Rocking around the clock with Patrick Friesacher at the TAG Heuer facility in Switzerland...
The last stretch of the F1 year is an incredibly busy time for Red Bull Racing. The factory is fully focussed on creating 2018's car, while the race team extends itself to get the maximum out of the sequence of flyaway races that form the finale of 2017.
It's not so much a process as a blur – but there's more going on than just this, with the Live Demo team keeping up a steady flow of show car runs in places that F1 cars would not otherwise be. On Thursday they were high in the Jura, thrilling spectators gathered at TAG-Heuer HQ in western Romandie.
Former Minardi driver Patrick Friesacher put the RB8 through its paces on a course laid down around the factory in the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds, epicentre of the watch-making industry, taking the 2012 double world championship-winning car through its full repertoire of donuts and burnouts.
"It's always fun to drive an F1 car, especially the RB8, which has a great sound and always gives me a big smile to drive," said Patrick. "The atmosphere was wonderful, and really good to see lots of kids in the crowd. It's not often you get to do a motorsports event in Switzerland – I think the last time I did I was driving the Red Bull NASCAR!"
While the Live Demo team often performs to audiences numbering in the hundreds of thousands, this was an altogether more intimate affair, with a crowd of around 500, mostly from our official timekeeper and performance partner gathered to see the RB8 and listen to tunes pumped out by our DJ.
After a couple of runs around the building, there was champagne and canapés for the spectators and a chance to chat with Patrick, while local schoolchildren got an impromptu tour of the Live Demo truck and mobile workshop.
It all went off like clockwork.