Formula one – Hamsters running on wheels

Formula one, in my opinion, is nothing more than few hamsters running inside a wheelhouse. It’s pointless endeavor and utter waste of time of everyone involved, including money and talent. I can list at least 10 reasons why I still hate it. Go ahead and prove me wrong.

  1. It’s not sports: Don’t call a bunny-turtle race, a sport.if you want it to be a sport you assign the same model of cars to all drivers, and then we’ll talk.
  2. It’s not a race: What kind of race needs one of its competitors to slow down as part of a team strategy ? It’s like Yohan Blake asking Usain Bolt to a slowdown because Jamaica said so.
  3. Crashes: I was told in particular, the crashes are specifically are the most spectacular features of the sport. Apparently, that movies such as Death Race were inspired by these races, including F1. If it is true, then it’s deplorable.
  4. It’s not exciting: Around six blokes always ahead of the game, the rest always behind. I take a nap, take a shower, grab a coffee and browse back to the channel – they will be still racing in the same race at same positions!
  5. It’s a pit race: By the sound of it, races are won at the pit stops rather than tracks. It’s like cricket is won in dugout, not field.
  6. Expensive: Considering you’ll only see the start, finish and one glimpse per lap as an in field audience ! Even 1$ is costly if the deal is to sit there and yawn.
  7. Technology: there is this popular notion that the money generated is being put into noble use of inventions in automobile industry. With investment in the neighbourhood of A $500mil a year for each team since last so many years, and I should have expected at the least an alien car craft being invented ! But our cars still breakdown at the signal.
  8. Rich-men sport: How easy is it for a new team tk make an entry into the circuit ? Suppose they do, how many years do they need to compete and log even a single point on board?
  9. Hype: F1 is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme of the sports world with blown up go-karting. People follow because it is uncool not to follow. It’s a fashion statement.
  10. F1 geeks: They irritate me every day with specifics of turbo engines, RPMs, cylinders and another part which never amused me!
An “Exciting” moment in F1
An “Exciting” moment in F1

This is part 2 of what I had written few years back.


Update : Due to a lot of good friends of mine objected the wording of #3 on crashes being spectacular,  I have reworded it to have less exaggeration.  But content remains same. I cant believe you never heard about it. One example right away, this author explains the romance between danger and dependency of F1 revenue on it. He writes :

……No one, myself included, wants to see drivers die, but by eliminating the potential for death (as nearly as possible), the danger which led to the popularity of the sport is lost. 
The remaining glamour, without the danger, is empty and superficial—glamour for glamour’s sake—an endless parade of celebrities shuffling up and down the pit lane and drivers throwing their cars into turns knowing the risks have been diminished should they get it wrong.

I still stick to all other points, unless convinced otherwise.

Seriously, what’s the deal with F1?

For years I struggled to understand the hype about F1, What is so entertaining about this race where few ugly looking cars racing each other and collide? I honestly and cordially gave a few attempts to watch this game; I was bored to my core in fifth minute, every time. It was more boring than watching chess, for which I probably could gather little more patience, may be half an hour.

Seriously, what’s the deal with F1? Let me see,, to start with, this is an over expensive entertainment where only rich teams get to race and rest sit and watch. Each racing team has its own R&D team, who continuously research on their model, to make it more fast and efficient. They come up with a highly dynamic car (car is it?), which almost look like a mutated frog. These cars are completely useless outside those circuits; you can’t drive them on the roads without risking lives of you and people around you. Besides this, they have a big team of helpers, paid just to change the tyres and fill fuel, greatest job on earth. And then there are these star drivers with their costume covered with stickers from the fuel companies, most of them read “burn our oil”. Looks like I have endless complaints.

Formula One
Formula One - image via Wikipedia

Totally pointless, just like golf. You know golf! Hitting a ball with a stick and walking behind it! Apparently this is another multi-billion dollar sports (sports!?). But at least golf can be customised to your pocket, can be played in your backyard. F1 is not your cup of tea, unless you are a billionaire and don’t have a way to burn your money.

Surprisingly, it has a big fan following in India. I recall my college days, when it had more fan followers than tennis and basketball, combined (India dint even have F1 then). It’s the same crowd which read “The Alchemist”, watched “Chicago” and listened to “Cradle of filth”. Simple rule, if you follow something which a layman can’t understand, you are the man!

Anyways, Indian government agree with me on this, rather its other way round. It said that Formula One race “does not satisfy conditions which focus on human endeavour for excelling in competition with others, keeping in view the whole sports movement from Olympic downwards.” Ministry says “Formula One is expensive entertainment and the outcome is determined by technology hence it is not ‘pure sports’”. Totally makes sense, India doesn’t need F1. Instead same R&D team can be dedicated to do something more useful in same area, may be making electric car more efficient.

I am waiting to see a day when this hype dies down, and all this money spent on something useful.

*****Update 02/07******

I have one more thing to add here, on F1 “being sports”. What are we judging here? Is it technology? Or ability of the driver? Or just efficiency of pit boys?. My point is, if you want to judge few drivers then you need to give all of them same car. If you give different (technology wise) cars to different drivers then you simply do not have a scientific methodology to decide the victor.

This post makes few more points, please read

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