Episode #600 is upon us! We will record it on Sunday November 4, 2018. We hope you enjoy it.
It’s been a long road since our very humble beginnings back in 2005. I started The Parc Fermé as an antidote to the trolls and flaming I found on other Formula 1 forums at very famous F1 magazine websites. Our story is relatively well documented, so I won’t repeat it all here but suffice it to say, there have been thousands and thousands of hours put in to this site and podcast.
When Grace joined, we posted content daily and in 2007 we thought we’d start a podcast with the aim of it being like two friends having a beer and talking about the sport they love. We haven’t changed that vibe and after 600 podcasts later, we are still just friends talking about the sport they love but with a big difference…YOU!
It’s difficult to know just how many people we reach. We know we have served well over 5 million downloads and run in the 80-90,000 downloads per month range and we know that the US, UK, Australia, Canada and EMEA as well as APAC and LATAM are all listeners. Knowing all of that, we still really don’t know what kind of impact we really make or how many of you we’ve touched in your weekly life.
We assume folks are listening each week and the metrics and Patreon support would suggest that’s true but how many of you have been listening for a long time and how many of you have become close friends vicariously? How many remember the podcast from a cave or the magic 8-ball or BARF 1? Have we touched anyone’s life in unique ways? While we certainly can’t imagine doing so, we get something in the mail like this.
Trevor Braun is a listener and took it upon himself to create custom plaques for Grace, Paul and me. He printed out a Ferrari technical manual (a nod to a long-time joke between Grace and me about the Spygate debacle at McLaren) and wrapped the gift in these high-quality papers that I unfortunately ripped trying to get the tape off. Completely my bad!! I feel horrible about that.
That Trevor would take the time to create this by hand and put in the attention to detail for us is simply astounding, amazing and quite humbling. I can’t imagine anyone liking us that much or appreciating what we do that deeply. It’s like the time I met a delightful young woman in Austin from Thailand who wanted my autograph instead of the guy standing next to me (Alexander Rossi) because she and her friends listen every week and they are learning English from our podcast…which is a scary thought to be honest. It’s incredibly humbling folks.
I’ve technically recorded nearly 700 podcasts if you consider our TPF Downshift episodes and if I had to guess at the hours I’ve spent, it would be near 90 days (24 hours) of podcasting. That’s like podcasting non-stop from January 1st through the end of March. That’s 90 (24-hour) days my wife and daughters have been patient with me for not being there for them. It’s 90 days that I get to speak with all of you, the incredible TPF Crew.
Paul and Grace and have been there as well and put in immeasurable amounts of time all for the high price of $0. The sacrifice they’ve made is beyond reproach and I couldn’t do any of this without them. We’ve become good friends and all because we thought you might like a F1 podcast. I can’t speak highly enough of my friends Grace and Paul and to be honest, I feel as if they truly are the voice and appeal of the podcasts, I’m here to hit the record button and edit and it’s an honor to do so. An honor to not only work with them but to call them my friends and I’m humbled by their sacrifice.
Podcasting takes time and so does the website. Without Tom and Dave’s help, we’d have much less content such as Dave’s terrific engine updates, Now & Then segments and more. Tom anchors our Twitter #F1Chat and authors a lot of content on the different series we are keen to cover and both are wonderfully British and wonderfully talented with motorsport minds that I am envious of, such is their command of the sport.
We’ve had terrific times working with Shell and the FIA/F1 to bring you some fun content. We’ve also faced legal threats from Formula 1 that were honestly understandable but still a pain in the neck to deal with logistically. We were asked to make a name change, which we did, and yet through it all, you’ve stayed with us.
People ask me if I listen to other F1 podcasts and to be perfectly honest, I don’t have time to do so. I am sure they are staffed with terrific people generating fabulous content and I think that’s terrific. We’ve never been interested in doing what others do or talking smack or competing with them. We just do our thing and we hope that’s something you like and it’s good to know that if you don’t like it, there are other F1 podcasts out there that are more to your liking. I’m sure you’re in good hands with the other top F1 podcasts and we are humbled and grateful if you keep us in your favorite podcast player.
It goes without saying that this 600th episode is a milestone for you. It is your time to pat yourself on the back and know that we are incredibly grateful for your patronage, support and weekly download of our podcast. When we changed our name last year, we nearly stopped. We decided to put it in your hands as to if we continued and some of you answered through our Patreon page by supporting us. It is very expensive doing these casts and without your support, we would have ended in 2017.
We are honored and grateful for that support and to be able to continue. We are already talking about things we’d like to do next year and we’d like to hear from you about things you’d like us to do. We’re always open to your ideas because this is your podcast. Here’s to 600 more and more importantly, here is to you…our listeners who make it all possible. Our TPF community.