Where Has Formula 1 Disappeared To ?
Formula One is an international sport that has touched the tarmac on every populated continent on Earth. The smell of burnt rubber and spilled fuel that once intoxicated the minds of fans in Europe, Scandinavia and Africa has been disappearing for some time now, and is feared to be lost for good unless a certain somebody (Bernie Ecclestone) does something about it.
What has happened to Formula One? Once a sport that took teams, drivers and spectators to the most exclusive F1 venues in the world, it now has a flip side. Where hosts such as France, Holland, Sweden and South Africa once held some of the most classic races on the most classic tracks that vibrated with buzzing atmospheres. Tracks were adored by spectators and respected by drivers. With long straights, fast bends and swaying chambers, the Formula 1 of yesteryear gives the sport the fantastic and heroic history it deserves. The modern era has sadly seen somewhat of a downturn. Yes, Formula 1 should spread to the far corners of the world, but do races need to be staged there? Possibly not.
F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone has done wonders for the sport. Along with Max Mosley and driver personalities such as the infamous Scot Jackie Stewart, the sport has been made safer, popularized and publicized to an unfathomable extent. Once, statistics said that an average of two drivers a year would perish. That has since changed with the last death being some twenty years ago †. But FOM and Bernie Ecclestone has taken on a new venture. The East. In the latter part of the 21st century, the sport has taken to the eastern ends of the planet with destinations spreading from Middle East like Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, to as eastern as South Korea (though no longer, although a reintroduction for 2015 had been hinted). This raises the question “But what for?” Well, as frank as it may seem, it would be for the money. Formula 1 is a sport of which its lifeline is money. It is speculated that Bernie Ecclestone’s capitalist ventures into the depths of Asia has dug up some fairly dull results. Once, the F1 calendar saw only eight races where events were based only in Europe and North America with South Africa being the exception. These were venues that saw vast popularity and appreciation of the sport by spectators. With this in mind, a symbiotic relationship flourished between finance and popularity. These were the so called “classic” tracks were some notorious battles took place between the legends of the day. The eastern tracks of the modern era are introduced with long term robust plans for the future. Bernie Ecclestone has infiltrated nations which don’t seem to have all that much of an appreciation for motorsport, in particular South Korea. It debuted in 2010 and had only lasted three seasons, after that, and was not been added onto the 2014 Calendar. On the contrary it has been sad to see a venue like India become unable to host an F1 event due to financial difficulties. Although it has no rich heritage in motorsport, there is clearly a demand for it. Vijay Mallya wouldn’t be running his own team with his own sponsorship money if he knew it was a dead-end. If anything, it has enforced some Indian patriotism and expanded their markets. Formula One is a sport that exploits some of the most advanced technology available to man and produces some fantastic races. It is cherished all over the world and should be staged in countries that have demands from fans. Organizers wonder why racing isn’t as good as it used to be and can’t come up with solutions. A simple way to antidote this is to simply look back into F1’s history books, and consider why Formula One really was better all those years ago.
Revs for thought
Posted on December 11, 2013, in Currents News, Original Pieces and tagged Abu Dhabi, Bernie Ecclestone, F1, Formula One, Grand Prix, Holland, Jackie Stewart, Max Mosley, Race, South Africa, South Korea. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.