I’m a fan of the new Top Gear, so I’m now stranger to being criticised or accused of accepting bribes from the BBC. This post however, will undoubtedly take that to a new level. After watching the opening race of this seasons F1, I have to get something of my chest. Formula 1 is boring. I always find myself slouched on sofa scrolling through twitter or watching Chris Harris’ latest offering. Unlike some other motorsports namely; Rally and BTCC, where I adopt a more traditional, edge of the seat position. Here’s just 3 reasons why I think that is…
It doesn’t look that difficult
Now before everyone starts slating me and my driving skills, I want to emphasize that I am not taking anything away from F1 drivers. I know that what they do is incredibly, incredibly difficult. You have to be superhuman to get one of those cars round a track in one piece, let alone race against other superhumans. But my point is this; from my sofa on a sunday afternoon, I just can’t see that. There is a very limited sense of speed, pressure or challenge for the spectator.
The cars – through 99% of corners – look so stable and so similar to the car that went before it, that it becomes bland and predictable.
“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.”
Now I know that these cars and the drivers for that matter, are on the very limit of what is possible (until of course they’re told not overtake the man in front for political reasons) but, everything appears to be far too under control to be exciting for spectators.
Overtaking is a rare sight
As spectators, overtaking is the most exciting element of racing – second only to a crash. The problem is that the drivers love the fast exhilarating corners. For overtakes to occur, you need long straights and hairpins. Drivers hate this. I suspect this season will be even worse for overtaking too. Yes the latest crop of cars are stupendously fast but, they also have bigger brakes and bigger tyres. So watching hamilton sneak up the inside and out braking Vettel into a corner will be a very rare occurrence.
If you compare this to something like BTCC it’s totally different. Because the starting line up for race two is based on the finishing order of race one, it means that the fastest cars of the day find themselves at the back of the grid. Throw in a ‘success ballast’ and you have some seriously entertaining racing. Sometimes there actually too many overtaking manoeuvres to keep track of.
There is no contact
Now I will concede that with the million pounds worth of aero that each one of these machines is sporting, it is unrealistic to expect rubbing of metal work. But as they say, ‘rubbing is racing’
I’ll use touring cars as an example again because there’s an endless amount of scrapes and bumps, without need for a stewards enquiry. You just tap the guy back a little harder at the next corner, to let him know you won’t stand for it and the race goes on. The beauty of contact in racing, is that it shows the spectator the frustration of the trailing driver. It gives that sense of pressure and challenge that is lacking in F1.
Do you agree? Is F1 far down your list of favourite motorsports?