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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:45 pm 
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I can understand doing it for money of course (eg James Hunt). Or because you have a lot to offer and are good at it - and need a new career (Brundle). Or even because it's a laugh staying in touch with your old friends and colleagues (Hill). And although I don't understand it I'm aware some people just like to have a high profile so do it to stay in the limelight (Eddie Jordan).

But, for example, what is it that makes Mark Webber want to join C4? He doesn't need the money. He always professed to disliking the environment in F1. He has a WEC career to focus on. He's not very good at it (based on what I've seen). He doesn't seem the sort to need the attention. So what does he expect to get from it? Likewise Alain Prost and DC, who are also joining C4. Jackie Stewart's another, though I don't think he does much nowadays. Why do people choose to give up so much of their time, schlepp around the world, and look like has-beens to their still active former colleagues? (If I were Webber I'd be embarassed queuing up with obscure journos to ask Vettel questions, potentially about how he won or how good his team mate is etc.)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:55 pm 
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I never really rated Hunt as a commentator - although some things he said were hilarious at times. Him and Murray were polar opposites and I think that added to the joy of watching races back then.

Out of all the retired F1 folk, Brundle is the best of the bunch, IMO. A brilliant commentator and provides brilliant insights into how F1 works and what happens behind the scenes. I liked Chandhok when he did some FP1 commentary a few years ago, too.

I really don't think Lewis will be a pit lane reporter when he hangs up his helmet and gloves!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:26 pm 
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It happens in most sports, take a look at Match of the Day. Maybe it's something to do with not competing anymore but still wanting to be in the thick of it, with people you spent your 20s and 30s traveling the world with

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:03 pm 
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What happened is that once upon a time, regular ole news personalities were called up to anchor or serve as guest commentators for a wide variety of sporting events, many times knowing little to nothing about the sport, and for a very long time it went well. Then broadcasts the likes of ABC's Monday Night Football began testing the waters by adding former players to their commentary team for their opinions derrived from actual hands-on expertise, and it worked. The reason it did so was because the fans know the athlete and appreciate their perspective (usually) because they know far better than those whom never participated in sport themselves. Since then, it tricked down to other sports like basketball and baseball and it worked really well. Since those successes however, many professional athletes realized this would be a chance to remain connected to the sports they love indefinitely, and strategically major in broadcast and sports journalism in college and for some it transitions beautifully and is magic.

In some sports such as boxing, while the expert commentary is extremely insightful, the grammurr and vocaboolerry is atrocious at best and can drive you mad. LOL Hopkins anyone? But for all those illiterate ex boxers you have a handful of gems the likes of Teddy Atlas, Andre Ward, Paulie Malignaggi (my absolute favorite and the best Boxer-Commentator).

Tennis has several former players commentating on the sport and for the most part it's brilliant, none more so than McEnroe.

In great part, former racing drivers transition into commentating beautifully in the series they used to compete in. Danny Sullivan, The ever smooth, slightly slow, eloquent, southern twang of Bobby Unser, Darrel Waltrip (not a fan of today's NASCAR but he's excellent), Derek Daily was pretty good in ChampCar as well. In the end their inside knowledge is far greater than the traditional commentator because they lived the experience. Eddie Jordan, while a bit comical at times, does indeed add a good deal of insight so I'm perplexed at times when people dump on him and his tacky as hell shirts and roadkill. LOL

As for James Hunt, I think we can give him a little more credit as he sat beside the legendary Murray Walker at a time where perhaps Murray was no longer in his peak years. Overall I'd give hunt an 8 out of 10.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:15 pm 
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Money, simple as.
It is generally hard to adjust whatever lifestyle you are used to. Despite not needing the money it is probably alarming to see the bank balance eroding with nothing going in. Also a TV profile keeps you noticed and can continue or lead to sponsorships or adverts etc.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:57 pm 
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Didn't Webber so some stuff for Aussie TV when he first left? Sure I remember good reviews coming from Oz.

I'm probably in the minority that really dislikes Brundle. He seems to be a lap behind a lot and just plain misses things. I know I shout at the commentary a lot more when I watch on Sky.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:32 pm 
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I suppose it's probably the same reason that many retired athletes go into commentating. What exactly that is, I don't know, but I'm guessing that part of it is that they're already well-positioned in which to do so if they wish: they're used to being on the TV and being in interviews (albeit from the other side), they know the sport in question very well, and they are probably going to be more respected by the fanbase than an unrelated TV announcer who is just assigned to the job. It's also a potential way to keep sort of in the sport that they (presumably) love once they're out of actually racing/playing, so it probably is a more attractive proposition than doing other things.

Now, why do anything at all instead of just retiring completely? That's what I'm not sure about. Some probably want more money, some probably just want to stay in touch; maybe some didn't like the previous announcers and think they can do better. There are a bunch of possible reasons, and it's most likely not the same set of reasons for everybody. Maybe they just think it'll be fun.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:35 pm 
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1) Money
2) Boredom
3) Missing being part of the F1 circus

I think its a very good option for retired drivers, but maybe professional journalists dont like it very much


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:42 am 
James14 wrote:
Money, simple as.
It is generally hard to adjust whatever lifestyle you are used to. Despite not needing the money it is probably alarming to see the bank balance eroding with nothing going in. Also a TV profile keeps you noticed and can continue or lead to sponsorships or adverts etc.


DC is worth over £100 million, he is probably only drawing at most £250,000 from the BBC. His earnings on investments are probably at least £5 million per year.

A driver like Anthony Davidson who is probably on £100-150k from Sky it is a decent job and he gets to stay in the circus.

I think the biggest factor for these guys is they were never at home with there families since they were 16/17 they have been travelling the world racing. Going home and living in the same place all year is absurd to them. Brundle says he loves the jobs because it gives him 70% of the adrenaline rush as racing.

Once the filming stops I bet they all have a good laugh and some drinks and food. I think Nigel Mansell is the only British driver to not do TV work post retirement in the last 25 years.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:19 am 
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F1 MERCENARY wrote:
As for James Hunt, I think we can give him a little more credit as he sat beside the legendary Murray Walker at a time where perhaps Murray was no longer in his peak years. Overall I'd give hunt an 8 out of 10.

I agree - I never experienced his commentary live, but watching BBC coverage of races he commentated on I've always found him enjoyable, unique and not afraid to offer a truthful but unpopular opinion.

As for why do drivers do it, same as any other athletes - it keeps them close to the sport they love, they already have the knowledge and it's a big draw for a network to be able to sign a hugely popular ex-driver to commentate for them. I think money has very little to do with it. What really weirds me out is superstars talking about entering the normal workforce after retiring. I mean, you're worth $100m dollars, man - why?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:36 am 
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Herb wrote:
Didn't Webber so some stuff for Aussie TV when he first left? Sure I remember good reviews coming from Oz.

He did the commentary for the Aus GP last year for the Australian broadcast and he was really good, lots of insight into the behind the scenes workings with the teams and driver preparations.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:45 am 
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lamo wrote:
James14 wrote:
Money, simple as.
It is generally hard to adjust whatever lifestyle you are used to. Despite not needing the money it is probably alarming to see the bank balance eroding with nothing going in. Also a TV profile keeps you noticed and can continue or lead to sponsorships or adverts etc.


DC is worth over £100 million, he is probably only drawing at most £250,000 from the BBC. His earnings on investments are probably at least £5 million per year.

A driver like Anthony Davidson who is probably on £100-150k from Sky it is a decent job and he gets to stay in the circus.

I think the biggest factor for these guys is they were never at home with there families since they were 16/17 they have been travelling the world racing. Going home and living in the same place all year is absurd to them. Brundle says he loves the jobs because it gives him 70% of the adrenaline rush as racing.

Once the filming stops I bet they all have a good laugh and some drinks and food. I think Nigel Mansell is the only British driver to not do TV work post retirement in the last 25 years.

The most successful ones seem to be the least likely to do TV work, at least in F1. Is that because they're less likely to need the money, more fulfilled, busier, have a bigger ego to nurse? We'll never know but I can't believe we'd ever have seen Schumi or Senna jostling outside the media pen trying to ask Nasr about his race. Mansell, as you say, hasn't done anything significant. Nor did Damon until quite recently. I've not seen Hakkinen do anything much either. But then Stewart launched straight into it, though I guess he was the type.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:14 pm 
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F1 MERCENARY wrote:
What happened is that once upon a time, regular ole news personalities were called up to anchor or serve as guest commentators for a wide variety of sporting events, many times knowing little to nothing about the sport, and for a very long time it went well. Then broadcasts the likes of ABC's Monday Night Football began testing the waters by adding former players to their commentary team for their opinions derrived from actual hands-on expertise, and it worked. The reason it did so was because the fans know the athlete and appreciate their perspective (usually) because they know far better than those whom never participated in sport themselves. Since then, it tricked down to other sports like basketball and baseball and it worked really well. Since those successes however, many professional athletes realized this would be a chance to remain connected to the sports they love indefinitely, and strategically major in broadcast and sports journalism in college and for some it transitions beautifully and is magic.

In some sports such as boxing, while the expert commentary is extremely insightful, the grammurr and vocaboolerry is atrocious at best and can drive you mad. LOL Hopkins anyone? But for all those illiterate ex boxers you have a handful of gems the likes of Teddy Atlas, Andre Ward, Paulie Malignaggi (my absolute favorite and the best Boxer-Commentator).

Tennis has several former players commentating on the sport and for the most part it's brilliant, none more so than McEnroe.

In great part, former racing drivers transition into commentating beautifully in the series they used to compete in. Danny Sullivan, The ever smooth, slightly slow, eloquent, southern twang of Bobby Unser, Darrel Waltrip (not a fan of today's NASCAR but he's excellent), Derek Daily was pretty good in ChampCar as well. In the end their inside knowledge is far greater than the traditional commentator because they lived the experience. Eddie Jordan, while a bit comical at times, does indeed add a good deal of insight so I'm perplexed at times when people dump on him and his tacky as hell shirts and roadkill. LOL

As for James Hunt, I think we can give him a little more credit as he sat beside the legendary Murray Walker at a time where perhaps Murray was no longer in his peak years. Overall I'd give hunt an 8 out of 10.

I half agree that this modern approach (using ex-competitors rather than pro broadcasters) is an improvement. I guess it depends on the individuals, as you say (for every Brundle there's a Blundell) but perhaps also the sport. If they're not that bright, or perhaps haven't had training, they can make a sport seem inaccessible. As a non-soccerball fan whenever I'm exposed to TV coverage it just seems like a lads club. They have no interest in welcoming in strangers, it's all in-jokes, jargon, assumptions of shared opinions and knowledge etc. But most annoyingly to me few of them can speak properly! I couldn't care less if your job is kicking a ball or pointing a car. But when it's speaking about someone kicking a ball or pointing a car you should understand how to communicate. There's no excuse for it. Karun Chandhok can use perfect English to explain a complicated technical issue. Johnny Herbert can't string a sentence together. He never makes any sort of point, he just re-frames the question incomprehensibly. He's a lovely bloke but perhaps he shouldn't be in the job.

My particular hangups mean I'd quite like to see more journalists in prominent roles because they tend to be more opinionated, balanced and coherent, whilst still being well (usually better) informed. Competitors come with their hangups and aren't used to having opinions or caring about things outside their sphere. Listen to DC talk about the top teams for three minutes and you know exactly which ones upset him during his first career, but try and get him off the fence on a wider political issue that doesn't impact on him and he looks bewildered. In spite of his credentials he has nowhere near as much knowledge of what's going on as journos like Mark Hughes, they should use people like him more.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:28 pm 
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There are many perks for them being on the grid interviewing the drivers & seeing sights such as this:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:58 pm 
Balibari wrote:
lamo wrote:
James14 wrote:
Money, simple as.
It is generally hard to adjust whatever lifestyle you are used to. Despite not needing the money it is probably alarming to see the bank balance eroding with nothing going in. Also a TV profile keeps you noticed and can continue or lead to sponsorships or adverts etc.


DC is worth over £100 million, he is probably only drawing at most £250,000 from the BBC. His earnings on investments are probably at least £5 million per year.

A driver like Anthony Davidson who is probably on £100-150k from Sky it is a decent job and he gets to stay in the circus.

I think the biggest factor for these guys is they were never at home with there families since they were 16/17 they have been travelling the world racing. Going home and living in the same place all year is absurd to them. Brundle says he loves the jobs because it gives him 70% of the adrenaline rush as racing.

Once the filming stops I bet they all have a good laugh and some drinks and food. I think Nigel Mansell is the only British driver to not do TV work post retirement in the last 25 years.

The most successful ones seem to be the least likely to do TV work, at least in F1. Is that because they're less likely to need the money, more fulfilled, busier, have a bigger ego to nurse? We'll never know but I can't believe we'd ever have seen Schumi or Senna jostling outside the media pen trying to ask Nasr about his race. Mansell, as you say, hasn't done anything significant. Nor did Damon until quite recently. I've not seen Hakkinen do anything much either. But then Stewart launched straight into it, though I guess he was the type.


I think the more successful ones stay in the sport in other ways, team owners and management I see Senna and Schumacher. Senna had business interests and his charity work. Schumacher I think definitely would have ended up very high up in Ferrari or Mercedes management.

Mansell, just does not have the screen presence of the other British drivers (I can only speak for those as they are the only ones I've seen) and also is probably the biggest family man of the lot too. He used to take his wife and children to a lot of the european races back in the late 80s, early 90s.

The single exception, post Mansell is Eddie Irvine who runs multiple business' and just loves chasing super models and the like. He is one who has too big of an ego to hold a mic.

Jenson Button will be the next one to join up, he has already done a race commentary when he was banned back in 2005 and very media friendly. He is worth well over a £100 million. I can imagine drivers like Herbert, Blundell and Davidson needing the money but DC, Hill and Jenson I am sure don't.

I don't think you'll ever see Hamilton with a mic in his hand, well you might, but it wont be doing an interview :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:37 pm 
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Monday Night Football is hosted by Gary Lineker, Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry. All ex-footballers. F1 is not exactly unique in that respect.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:49 pm 
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lamo wrote:

I don't think you'll ever see Hamilton with a mic in his hand, well you might, but it wont be doing an interview :lol:


Lol!!! :lol: I think you are right on this one. Lewis has recently stated that he wants to continue building his business interests away from F1 & looks to create longevity outside of F1 for when he retires. I do get the sense that once he departs F1, there'll be no half measures. He won't want to stick around in that environment, in any shape or capacity.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:06 pm 
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It's not a money thing. Coulthard has enough moolah to buy Channel 4.

It's simply that they're all trained from an early age to do presentation and promo work, it's a basic qualification of getting a ride. So they all start with a technical advantage. Add to that that when the show's over, they have zero other usable skills, still love the travel and the smell of petrol and it's a natural progression.

Of course there are exceptions. Eddie Irvine made a bob or two in property. Hamilton is doubtless planning to become an international music sensation.

.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:44 pm 
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Is it a lot? I know it is relatively speaking but in absolute terms. So few get to F1 to begin with. If I only consider the UK channels, I have two teams doing F1 TV coverage. I'd guess Sky have more than that for their football coverages. Then BT, BBC and ITV have teams too. So I'd guess (and it is a guess as I'm not into football) that more former football stars have gone into TV roles than F1 drivers. F1 just looks more concentrated due to the numbers involed.

Firstly, who are we to say he doesn't need the money? Maybe he's right into his cocaine or high class hookers. Secondly if the weekends he isn't contracted to drive WEC, C4 have said "fly to this exotic location, get your face on TV, meet old friends and get paid well for doing so" wouldn't you think most people would take the deal? JYS was a sponsor guy mostly wasn't he? He got paid a lot of money to wear an RBS shirt. I'd need to be really very rich or busy to turn that deal down. In the end, it's money for doing something that sounds, on the whole, quite fun. And Webber and the rest of the big names are probably well enough off that if they do decide they've had enough they can stick it.

And finally, I'd rather have an expert, not neccessarily former F1 though, giving the little bit of insight. I can't tell you how tight Monaco is for an F1 car other than based off the videogames. I can't tell you what 130R feels like at full blast, or the impact of a hit to the barriers, or the psychological effect of missing a gear change etc. Some random pundit is also going to have a hard time of that without having experienced it. I think you need that experience. People like that insight. Only other sport I watch regularly is NFL, and they nearly always have one guy on their teams that is a former player.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:11 pm 
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KingVoid wrote:
Monday Night Football is hosted by Gary Lineker, Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry. All ex-footballers. F1 is not exactly unique in that respect.


I really don't think it is :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:44 pm 
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lamo wrote:
James14 wrote:
Money, simple as.
It is generally hard to adjust whatever lifestyle you are used to. Despite not needing the money it is probably alarming to see the bank balance eroding with nothing going in. Also a TV profile keeps you noticed and can continue or lead to sponsorships or adverts etc.


DC is worth over £100 million, he is probably only drawing at most £250,000 from the BBC. His earnings on investments are probably at least £5 million per year.

A driver like Anthony Davidson who is probably on £100-150k from Sky it is a decent job and he gets to stay in the circus.

I think the biggest factor for these guys is they were never at home with there families since they were 16/17 they have been travelling the world racing. Going home and living in the same place all year is absurd to them. Brundle says he loves the jobs because it gives him 70% of the adrenaline rush as racing.

Once the filming stops I bet they all have a good laugh and some drinks and food. I think Nigel Mansell is the only British driver to not do TV work post retirement in the last 25 years.


They would probably travle to the events anyway, so why not get it paid for.


They all make a decent living out of talks and promo work, which means their names still need to be high profile. The best way to do this is to keep your face on TV, also the best jobs they are likely to get are at the same venues the race is.

DC driving you around the track is a good thing to give to sponsors cuddlies, the fact that its in a minibus is not really relevant, unless you are buying some ferraris, then you may get a better deal. Buy a (few) Mercs and get Hamilton to show you around Monaco sort of thing.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:51 am 
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lamo wrote:
James14 wrote:
Money, simple as.
It is generally hard to adjust whatever lifestyle you are used to. Despite not needing the money it is probably alarming to see the bank balance eroding with nothing going in. Also a TV profile keeps you noticed and can continue or lead to sponsorships or adverts etc.


DC is worth over £100 million, he is probably only drawing at most £250,000 from the BBC. His earnings on investments are probably at least £5 million per year.... (snip)


@OP ^^ and ,,, DC and Jake Humphries and (I forget his name but anyway, DC is my point) own the company that now has the F1 contract for CH4 (wish I could remember the name of that as well lol, it is late, sowwy, I will edit at a sensible time tomo)

Both Brundle and DC have positioned themselves perfectly to create a personality (and fortune) way beyond their driver entities. That is, imho, what Webber is doing. Laying groundwork for a future beyond F1.

As for feeling embarrassed in F1 paddocks? He just won WEC, no?

Have fun :)

Edit: Whisper films ;)

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Last edited by Shia Luck on Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:46 am 
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Balibari wrote:
I can understand doing it for money of course (eg James Hunt). Or because you have a lot to offer and are good at it - and need a new career (Brundle). Or even because it's a laugh staying in touch with your old friends and colleagues (Hill). And although I don't understand it I'm aware some people just like to have a high profile so do it to stay in the limelight (Eddie Jordan).


Something to do?
Still able to be involved in the sport without having to be a team manager?
Be able to interview the drivers, offer your own opinion, talk to team bosses all with an official badge on?

It happens in all sports and I completely understand why they do it.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:55 pm 
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Something I don't know anyone's suggested yet that may well go along with the boredom factor - simply not being qualified to do much else!

I know a lot of f1 drivers are intelligent, but as they have spent most of their lives honing their skills towards racing, they've not had much time to learn any other 'real world' skills such as further education (they may even have not done too well or remember much of their standard education due to spending so much of their childhood preparing to be racing driver), job skills and experience for literally anything outside of motorsports etc. There's not many industries that could use a 30 something ex racing driver with no training or experience for anything other than PR work. So it's a choice of starting up on your own, going into partnership with someone else, just relaxing and not doing much else or find a job within the industry that you've been in for all your adult life.

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