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Is it just me? A reader asks whether fans should be more positive about current F1

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Is it just me? A reader asks whether fans should be more positive about current F1
May 11, 2016, 10:31 AM

Wherever possible we like to give a platform to readers to express their views beyond the comments section of this site and a post overnight from N...

Wherever possible we like to give a platform to readers to express their views beyond the comments section of this site and a post overnight from Ned Hayfield (posting as Nedyr) on our Spanish GP preview looks like a good candidate.

He revisits the discussion about what is behind Lewis Hamilton's reliability issues and considers how the current scene compares with previous eras, asking the question, why do fans single the current era out for particular negativity?

Leave your comments in the section below.

Ned Hayfield writes: "There’s a lot of comments on this thread (and indeed, all over the Interweb) about the ‘Merecedes snooze-fest’ and such like, and I wonder… The folks who make such comments. Are these the same people that were gunning for Mercedes a couple of years ago, hoping they’d stop the previous Red Bull snooze-fest? When Merc made a quick car, but couldn’t make the tyres last? The same team that almost everyone thought Lewis was MAD to join? The phrase ‘be careful what you wish for’ leaps irresistibly to mind…

Mercedes have done a better job over the last few years and now dominate, fair play to them. It’s what happens in F1, and to a large extent, in other sports too. All the guys who aren’t QUITE quick enough just now have enjoyed extended periods of dominance too, and eventually they were overthrown, just as Mercedes will ultimately be.

I find the repeatedly expressed suggestions that they’re stitching up Lewis to be rather odd – why on earth would they do such a thing? Especially by making their technology unreliable – kind of subverts the brand message when you say ‘Lewis starts 10th as Mercedes breaks AGAIN’…. And if they really DID want Nico to be champion, could they not say to Lewis ‘here’s 10 million quid, keep yer mouth shut’? It just seems more and more ridiculous, as I keep thinking about it.

Spanish Grand Prix

I read and hear comments like ‘what’s the point watching when you know what the result will be?’. Well, what kind of crystal balls are these, then? Knowing who will probably win is a long way from knowing the result… I guess if all you care about is who actually WINS, it could seem a little dull, just like any other sport. And that being so, there’s no point in watching at all… But if you are watching a RACE (there’s, like, 20 other guys out there), it’s immensely entertaining, TV coverage permitting.

I think I’m just annoyed about the negativity the sport seems to be generating at the moment. I am a longstanding fan over many decades and I make a lot of effort to get into the details, so by default, the sport is fascinating to me – I have never seen a dull race! But perception is everything – as much as I can easily demonstrate that the naysayers are wrong, should I really have to? Back in the day (go on, pick your own) the sport was considered awesome by default. Now, rather less so. Everyone thinks they could do it (at least, those that have never driven an actual RACING car – that changes yer world), and perhaps having an 18 year old kid in a top drive kind of supports that impression. Ok, I know he had a pretty big headstart, but that’s the sort of info racing fans have, and the public are generally unaware of. They will just see ‘young kid without driving license lands top F1 drive’, and frankly, that’s just not awesome for the image of the sport.

XPB

When I first got into F1, my hero was Nigel Mansell. I had this perception of him as a man with huge physical strength who was pushing it far, far harder than anyone, Senna excepted. Sometimes they were so destroyed by the effort, they could hardly get out of the car, never mind lift a trophy… Senna’s first win in Brasil pops into my mind at this moment. These were monumental feats of human endurance, some of the tech was SO new it didn’t even have a military application yet, And everyone knew how dangerous it was. People look back at Ratzenberger and Senna’s death as some kind of watershed, but truth be told, a lot of us were surprised at the time, that it had been so long since someone was killed at an F1 race – if you follow motorsport at anything more than a superficial level, you notice that quite a lot of people get killed. It says on the ticket etc. etc…. It’s the harsh reality of the game. And while it’s not politically correct to say it these days, it really was about who’s got the biggest balls. Hmmm, there’s a subject for debate – Drivers who won a Championship by sheer Big Balls? My vote goes to Graham Hill in 1968.

I don’t think for a second that a modern F1 car is easy to drive,but the PlayStation generation generally believe it is. The way Formula E has marketed itself is quite interesting, especially the thing they do were you can compete against current drivers in a simulator competition.

F1 could do with a bit more of that sort of thinking….
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton Shop Now
Teams Mercedes Shop Now