Who loves Formula One … show of hands? Mine’s up and I’m guessing so are quite a few around South Africa.
Perhaps they don’t number quite as many as they did a few decades back, but this pinnacle of motorsport still retains a loyal following. Which is pretty impressive given how boring it has become.
Even when Formula One gets exciting, it’s still fairly dull. Case in point: the Malaysian Grand Prix. Initially, I watched it and thought, “Wow! That was quite exciting.” Ferrari’s clever two-stop strategy and Vettel’s surprise win was a breath of fresh air in what seems likely to be another Mercedes-dominated season. Granted, there wasn’t much in the way of overtaking but, hey, I’ll take any scrap of excitement F1 can throw my way.
And then I watched a MotoGP race later that evening…
I’m not the biggest fan of that series, but the season opener in Qatar had me on the edge of my comfy sofa. I even screamed Rossi’s name and punched the air when he crossed the line. My wife and daughter slowly backed out of the lounge.
It was a masterclass in race tactics and experience that saw the Italian veteran come from 10th to eventually catch and pass the more powerful Ducatis on the very last lap. That’s what motorsport should be about.
Yes, the cutting-edge automotive tech and rich history enjoyed by Formula One is appealing, but when it comes down to it, nothing beats a good scrap for the lead. I won’t open the can of worms as to why F1 – and indeed SA motorsport – is currently unable to provide this basic tenet of racing, but I continue to live in hope.
As I’ve always done, I’ll watch every single F1 Grand Prix, but given what I witnessed at Qatar, MotoGP now has my full attention, too.