Rarely a day goes by where I don't end up in a car park that looks like the scene from a disaster movie, where vehicles have been left abandoned. All it would need is for a few to still have doors open to round off the illusion that they were deserted by those attempting to flee the terror that was destroying the city behind them.
This week the world must celebrate the election of Catherine Samba-Panza, the first female president of the Central African Republic. Beating her nearest rival Désiré Kolingba, son of a former CAR president, her election brings hope to a country becoming so seeped in the blood of its own people. In her victory speech, Ms Samba-Panza urged Christian militias, known as anti-balaka, and Muslim fighters in the ex-Seleka rebel movement to end the bloodshed.
There have been very few direct threats towards international journalists in the country, but getting caught up in the crossfire, being robbed, or even sexually assaulted are all daily risks. Some writers still managed to get the story out from a distance, relying on telephone or email interviews, and press releases from Human Rights Watch or Doctors Without Borders to embellish their copy. So, what changed?
Time is of the essence in a sport that is measured in the one thousandth of a second and to change all four wheels in under two seconds is a terrific feat by anyone's measure. Teams practice pitstops regularly and in Austin you could catch some of those practice sessions during the pit walk on Thursday.
For a family car, the annual summer holiday is perhaps the biggest test it can undergo. Not only does it have to put in the extra mileage, but it does so whilst being rigorously poked, prodded, and abused by children who care not a jot for the cars resale value. Perhaps the best way to avoid this kind of scenario is by keeping children occupied on a long journey.