Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

I could go a bundle on 2012 - Picking out my personal highlights from the past twelve months of F1

Published by Christine

The New Year celebrations are just about dying down now, but there's still time to squeeze in a little more nostalgia before our attention turns fully to the year ahead. We always said that 2012 was to be a year of, shall we say, regeneration at Sidepodcast, and as we navigated our way through a season of unknowns, we still managed to have a lot of fun along the way. To tie up the year nicely, I've gathered my favourite bits and pieces of the year. Why not relive them with me?

Best of Christine 2012

New ideas, gathering steam

Potentially one of the best things that I did this year was the Radio Active F1 show - an hour long radio-style stream where I took the helm and did most of the talking. It had a gazillion rough edges and just a glint of potential, but it was more to me than just an hour of light-hearted entertainment.

If you'd asked me five years ago if I'd be able to take the helm of something like that for a full hour, with the pressure of being live, and talking somewhat coherently about F1, well, I would have fainted at the mere concept. Now I have the bug, and there's definitely more to come on the Radio Active front.

When I wasn't talking this year, I was writing, and I really enjoyed monitoring those midfield teams for my monthly column. It was a great lesson in seeing a deadline rapidly approach, and kicking into gear just in time to meet it. It was also fun thinking of new angles for single teams, or linking the headlines from the four outfits into meaningful stories. Writing (and reading) features was one of the real highlights of 2012.

Old favourites, never fail

We're constantly evolving the Christine's Rankings experience, and there are still heaps of things we plan to do with the concept, but this past season saw some significant developments. Rather than saving up the points for the weekly updates, the plan was to have them updated on a daily basis, with the regular post acting as a highlight of what had gone on in the previous seven days. I wasn't necessarily as on top of this as I would have liked (there's a new year's resolution for you), but it certainly made it a more rewarding experience for me, and hopefully for those submitting suggestions too.

My particular highlight was seeing Lewis Hamilton's comeback after a substantial drop in the second half of the year. With his Twitter meltdowns occurring on an almost daily basis, it should have taken a lot to see the Brit make his way back up, but in actual fact, two very well timed videos (including what is still one of the best things I saw last year) including some mean guitar playing, and the guy moved back up to finish second by the time the Rankings reached its finale!

F1 Big Picture is an oft-overlooked but fun sister site to Sidepodcast, with the biggest challenge for us in coming up with fitting and witty titles. In terms of pictures, I love Autumn song for its simple wistfulness, swirling leaves and all. But in terms of titles, then More fuel you is going to be stuck in my mind for a long time. Mr C and I both managed to come up with a good title for this one, and oh, the arguments we had trying to decide who would win! (I did. Naturally.)

Podcasting fun, audio gold

F1Minute has been through some tweaks and changes over the years, but remains a constant in the Sidepodcast world. We've developed and practiced the 60 second news show production process to a point where it's quick and easy to do, but I still get that sinking feeling when faced with a chaotic race to sum up in the shortest space of time. However, sinking turns into elation when it comes off okay! Let's not discuss Brazil's F1Minute, however, where I had to admit from the off that it was impossible to do it justice in one minute!

Our conversations with Joe continue to be popular, and I very much enjoy listening to his insight. One of our shows from early in the year proved what a boon it was when we got to discuss the whole Lotus press release fiasco with the person in question. I also think we didn't do too badly with our Feet Up Friday fun and games this season. The podcasts may have been few and far between, but the relaxed chatter did make for some amusing evenings.

Race weekends, real coverage

I debuted a new post-weekend roundup, analysing each team individually and summing up where their races were won or lost. The idea came from my making notes for each F1 race, and the need to bookend a weekend - we have the race information to begin with, and now the team by team summation to close. I'm planning to bring these back for 2013, perhaps tweaked, but I was happy with how they turned out.

Last, and about as far away from least as you can get, one of my ongoing highlights of running Sidepodcast is our answer to live-blogging, the Factbyte Factbox. Every time I finish up an event, I say to Mr C: "That was so much fun, I need to do more of it." This year, too, I really got a sense that it was helping people - particularly with the coverage being a bit more sporadic in 2012. My personal favourite thing in the FBFB is the gap analysis, a visual representation of just how far away the leader (usually Vettel) is getting. If I had my own way, I'd just do a gap analysis for each lap and leave it at that, but I suppose the transcripts and written updates, tweets and radio messages, comments and pictures are useful too.

2012 has been a season of surprises, full of highs with few lows, and this coming year has a lot to live up to. With all of the above to build upon, however, I'm ready for the challenge and I hope you'll all be coming along for the ride.