While much of the world is winding down and preparing for a bit of time off, here it seems to be full speed ahead. The factory’s busy fabricating a job-lot of RB10s, the race team is away in the Middle East helping Pirelli figure out what sort of rubber we’re going to be racing on in 2014 and the live demo crew is doing what the live demo crew does: taking F1 to the places where F1 wouldn’t otherwise go – in this instance Sri Lanka, with Daniel Ricciardo in the (very) hot seat.
Daniel's visit started with a trip to the southern tip of the country and the city of Galle. Rather than immediately getting down to business he went out into the surf to try a spot of stilt fishing (seriously, any excuse to be on the water). While perching on a pole above the breakers and fishing with fairly rudimentary tackle is supposed to be an acquired skill it took Daniel only about a minute to land his first fish. The experience, he said, was very peaceful.
What followed definitely wasn't. Daniel got to drive a tuk-tuk around town, visit a jungle village and enjoy a refreshing coconut – and then back to Galle's famous fort for the main event – a short blast along the beach road in the RB7. It was the first time an F1 car has run in Sri Lanka and while rain made conditions quite challenging, Daniel, as usual, didn't leave anything on the table.
After that it was back to Colombo for media interviews, elephants and a spot of tourism at the Gangarama temple – though Daniel also got to play cricket with some local children. For some reason the thought of cricket seemed to make him even happier than usual – we're not going to dwell on why. After that it was down to business with practice for the main live demo event and then the next day a full programme of three runs on the city streets in support of the Colombo Night Race festival. We'd like to say that Daniel drove a refined and elegant programme – but really he ragged it for all it was worth, much to the delight of the 100,000-strong crowd.
"The last few days have been a amazing experience,"
he said afterwards.
"Driving the showcar always takes you to new and exotic places but this has been just stunning. The crowd was great and that really gets the pulse-rate up. Hopefully we gave them a demo to remember – I'm sure we did."
And that's the end of the live demo team's schedule for 2013. The RB7 is on its way back to Milton Keynes for a strip down and a bit of TLC. It's going to be a difficult year to top but we've seen the plans for 2014 and the live demo team are definitely going to give it a go.