The Secret Diary Of A Formula One Blogger: Part II

The Secret Diary Of A Formula One Blogger: Part II

Part two of my Japanese diary and this early-morning I’m staying awake for the race having changed my plans yesterday following an extended nap which lasted for a few hours longer than it should have done. But that is what Formula One fans do when there are flyaway races; we mess up our routines just to catch the action live. I’m looking forward to the race later but I’m completely uninspired by the Fuji circuit, especially in comparison to Suzuka. But despite this, points will be won and lost today, and that needs reporting on BlogF1.

Sunday, 12th October, 2008 – 09:39

I am absolutely shattered. But I’m also angry once again. The stewards have changed a race result after a race, which always riles me, and they’ve achieved this by giving Bourdais a penalty. For what? For driving the only line available to him as he exited the pitlane? Give me a break.

The race report is up but I’m far from happy with it. Unfortunately, it got to a point where my head wasn’t working properly, so I just hit ‘Publish’. I was considering taking a nap before putting the post up, but decided Bourdais-Penalty post will probably attract more attention anyway, and the longer I leave it the more I’m likely to forget.

Sunday, 12th October, 2008 – 04:21

Right, I’m done with code for now. Time to put the bialetti on the hob and make some coffee. Of interest this morning: How the Ecclestone Affair Unfolded – an article on Ecclestone, tobacco advertising bans and Blair’s Labour government.

Sunday, 12th October, 2008 – 00:02

So apparently I’m staying awake for the race after all. I normally do this, but as I’m getting on a bit I took an extended nap yesterday. I must say though, right now I feel really good and energetic. But as there is little news floating around at the moment I’ve diverted my energy to design. The Pink For October look to BlogF1 finally garnered a couple of compliments after I jigged it a little (read: a lot) and now I’m aware that the regular look will need some fiddling as well. So to keep me occupied this morning I’ve been playing with the site on devBF1 – a separate area of BlogF1 where I play with the design away from prying eyes.

Four areas really bug me about the site as it stands:

– Speed

– Footer

– Green colour of links and hovers

– Not being able to cycle through posts on the homepage (‘Previous’ and ‘Next’)

Now I like green, it works with the colour scheme and is reflected in the header image. It’s certainly better than the orange I had last year, although a strong orange would work quite well now I come to think of it. But, the green is too soft and the difference between a and a:hover is too subtle.

To explain, a is the code used for a link. It needs to be different from the text (usually defined as p) so people know there’s a link on the page. a:hover is obviously the change in colour (or whatever) when the cursor hovers over the text.

Me from Sidepodcast said on yesterday that he liked the links in the comments, and from that I presume the young chap means they stand out better and are more contrasting.

So I’m playing with colours this morning and at about 2am I intend to start analysing the database and queries to it. This may help with the speed issue if I can identify anything that I can fix. Of note though, the frontpage is actually smaller in size than 80% of the ten or so F1 sites I checked earlier. So that leads me to believe the speed issue is database related, and that is why I’m gonna be knee deep in stuff I don’t fully understand. Yet. Because the great thing about BlogF1 isn’t necessarily just that I learn about Formula One. I get to learn all kinds of other crap as well.

Helpful Links:

To see what this post is all about, I recommend reading the first one – it contains the whys and whereabouts of this diary. Also, this post will be updated, but the RSS feed to BlogF1 won’t. I will however, Dent each time I update, so my profile and feed address are listed below. Subscribe away…

And that really is me in the Fisichella cap pulling a Hamilton pose – don’t ask, long story…


  • young chap? f1’s making me feel very middle-aged this weekend 🙂

    you’re right about the link contrast, but i also like the blockquote look too. something about the left-hand stripe.

  • Hi Ollie, greetings from Fuji Speedway!

    Keep up the good work (but seriously, you need some sleep!!!)

    btw, it’s sunny this morning with a slight chance of rain later.


  • See, it’s all about contrast. I’ve been hammering myself for ages now (really, it’s been years) and I know I need to be even more confident with it.

    I’ve actually been toying with reverting to a better green for general site and post links etc, but keeping the pink for comments. It may provide a break (or, ahem, contrast) between the article and the comments.

  • Hi Ollie, greetings from Fuji Speedway!

    Hello good sir. And a very good morning it is. I think you are the first person to comment on BlogF1 from a grand prix, so congratulations and many thanks. If you don’t mind me asking, are you on a laptop with mobile internet, or on your mobile phone or…?

    Heh, yeah, I need to sleep, but the Internet’s 24/7/366 this year, so I’m not allowed sleep. 😆

    Do keep us informed with the weather. I noticed a few dark clouds moving in yesterday in qualifying, so clearly the rain can move in quite quickly. And enjoy your day at Fuji, I hope we get a great race to watch.

  • Ollie, it’s now 10:50am local time and there’s a chilly breeze blowing across the circuit. Clouds are forming on the hills behind the track but the sun is still trying to burn thru.

    Local forcast says; sunny turning cloudy only 10% chance of rain.

    I’m using a Mac and on broadband.

  • Been looking at saterlite photos, looks like prevaiing wind blowing SSW, cloud coming in from east over the mountain but doesn`t show rain yet

  • Sorry Ollie but the photo of you with the trainers deserves a caption

    “After listening to so much cr*p, Ollie decided to check it out for himself”

  • I’m using a Mac and on broadband.

    awesome, what a hero

    I’ll agree to that.

    what’s the url for the satellite photos?

    The URL is just the address in the browser, like BlogF1’s address is

    BBC weather is here:

    Fuji is just South of Tokyo.

    Sorry Ollie but the photo of you with the trainers deserves a caption

    I once threatened to offer an image of myself as a caption contest. Looks like I inadvertantly have now. 🙂

  • 12 minutes till the dulceit tones of Martin Brundle, roll on bbc no more def lepard, if we only had time to joke about the drummer ;_)

  • Very good series Ollie- I got many good laughs out of the whole thing!! Over here in the eastern U.S. the GP kicked off at 12:30 at night, so it is a case of staying up late rather than waking up early for this one. That suits me quite well, as I normally have a dog of a time trying to wake up early when I don’t have something scheduled for school or work. It’s also god to know that I am not the only fan who dosen’t always fly out of bed for a GP weekend- I’ve slept through all or part of Bahrain, Spain, Hungary, and Singapore this season, as those races are shown around 8-9 AM over here.

    The only really tough races to see over here in terms of time are Malaysia and China, so I am not loking forward to the viewing times for this week’s stop- the action just starts around 2AM !!!

    Finally, very good imitation of the McLaren advertising in that photo- I have a subscription to Racing Line and their most recent issue detailed that photo shoot. Very well done!!

  • Caption for your photo

    ” All I Need now is a pair for my eyes, and I`ll be Steward equipped for the next race”

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