A discussion elsewhere about the merits of modern F1 led me to the question: why do we watch F1? I’ve been following motor sport for around 40 years now (I was very young when I took an interest) and have seen Formula One move through several phases. I watch it because I want to see talented racing drivers doing their job: I have no interest in their nationality, it does not influence me at all.
It is nationality that brought me to this brief entry: I have found that the British are prone to support their own, the Germans too and, perhaps more feverishly, the Australians are proud of Mark Webber’s success. That’s all very well, but consider the Italians who – in general – support those who drive for Ferrari.
I often see comments from fans letting off steam after their chosen favourite driver has suffered defeat; surely, it is more enjoyable to watch the sport for what it is – 24 drivers competing against each other – with little preference as to the victor? You may not like Sebastian Vettel, but he deserves his victories and the accolades that come with it. I couldn’t stand Nigel Mansell, for instance, but respected his success.
For the same reason it doesn’t matter to me who wins each race – I am not here just for the last lap, after all – the World Championship is largely an irrelevance to me. I always found the idea of non-championship races, stand alone affairs that were there to be won for the sake of winning, more exciting than driving for a points tally. How refreshing it must be to go into a race knowing that the finish line is 200 miles away, not a few months down the line.
So, tell me, why do you watch F1? Is it to follow a favourite driver, a preferred team, or you countrymen? Or is it for the action, the excitement, and the actual racing? Let me know, I look forward to it!