It has become too popular to moan about Formula 1

Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)
Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images) /

Formula 1 has always been a sport of opinions, good or bad, and in this era of social media, opinions have never been as prominent in the sporting world as they are now. But why has it become so popular to slate the sport rather than to praise it?

Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion — all that. But why has it become abnormal to watch Formula 1 races because…you enjoy them?

Don’t mistake this; there are problems within Formula 1 that do need sorting out, just like the majority of things on this planet. Social media enhances these thoughts, but it doesn’t push them into the spotlight like some people seem to think.

Many agendas flow through the mainstream media after each race, with a lot seemingly repeating themselves. If it is not the tracks, it is the lack of overtaking. If the overtaking is being slated, it is the engines that are the problem and then it moves on to the cars themselves. This can just go on and on.

The confusing part is, little has actually changed for Formula 1 in recent decades.

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You will realize that when we get into more detail. Let’s begin with the slating of particular tracks.

Can we not pretend that the tracks that used to be on the older calendars were all classics? Thanks. How can we forget the thrilling Caesars Palace Grand Prix in Las Vegas during the early 1980s. You know, the car park? There are more American-based tragics. Phoenix was dull and known for a single reason (points to whoever gets that clue), Dallas was poor and Detroit was just constant 90-degree corners with the odd straight.

In other parts of the world, a number of tracks are in the poor category. Jarama in Spain is another track which is known for one sole reason (two points to whoever gets that clue) while Adelaide is only known for incidents and very little racing. Now into a more recent era. Valencia, Korea, Russia and Paul Ricard. Dog, dog, dog and a big dog.

Now the engines. The old screaming V12s and screeching V10s are pretty much unbeatable. Without any arguments, the Ferrari V12 was the greatest sound on the planet; even the V12 Honda had its own calling. But the V12 Ferrari — si grazie! The sound is missed for sure, but there are a lot of positives with these hybrid era engines.

In short terms, they’re incredible. The technology advancements involved in the hybrids are frankly beyond this racing world. Us normal lot watching the sport can only fathom and act as if we know how the engines are working. In reality, we don’t have a clue, yet we are still intrigued.

Now the favored angry opinion, the cars. Yes, this era of cars produces a substantial amount of dirty air, which basically forbids good racing. But watching qualifying is enjoyable viewing…right?

Okay, the cars are currently not brilliant racing cars, but it seems that people forget very quickly. Since the dawn of aerodynamics, there have always been two or three top teams every season. Mercedes have seriously dominated the last few years, so people want to go back to pre-hybrids. Sure, the era where another team won four straight driver and constructor titles?

The racing was entertaining in 2010 and 2012, but the 2011 season and the second half of the 2013 season are all too familiar.

Even in a golden era for Formula 1, that being the late 1990s to early 2000s — in other words, the Michael Schumacher vs. Mika Hakkinen era — there were problems. The race being picked out the hat for this example will be the infamous Suzuka race in 2000.

Formula 1
Michael Schumacher. Ferrari, Formula 1 (Photo credit should read STEPHEN SHAVER/AFP via Getty Images) /

The starting grid began with Ferrari and McLaren, with the midfield bunch parked behind.

Fast forward five laps, and Hakkinen led Schumacher, as the two belted off into the distance, with the second McLaren driver, David Coulthard, lagging slightly behind in third place and the second Ferrari driver, Rubens Barrichello, struggling against the midfield bunch. That nickname is going to stick from now on. The midfield bunch. Copyright.

Anyway, fast forward again another 10 laps and the top two were even further ahead of the pack. In the end, Coulthard finished 69.914 seconds off the lead — in third place.

Now, think of the 2020 season and ask: what has actually changed? The alphas of the pack will always be in front. How many times have the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen led the field, kicked into light-speed and broken away, with their teammates playing catch-up ahead of “the midfield bunch”?

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Opinions are opinions that not everybody needs to see and/or know. But thanks to social media, that methodology seems to have dissolved. It is becoming unheard of for people to watch a race they want to just because they can. How about the viewers watch and just enjoy? It is really not that difficult. A moan can be useful every now and again but otherwise, relax.