News and views on motorsports

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Whats the point?!!

Sometimes I think these F1 websites are so desperate to suck-up to their readers (i.e. the fans) that they simply trip and fall all over themselves. Look at the screenshot of Pitpass today. Can't read it? I'll quote it again:

"The teams, might argue that they put on the show… but never forget, you are the audience and without an audience the show cannot go on, after all, what would be the point?"

Oh my god! Do these people even understand what racing is all about? I wonder if these folks even understand the spirit of it all? Once upon a time person A and person B met on a stretch of road. Both liked to drive and drive quickly. Each thought him (or her)-self faster than the other. And they both felt compelled to prove that point and put pedal to the metal. Thus began motor racing. (Of course, the first time this scene played out, I doubt if it was in an organised event). If you haven't felt this feeling, please do not consider yourself a fan of racing. You simply do not understand.

And so from those simple roots, evolved organised competition. Not for the sake of fans but for the drivers, manufacturers and teams themselves. The competitions got bigger, the prizes got larger. Ultimately this led to grand prix racing, that pinnacle of road racing competition. I have always argued that if there was no Formula 1, someone would invent it. And if the FIA Formula 1 world championship were to die, another would come along to replace it. Why? Because true racers need it. There still would exist this need to prove yourself the fastest and the best. Full stop.

And guess what? People liked to watch. And so if the spectators enjoyed watching then so be it. Through advertising, gate tickets and other forms of revenue collections, this would benefit the organisers and teams (one would hope). And if not, those guys would still be racing regardless if there wasn't a single person to watch. Perhaps grand prix racing would not surive but the next formula down to the next and all the way down to club level would still carry on. Ultimately they'd find a way to organise the biggest and fastest competition around once more. Why? Cause real racers (drivers and teams) need to prove themselves the best. This is the fundamental aspect of racing whether you're talking about the guy who races on the street (not that I approve of such things) to the club racer to the Brawn GP Formula 1 team.

I often think these days that people forget this fundamental fact. And so we mix in stupid things like marketing, branding and all the other business garbage.

Now of course, as a fan, I like to give my opinion. Thats why I started this blog. But to claim that grand prix racing exists only for the fans and that we are the only point of it is just plain missing the point. If Pitpass, who puport to be racing fans can put this up, then I am really worried for the future of grand prix racing. Specifically, on what it would evolve into. As it is, it has become increasingly distasteful and I fear simply pampers to the wrong sort of audience.


Steven said...

I agree with you 100%. I think Formula 1 has suffered tremendous damage to its integrity since Bernie decided it was going to be sold as entertainment. This is the root of all of F1's problems. I happen to believe we wouldn't even have a cost-escalation issue if Formula 1 weren't raking in so much money from the public in the first place.

Yes, F1 can die and it would not difficult for a real racing series to emerge. There will always be the fastest cars in the world that need to be raced. In fact, I do not think the best cars are being raced on proper circuits today, due to all the compromising that has occurred in F1 and other series. Racing should be between the fastest cars driven by the most competent pilots and that should be inherently exciting. Not overtaking, not pit stops, not knock-out qualifying, etc. And definitely not the nonsensical tire changing rules.

Paul said...

Bernie has increased the popularity and wealth of the business over the last 40 years immeasuably. He has, of course, accumalated a huge fortune for himself too. But now the time has come for him to be not so greedy or the house of cards will collapse. He wont do this as he has a huge divorce payout to find.