Every good book (and the disappointingly overrated movie that follows it) starts with a dark time and the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. That’s what the first F1 test in Jerez feels like to us, the chronically in love with wheelspin (yes, yes, wheelspin isn’t good, I’m just fond of metaphors).

After a long winter of apparent hibernation, someone woke up at 5am (probably) and drove about 6 miles to turn on the lights at the circuit of Jerez and greet its noisy guests. Well, maybe not that noisy anymore, but still loud compared to, let’s say, flamenco dancers and cherry drinkers. I should apologise, as those are the only stereotypes I know about the area.

Just like the first heralds of spring, Jerez brings hope and happiness into our hearts and signals the start of something special. Yeah. Except it’s rather rubbish once it’s actually here and the euphoria wears off. Eight teams with eight cars – freshly painted in shades of disappointing greys – cross their fingers in hope they won’t be the first to get uncomfortably close to the gravel. All this while we’re left refreshing Twitter for exciting news that rarely comes and lap times that hardly mean anything. Such a thrilling start to the season, right?

But worry not, because I have a cure for your Jerez blues. Or four to be precise. All you need is paper, scissors and, optionally, an industrial size printer.

Testing Bingo

The fun and games begin with a classic. Since there’s no live feed and the most videos we’re going to get are Ted’s Notebooks, follow your chosen commentary feed and see how quickly you can check everything on the bingo card. Standard bingo rules apply, and I encourage you to yell “Bingo!” at the end (it’s a great conversation starter if you’re in public).

testing bingo

Sponsor Puzzle

All this talk about liveries has tempted me to create my own, in a bid to show these people that I can do better. I can’t, but why not make a game out of it anyway? You can edit or print your car, fill it with some colour and see how many sponsors you can fit in. As for scoring, you get 15 points for 1-4 sponsors, 18 points for 5-8, 25 points if you manage to squeeze in between 8 and 13, and if there’s over 13…yeah, like that’s ever going to happen in F1!


World Champion Dress-Up

This one is more for the ladies (and all the men who pointed out the World Champion’s new style). Hey, everyone’s a critic, right? Well I am, and I have a few styling suggestions of my own. But here’s your chance to suggest the next style Lewis should try on. If you’re not in the mood for crafts yourself, I might just make the one with the most votes (someday).


F1 Twister

Last but not least, if you’re really bored and have guests to entertain, go print yourself a special Twister board. It will look weird that you’re stretching over a car, but that’s as good a chance to put your hands on an F1 car as you’re ever going to get.



Now if you’re ambitious enough to actually play them, have fun! And if all this doesn’t keep you going through the few days left of testing, there’s always that Williams F1 sponsor in a supermarket near you.