Apparently, the F1 season started again at the weekend and I missed it. I can’t for the life of me work out why now. I really enjoyed the 2010 season and watched more or less every round live including those in the Far East and Australia which meant getting up unconscionably early. It’s not just the Australian Grand Prix which has failed to spark my interest, it’s the whole thing.
When I first started watching grands prix, the drivers were real men with moustaches. They had cars which looked like really fast fag packets. They were my heroes. They were all much older than me for a start. It’s really hard to have heroes who are younger than you. It’s probably why I don’t think as much of Vettel and Hamilton or even Alonso as I do of Nelson Piquet or Nigel Mansell, never mind the a real great like Mario Andretti. Even Michael Schumacher with his seven drivers’ championships will never be as good for me as Ronnie Peterson who never won even a single title. Today’s cars are so much quicker than the cars I remember from the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties but are not as beautiful or cool.
Even the cars of my era with all their cigarette branding and silly wings are not as cool as the cars of the Sixties. A Lotus 79, as wonderful as it is, is just not as wonderful as a Lotus 49. It’s still much better than the Lotus Renault R31 or the Lotus T128, whichever is the real Lotus. That’s a whole ‘nother blog post, by the way, one for when I regain my F1 passion. The black and gold Lotus (it’s really a Renault) can never be as cool as the old car because fags are cooler than finance companies, oil companies or Ladas. They just are. Don’t try arguing with me. You’re wrong.
I’m also slightly fed up with races being held in places I have no real interest in. I don’t much care about races in Bahrain or Dubai, China or Singapore or Turkey. I barely even care enough about Hungary and they’ve had a race at the Hungaroring since 1986. I think it’s a travesty that there are two grands prix in the Middle East but no French Grand Prix. The British Grand Prix was under constant threat until last year. Grands prix are no longer about the racing and are more about making piles of cash for the commercial rights holders. That in turn means that races will be held in places which will front up the most cash for the privilege of holding a race. The governments in China and Singapore and Dubai and Bahrain will all give Formula One Management lots of dosh. Turkey probably can’t afford it any more because they have failed to attract sufficient tourists to the race. Unlike China and the Middle East countries, Turkey needs to make a return on its investment.
If anyone can inspire me to watch F1 again, it’s Mark Webber. More than Our Jense or Lewis or Fernando or the Boy Vettel, he seems not to have any nonsense about him. He has been alone among the drivers in speaking out on controversial topics. His Twitter stream @AussieGrit is full of his enthusiasm for sport and life. I think you could have a very good 2011 season following Mark on Twitter and ignoring the races altogether.