Thursday, 30 July 2009

Sometimes I wonder why I watch F1

Honestly! I mean, it's fabulously exciting (and don't even think of giving me the "it's just noisy cars going round a track" line if you've ever watched a bloody five-day cricket match, which should be listed as the dictionary definition of boring). But the shenanigans that go on in my sport are enough to make even the Ice Man (Kimi Raikkonen) grimace once in awhile.

It's like a Hollywood film, with an ancient dictator (played to perfection by Max Mosely, although closely contested by Bernie Ecklestein) controlling the reins of the world's most lucrative sport. The hero is played by either the wounded Massa, the champion rookie Hamilton (who has returned to glory), the no-longer-retired Schumacher (yes, he has returned in a red Ferrari cape to "save the day/race" in Massa's place, German Superman style) or the only-just-beginning-to-battle Button / Brawn team... it all depends on your point of view, really.

Then there is the battle of wills between FOTA (Formula One Teams Association) and the FIA (the sport's governing body)... come now, keep up with the abbreviations... and the exit of the BMW-Sauber team, which announced yesterday that it is quitting the sport, much to the dismay of its drivers (Heidfeld admitted it was a total shock to him).

Drama drama drama...

But you know what? That's the way they like it. That's how they all engineer it. Take, for example, the whole "Return of the Schumacher" saga. On Tuesday, the story titled "Manager rules out Schumi F1 return" ran, in which the German's manager Willi Weber told the Daily Mail, "Whoever sits in the car at the next race in Valencia, it will not be Michael Schumacher. I am not 100 per cent sure; I am 200 per cent sure."

He continued to dig himself a hole saying, "The pressure on him would be huge. He would be expected to win, but he has not driven this car. When Michael was racing he would get as close to perfection as possible. In this case, it would not be perfection; it would be a gamble - and that's not Michael's style."

Hardy har har... On Wednesday, not even 24 hours later, the headlines screamed "Schumi returns to F1".

On his official website, ze mighty man wrote, "The most important thing first: thank God, all the news concerning Felipe is positive. I wish him all the best again." He then went on, "I met with [team principal] Stefano Domenicali and [Ferrari chairman] Luca di Montezemolo this afternoon and together we decided that I will prepare myself to take Felipe’s place... Although it is true that the Formula 1 chapter of my life has been closed completely and for a long while, it is also true that out of loyalty to the team I cannot ignore the unfortunate situation."

It's all a grand parade, this F1 thing, isn't it? A spectacle, a circus, a farce in which we, the fans, are managed by the experienced F1 crew of actors and directors. Smoke, mirrors and the smell of burnt rubber on the track.

Did he actually ever believe he wouldn't consider a return, or has that been the very-well-managed-in-terms-of-media-hype plan all along? And does it really matter?

I may as well start watching that WWE wrestling crap.


Helen said...

I used to watch F1 every weekend, but unfortunately when I started working on weekends when i started varsity that kind of stopped. I keep an eye on it though. Im not as much a fan of the drama as the amazing variations in strategy. I ahd no idea driving around in circles got so complicated!

And WWE is quite entertaining. It's usually on when I'm at the gym, so I've never watched it with sound (which probably makes it more fun as I get to make up the dialogue), but it's so staged it really makes me laugh!

Ches said...

I'm prediciting a Force Indian championship steal from Brawn and Reb Bull :)

Damaria Senne said...

I have't watched it much, but you make sound like a very interesting spectacle.

po said...

5 day cricket rules! And I am not just saying that. I am not into F1 myslef but I understand the underlying enthusiasm for sports in general so I am with you.

angel said...

Aaaaand now he's not! Luca Badoer, the test driver, will be driving for Massa. Apparently MS hasn't recovered from his neck injury in February... though I think it was wishful thinking on his part.

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