The Not-So-Winning Formula

I am an unabashed sports fan. If there are teams competing, and a winner and a loser, then I’ll watch it. But there are two sports I simply cannot get enough of – Cricket, and Motorsports.

I can remember as a child falling asleep on the couch as Chris Pringle bowled a nigh on perfect over at Hobart to see “The Young Guns” over the line against Australia, as much as I can still hear Jim Richards calling the Bathurst fans “a pack of arseholes.”

But recently, my beloved motorsports have been unbearable. More specifically, the pinnacle of motorsport – Formula 1.

In days gone by Formula 1 offered the best drivers, the most advanced technology, and some of the hottest competition to be had. Names like Senna, Prost, Mansell and Schumacher fought hard. In the case of Senna and Prost, they fought to the bitter end.

They drove the most powerful cars. They raced the most dangerous tracks. They were on the ragged edge. But not any more. The tracks are tame, with massive run offs. The cars are tame – they are HYBRIDS! The ragged edge is more of a politically correct, SFW, playground filled with bouncy foam soft curve.

There used to be a time where as many as 8-10 drivers could win races or championships. Each race weekend would be different from the last. Teams like McLaren, Williams, Ferrari, Benetton or Jordan battled it out. Racing was tight.

You compare that to this season. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have dominated the 2015 season, and Mercedes has wrapped up the constructors title and we still have 8 races left in the season. Three drivers have won races this year, with only Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel the only one able to break the Silver Arrows stranglehold. In fact, in the last 5 seasons, only 9 different drivers have managed to win races.

To be brutally honest, it’s boring. The tracks. The races. The drivers. They are all boring. Which is why, in my opinion, there are far better options when it comes to getting your motorsports fix. If you want 4-wheel action, this years WRC has been thrilling watching. Sure, Sebastian Ogier has been dominant, but with the likes of Jari-Matti Latvala, Kris Meeke, Mads Ostberg and New Zealand’s own Hayden Paddon pushing hard all the way, racing is better than ever.

Then there is World Endurance Championship, INDYCAR and V8 Supercars. All of which offer nail biting, close quarters, wheel-to-wheel racing, and a smattering of our own talented drivers winning races or championships, all offering more exciting viewing than “the pinnacle” of world motorsport.

I mean, even NASCAR – redneck Americans racing full speed around banked ovals has proven to be more exciting. AND THAT’S SAYING SOMETHING!

Long story short – Formula 1 needs a shake up. They need to see that they aren’t the global force in motorsport they once were. They need to bring the thrill back to the track. They need to get rid of Bernie Ecclestone. And more than anything, they need to win back the disillusioned fans like me.

By Daniel Olander

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