Many F1 fans all over the world are crying for a better F1. What do they mean? They want to see more overtaking. They want to see driver skills take precedence over car capability. They keep making calls for reduced downforce, removal of electronic aids and so and so forth. It’s however a pity they don’t realise that when their calls are heeded to, they won’t have any F1 to follow. Take any game, for example, soccer. Now, does the World Cup attract more audience or club matches? Does the World Cup in cricket attract more fans or the Ranji Trophies? Even though I’m not a fan of tennis, I would love to watch the match between Federer and Nadal. Why is this? Because, I, like other people want to see the best of any game. In the World Cup finals (be it cricket or soccer), two best teams compete against each other and that surely will be a fantastic sight; we are guaranteed a play at its best. This is where the similarities between F1 and other sports end. F1 is a sport that is at least as much about machines as it is about men. Those who watch F1 should not only look for the fight between two drivers but also look for the fight between two teams. The fighting they do back in their factories to develop their cars. We shouldn’t draw direct comparisons between motor sports and the other games that are predominantly human (like cricket). In F1, people should also learn to appreciate the “technical” fight between, say, Ferrari and McLaren; what parts they add to the car, how much more horsepower the engine now makes in comparison to the previous round, by how many tenths has the Ferrari improved… Most fans are always looking for the on-track fight and when they don’t get it (which is the case in F1 these years) they’re disappointed. And this is exactly what I don’t want the fans to do. Please take some time to understand and enjoy the technical battle between the teams. After all, this element is what differentiates motor sport (F1 in particular) from other sports. When this variable is thrown out of the equation, it’s like doing injustice to F1. Repeated calls for reduced technology is the last thing you want to do in F1, according to me. Technology is what drives F1.
It is to satiate the most number of people who want more on-track action and the such, there are other categories like, A1, GP2, World Series etc. They’re designed around fans; technology comes second.
I know it’s not easy for all to understand about F1 technology and I also know most will not have the passion to take the pains to understand it. But there’s no other way. If F1 needs to remain F1, the element of technology should always be there. And I’m afraid fans will have to take the pains to understand it.
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