Edit: it seems that my point has been somewhat proven in that there is one race left in the season. Who knew?
The 2015 Formula 1 season came to a close today as Nico Rosberg beat team mate Lewis Hamilton for the second race in a row. I didn’t even know there was a race until it was half over and even then, I couldn’t be bothered to move from the office to the living room to watch. In fact, I don’t think I’ve watched a single race all year. If I recall correctly, I watched two races last year.
Occasionally, when asked about my lack of interest in the supposed top echelon of motorsport, people will gently say something along the lines of “I understand, it hasn’t been the same since Senna died…”
No, that’s not it at all. As far as I’m concerned, Senna’s utter lack of sportsmanship on the track and the way the series catered to him is what caused F1 to jump the shark. Was he a fantastic driver? Of course he was, but he was also a poor sport. Some people will answer that it takes that kind of determination and focus to be a champion. Horse hockey. One should always have time to be a good sportsman.
Ask me about Schumacher, M. and I’ll give you the same answer. One of the best drivers of all time, but that level of arrogance and poor sportsmanship has no place at the pinnacle of any sport.
Last year, the cars looked silly and sounded ridiculous but I understand that there was actually some competition. I can’t really comment on anything about the 2015 season.
Don’t even get me started on that little money grubber that runs the sport. His vision and business savvy made the sport into something great, but his lack of willingness to change with the times is a joke.
So I guess the big question is: What can Formula 1 do to win back the interest of those, like me, who grew up in the Seventies and Eighties and truly loved Grand Prix racing?
The sport has a couple of personalities in the way of Hamilton and Vettel and it is always entertaining to watch Rosberg squirm when being taunted by Vettel. Without having watched a race this year, I can’t comment on the level of competition, but I get the feeling it was less than inspiring.
I understand that Formula 1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of engineering, but the WEC does a pretty good job of staying ahead of the curve in that way. I don’t care whether the cars are normally aspirated or turbocharged, but I do want to see actual wheel to wheel racing. I want to see cars within a few seconds of each other, not 30 or multiples of. I want to see cars that have to be driven. Cars that slither and slide. Cars that require a driver, not a trained monkey as Niki Lauda said not too long ago.
I want Formula 1 to grab me and shake me, drawing me in like it did when I was a kid.
Until then, I will be more than happy to be entertained by the Micra Cup.
image credit: F1.com