Defending Modern Formula One from the Old Guard
"Why would you bloody well wait up for that boring crap?" quizzes my boss Neil after I've just swaggered in the door seven minutes late for a meeting, bleary eyed and having just explained that I'd been up to 12:30 in the AM (Australian time) watching another Formula One race.
"Boring? Are you kidding Neil? Massa pulled a screamer of a move around the outside of Hamilton off the start!" I will enthusiastically reply.
"Yeah, well I bet that was probably the only pass on the race track all night buddy. It's not the same as it used to be. You want to see racing, you should get onto that 'YouTube' or whatever you kids are on these days and look up Regazzoni's win at the 1970 Italian GP. You don't see races like that one these days."
This is my typical Monday morning during the F1 season. Me, running in late, tired as hell, but happy that I'd stayed up all night to see my heroes take to the track for a couple of hours. Only to have my bubble burst by someone with enough "experience" in life to have seen the "golden era" of F1.
Of course, they refer to the legendary days of yore where passing on track happened more times than one could keep up with. When the drivers drove for the "love" of the sport, rather than more money. When "real men" raced wheel to wheel and got out and had a beer with one another afterwards.
I, on the other hand, come from a generation that's lucky to see five on-track passes per race. Where drivers are paid megabucks to get in the car and do a "job." Where a bunch of boys barely older (and in some cases younger) than myself, who are locked away by their team and show little if any social ability (I'm looking at you Kimi).
But do I envy these people who grew up on a diet of Moss and Brabham, rather than of Schumacher and Alonso? Would I have it any other way?
You see I am one of the few people who love modern Formula One for what it is. A technology laden, over-aerodynamic, high-rev, two hour speed fest (though this is meant to be changing).
I love how it is as much about pit-strategy and technology as it is passing. Am joyous about the safety cars and half-baked rule changes every six to twelve months.
Why? Because Formula One is the premier motorsport category in the world, and like the world itself, it's evolved.
So what if there is only one pass of the lead per race? Who cares if pit strategy decided the race order? Though the old guard detest such things, no one can deny that there is nothing else in the world like F1 racing.
So I say to those people who have a quiet chuckle at my expense on every other Monday morning. To me, the modern era of Formula One is the best there ever was. Yes, Massa only made one pass on-track.
Yes, the cars followed each other for most of the race. But this is what I grew up with. This is what I will look back upon with fondness in years to come and gush over to the next generation.
Long live modern F1!
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