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Saturday, 29 June 2013

Why I'm Falling Out Of Love With Formula 1

I have been watching Formula 1 all of my life, it might be hard to believe for some people who know me now but it was my 1st love before football as a kid. (I’m 23 now) Living in the UK I heard many a rant about ‘that move’ from Schumacher on Hill in 94, I grew up being regaled with stories about this legend of a driver called Senna who was sadly killed in a crash at the notorious Tamburello corner at Imola also in 94. I also realised pretty early on that following this sport takes some serious dedication. But that is part of the appeal. Getting up at stupid times in the morning to watch cars and drivers being tested to the limit on the other side of the world makes you feel like you are part of a really cool club of likeminded people. People look at you like you are mad when you tell them you are getting up to watch a motor race at 5am, but you don’t care it’s what you love and you know that yes you might be mad, but you are not mad on your own.

The first season that I remember is 1996. I was up at the crack of dawn with millions of others in the UK watching Damon Hill win his World Title in Japan. And I know I’m not alone when I say that Murray Walker’s commentary on that moment is something that will live with me forever. I was well and truly hooked and I’ve only missed a handful of races since. So the point of all that was just to demonstrate that I’m not just some fair weather fan who only cares when Lewis Hamilton is doing well, after all I stuck with the sport through the ‘Schumacher years’ for crying out loud!
But I have to say that sadly my heart isn’t in it like it used to be. It might be me just looking at the racing now with nostalgic eyes but the racing these days seems to forced. There are too many gimmicks. Basically these are my problems with the sport right now.

-          Tyres are dominating, there has always been an element of race and tyre management in F1 but it has been ridiculous this year with drivers just cruising around not trying to attack each other for fear of destroying their race by just going quickly for a few laps.

-          Gimmicks. At many tracks the use of DRS and huge DRS zones has taken away the art of the overtake. There is no skill involved in just driving past someone on a straight and as a result the skill of driving defensively has disappeared.

-          The coverage for us in the UK who don’t have Sky TV is crap. As part of the TV deal they haven’t got the wrong races, and they only seem to give a toss when they have a TV race and this is just annoying. We had Bahrain but no Monaco?
Next year there are going to be some pretty big changes in the sport with the engine changes etc, but I don’t know if it will be enough. Right now me and Formula 1 are like that relationship that you know is failing but you can’t quite walk away. You have your fingers crossed for the future because you know change is coming but you don’t know if it will work, in reality the only thing keeping you together are the memories.

Damon Hill’s last lap at Japan in 1996 as he wins the World Championship.

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