I’ve never been what you’d call a die-hard fan of modern Formula 1 racing, but I’ve always done my best to follow along with the motorsport and watch the races on television when I’ve had the chance. But these days I’m finding it less and less fun to even casually follow the sport – and it doesn’t sound like I’m alone. Whether it’s the current engines, the tracks, the lack of passing or the continued dominance of one team, watching the average Formula 1 race these days feels almost like a chore.
Yesterday I caught the second half of the Russian GP and found myself more entertained watching Vladimir Putin during the post race than by anything that actually happened on track. While I know there’s interesting stuff happening further back in the field if you follow things very closely, many people see a format where a car from the fastest team takes pole and then wins the race with ease – over and over again. And if there is a shake up in the running order it’s usually caused by a computer malfunction rather than an actual track battle.
Now, it could be that my simple American attention span is just too short for Formula 1 in 2016, but there’s been more and more evidence of the motorsport’s declining popularity across the world. Even compared to just a few years ago, I see far fewer people talking about F1 today. Many of the sport’s drivers, teams and commentators have also raised issue with the current state of the sport, and next year a new rules package will make the cars significantly faster than they are right now. But whether that has any effect on the actual excitement remains to be seen. Are faster, grippier F1 cars what we want? Or do we want something else?
I thought now would be a good time to get a discussion going to see whether you guys agree with me about the current lack of interest in Formula 1 and hear some ideas about what could make the motorsport better. Are you satisfied with the sport as it is? If not, what kind of changes would you like to see in Formula 1?
Photo from Mercedes-Benz Media