 has always created.
But after dedicating a decade of my life to GP2 and latterly also to GP3, racing championships which I will always adore, I feel the time is right to bring an end to my active participation and to pass on the microphone. Abu Dhabi will be my last race weekend as world feed commentator for the championships I love.
Just as every GP2 and GP3 driver hopes that his or her exploits in the championships will lead to a full-time ride in F1, so my commentary in the feeder series led to my being picked up as a Formula 1 pit reporter, first for SPEED in the USA and now with NBCSN. My work in America has increased over the years to the point where I feel I am no longer able to divide my time effectively between three championships. By concentrating solely on Formula 1, I hope that I will be able to improve the quality of the content I bring to the burgeoning American audience, and help to grow the sport Stateside.
It is a decision with which I have toiled and has been one of the hardest of my professional career to make.
But all things must pass, and I feel that now is the right time to move on.
I still believe that GP2 is the best one-make championship in the world. And there is little chance I won’t be glued to the television watching every lap of the 2015 championship. It just won’t be my voice getting excited over the top of it.
I want to thank Stephane Samson for believing in me at the outset, to Bruno Michel for giving me the shot and a job when I had absolutely nothing a decade ago and to all the drivers, teams and individuals I’ve worked with in the series over the years. I will never be able to properly thank FOM and Jonathan Nicholas for giving me the chance to hold a microphone and go crazy about the sport and the series I love, nor to explain how in awe I am of the amazing job that everyone behind the scenes of the production does… from the cameramen trackside to Dean, Phil, Paul and everyone in “Bakersville”.
My many co-commentators over the years have provided insight, humour and tremendous friendship. To Karun, Jerome, Dani, Alexander, Alex, Antonio, Davide, Gary and Luca, I extend my unending gratitude and will forever cherish the sharing of so many happy memories.
I never received or asked for any training. What you got was me… pure and unadulterated. Every word I broadcast was spoken from my heart. Sometimes it got me into trouble. But it was always honest. It was always me.
It has been the greatest honour and privilege. But it is one I must now, with a heavy heart, pass on.
Thank you all.
And a very warm goodbye