The Problem With F1
Now I’m writing this after the furor of Halo has died down, but it still gets on my goat. in my opinion for the first time in ages they got the regs pretty good, 2 metre wide cars, 1000+hp, utter monsters which capture the imagination, that is until they whack a bloody great big cage over the cockpit. I understand the FIA’s logic, a few close calls and the problem of potential legal threats in the case of a driver being hurt or killed. But for me f1 was always on the good side of this, it was maintaining a sacred glamour and fearlessness I for one find admirable. F1 drivers where heroes but not anymore, not with obviously safe cars and pampered boys competing via huge engineering teams and mathematical driving on car parks well within the boundary of the limit.
It’s no wonder Alonso walked away with the option of driving for red Bull. The sport wasn’t what it was when he started in 2001. Then it still was under the shadow of greatness espoused by the likes of Aryton Senna, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell and Prost. Watching drivings use their brains and brawn to out wit and out drive their opponents. It was a test of character as much as engineering and it was a sport that required guts, gall, stamina and greatness to win a Grand Prix. Okay so the racing wasn’t always amazing on paper, without 800 DRS overtakes a lap and often a procession could take place but, what those cars and drivers had was mesmeric to behold.
I was watching the Spanish (I think) Grand Prix from 1996 the other day, all these races are on you tube now which is great. But what amazed me was how entertaining where those cars to watch even when driving alone. I saw Eddie Irvine wrestle his Ferrari into the pits like it was a go kart. You could see who was utterly on it and it made you imagine, how would I be reacting? Could I be on it that day and throw a blinder of a performance? It drew you in and captivated. You felt part of the show as literally anything could happen and you were testing yourself in your head to keep up.
Not only this but a part of the culture of the sport disappeared recently. I recall watching the races as a child and all the graphics would be in the language of the host nation. That has given me an advantage all my life as i new odd words for circuit in French, or win and prize in German, or Italian etc. Its added to the glamour and upon recently watching the Hungarian Grand Prix, everything was served up in 2 minute attention friendly pre-wrapped easy to digest garbage. The stuff the world doesn’t need more of right now. And whats with those bloody bleeps. And don’t get me started about the grid girls.
F1 has given me so much over my life. Even today when shit hits the fan i find myself remembering Michael Schumachers attitude of never giving up and how it often led to what would be a disaster to by fortune a podium or even a victory. Damon Hill and Mika Hakkinen taught me how to be a good sport and James Hunt how to be a proper lad! this year though has been the first year I’ve turned off, my weekends have become more productive but I feel there is still something missing in my life. Bernie Ecclestone! How the hell do I miss Bernie Ecclestone, who is business genius by the way and someone due a case study soon.