One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was shared over the scream of a high-revving V10 engine. The summer before I headed into my GCSEs, my work experience took me to the British GP in 1996 where I was lucky enough to shadow the brilliant motorsport journalist David Tremayne who at the time was The Independent's F1 correspondent.
We were standing at the back of a garage watching Martin Brundle's car being fired up, the Jordan liveried in the same thin gold of the B&H cartons I'd started sneakily smoking on the walk back from school. The engine note - a shrill, banshee scream that got louder and louder as it bounced off the concrete walls - was what we games journalists might call visceral, an all-encompassing thing that visibly moved me.
My mentor saw that wide-eyed excitement, the same look that's struck me whenever I go to a race track and first hear an engine striking a note of fury, and recognised it; it was pretty much the same one he had on his face as we were being blasted by a V10, some years into his career and having heard that same note over countless race weekends. 'Hold onto that', he said. 'When it's gone you might as well walk away'.
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