Of course you could have watched both and well done if you did, but were you excited by both, bored by both and cancelled the Sky subscription or are you ambivalent?
Once upon a time it would have been no contest – Bikers watched the bikes and F1 fans watched Mansell, Hunt, Hill et al but as F1 has lurched from silly rule to crisis to more grip than power to Max Mosley and his dungeon (Ah!!!, reach for the lawyer, Ed) the fans have floated across these invisible barriers and so has the media chasing a story.
The Americans claim to have the monopoly on entertainment and they are shameless in their use of the yellow flag to “tighten up the racing” but I am asking what is it that makes the branch of the sport that you watch intrinsically enjoyable?
In NASCAR they are bumper to bumper at warp speeds and the cars regularly fling themselves and others off at silly angles into the walls – is that what floats your boat? The drama, the crashes?
At Le Mans, Sebring, Daytona the cars are circulating hour after hour with each team playing out its’ own dramas to get to the finish – does that pull you in or have you reaching for the smelling salts?
My new favourite – Moto GP, has the personalities, just the same as all the other series, it has the speed, just the same as the others (apart from 2CV racing of course (sorry Max), it has technology, just the same as (please stop filling the word count by repeating, Ed) but it seems to have that extra umph that makes me want to watch it and learn more. Tyres? Short races? Overtaking everywhere?
F1 has coverage and more coverage; each TV station trying to outdo the other for new ideas on how to show the spectacle. It wasn’t like that when new for 2016 (but in his 90’s) Murray Walker started and even when he left the TV in 2001. But is this coverage making F1 better, or is it going to the level of, say, football where every nuance or sneeze by the ref is analysed to death. In other words is the coverage trying to up the game of something that has got quite dull. We have a number of students on our Degree course that are either in, or associated with, F1 and they will tell you it is anything but dull on the inside but to you and me the spectator……? When was there last a non assisted overtake (Lewis on Nico? Ed) or a race where the overtakes were not mainly done in the pits. Do not even get me going on the sound they make or don’t even with the spectator backlash the cars still don’t project power and speed like they used to.The height of technology it may be but the height of spectator sport it isn’t.
Some of you may remember Group C – if you don’t then look it up, it is worth it. Silk Cut Jaguars from TWR, Kouros Mercedes from Sauber and Rothmans Porsches from the works team all hammering along in various race length formats and because of the contrived regulations starting to be introduced they became faster than F1 cars. So they had to go and were regulated out of existence – I think I will do a Blog Post on that one another day. :)
Coming back from my head in the clouds moment to the point of this post – there is something that makes you watch, or go to see in person, the series that “does it” for you. I have changed my allegiance in the last couple of years as I feel there is more excitement and good racing where I now choose to view. Think about your series – is it time for a change? Are you missing out by doing the same old same old? If you are then what about actually coming to some races as well – we are getting ready to start our season in GT Cup with our Lotus Evora and Mosler and we would love to see some converts from the other camps. See you there.
Roger Grimshaw, NMA Tutor.