Bernie Collins has outlined her reasons for leaving her role as head of race strategy at Aston Martin for a place in the Sky Sports F1 commentary team.
Collins was an absolute revelation recently when she made her debut on screen for the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix. Her brief was to provide analysis about race strategy, and make the complex planning of an F1 team easier for fans to understand. Mission accomplished in a huge way.
READ MORE: F1 Race Engineers: The stars of team radio with Hamilton, Verstappen and co
This week she appeared on the Sky F1 podcast for a wide-ranging interview in which she touched on a multitude of different topics - including her decision to move away from the pitwall.
Bernie Collins on Aston Martin exit
She explained: “I think maybe like a lot of my decisions, it’s not necessarily been well planned out, but the 23 races became really difficult and I wanted to achieve more of a home/life balance.
“Particularly I think post the COVID years, you sort of had a bit of a reset and a think about things.
“I just thought, I really enjoyed what I did before, I really enjoyed working for Aston Martin, I loved working for the team. It was just an opportunity to have a reset and do something a little bit different.
“I decided at the end of ‘21 that I was going to step back and then worked my six months’ notice to bring me to the middle of 2022. I just thought 'I can’t continue to live life like I’m 21 when I’m not 21, so let’s try and do something different'.”
After learning everything there is to know about F1 race strategy in more than a decade with multiple teams, now Bernie is learning a different trade – TV. She is also enjoying watching a race with a different perspective.
“Now I’m learning so much about the technicalities of how they build a programme together. I feel like I’m learning loads, I feel like I’m enjoying this aspect of learning, which I’m loving.
“I’m enjoying watching the race again. Because before, when you’re on the pitwall, you’re very focused on your own race. Now I”m really enjoying seeing what everyone’s doing and trying to guess what they’re doing.”
What does Bernie Collins really miss now?
Of course there are things Collins still yearns for after her career change, and she outlined those as well.
“I’m missing having all my data, so I’m missing having all the interaction or knowing what’s happening from a racing side. So yeah, there’s definitely aspects I miss. And I miss the team element - trying to pull together and make the best of the car.”
Bernie will be back in Sky F1 action for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from April 28-30.
READ MORE: Ted Kravitz: The Notebook star who made Max Verstappen mad