Ordinarily, February is so damn positive it's a little sick-making...
But this is no ordinary February, is it? Despite good news like this week's Emirates sponsorship announcement, it's been hard to avoid the gloomier fare: F1 has priced itself out of its traditional European heartland, as evidenced by the still vacant 21 July slot on the calendar; small teams are collapsing under the financial pressures and either folding completely or going pay to play.
As grid and calendar (temporarily) shrink in concert, brows are furrowed and grey hairs grown.
Complicating matters further is the still pesky matter of the not-quite-fully-signed Concorde Agreement. While there's no suggestion that the 2013 season won't happen, there may well be a sense of regulatory lawlessness about the whole thing.
“We're good a creating crises in our sport and we're good at not sorting them out," McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said in Jerez. “We need to have somebody come out and say 'peace in our time', wave a bit of paper and say 'here's a new Concorde Agreement'. But I'm not sure everyone is motivated to do it.
“I think it is tough [financially]," he added. “We are in the world of advertising and if you look at advertising worldwide the rate card is down. I think, fortunately, we've taken some measures but it's going to be tough for some of the teams to have a viable business model for a few years. There's no doubt about that.
“At the moment Bernie's doing a fantastic job for the owners [CVC Capital Partners]. We can criticise Bernie, but he's doing his job better than we're doing. On behalf of his employers, that money is coming out of our sport. As you can imagine, that is deeply frustrating for some of us in the sport but that's exactly what Bernie should be trying to do.
“If the teams aren't cohesive enough to work together to claim a larger share of that then they've got to blame themselves. I've certainly tried quite hard in that area and clearly not been as successful as I'd like to have been. Bernie's pretty good at moving the pieces around the board, isn't he?"
Today in London Bernie met with a group of the smaller team bosses to discuss the future of Formula One going forward. The meeting follows earlier discussions with representatives from Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, and Red Bull, and was expected to cover the unsigned Concorde, cost controls - particularly with reference to the incoming 2014 engine change - and the possibility of reintroducing customer cars.