What do you say when one of the greatest drivers of his generation in your branch of the sport phones to say he is retiring? I wouldn't have been able to answer that question earlier in the week, but now I know. "Thank you" and "well done" were the words I said to Allan McNish when he dropped his bombshell yesterday afternoon.
That's "thank you" for all the amazing drives that I have witnessed down the years, and for being so open - a journalist's dream in fact. And "well done" for a bloody great career and knowing when to call it quits, surely the mark of a great sportsman.
When McNish says that the stars have aligned to make this the perfect time to retire, he's absolutely right. He is going out at the top as a world champion and when there's a new era starting in 2014 with a new breed of LMP1 machine. It's a perfect time for a clean break.