According to Nigel Mansell, Formula 1 needs a bit of “magic” to liven it up. He’s got a point. How about a driver with a dull, nasal monotone and a silly moustache? Thinking about it, he’s probably still a lot more interesting than Lewis Hamilton.
Short of asking the drivers to wear boxing clubs and wellies, I am not sure anything could liven up the tedious sport of motor racing. In fact, the term motor racing itself is pretty rich since most races are all but over at the first bend. Mansell’s solution is to “let the drivers drive and race like we did”, but that isn’t going to happen, is it?
For one thing, the drivers are not exactly driving the same equipment, are they? I do not pretend to be an expert, but Hamilton usually leads the field by several minutes, often lapping the stragglers, so are the other drivers really that slow in which case can’t the sport attract people who can drive a little faster? We know really that there is probably not that much in it between the best drivers in the sport. We are told that Hamilton is the best driver because he keeps winning, but we wouldn’t know for sure unless everyone had the same car and that’s never going to happen in a million years. Vested interests, dear boy.
F1 is one sport I would not shed too many tears about if it slid off to satellite and cable TV. As long as the BBC used the savings to cover, say, cricket and either of the rugby codes, then I’d actually be quite pleased. As it is, no one talks about motor racing these days like they did in the old days. I never arrived at work with people sitting around debating the fact that there was not a single overtaking manoeuvre in the entire race at Monaco. And how could there be? It’s more of a lane than a road.
Even an appearance on Chris Evans’ returning TFIFriday could not redeem his boring image. It’s not Hamilton’s fault that he is dull, dull, dull; he just is. So dull he fits in perfectly in the dreary world of F1.
F1 is more about the money than anything, hence the recent moves to the middle east and Russia. No need to concern ourselves about human rights and invading other countries as long as Bernie can get his greedy mitts on some oligarch’s roubles or some petro-chemical cash. All sport is going that way: football, nationally and internationally, is going that way too. Never mind the principles: where’s the dough?
Our Nigel can rest assured that his popularity amongst petrol heads remains undimmed. There have been numerous successors over the years, none of whom can match his complete lack of charisma, although Hamilton is now running him close. Maybe someone will even overtake him?
No, you can’t “liven up” a sport that took leave of its senses years ago. If you like the F1 procession, then good luck to you but do excuse me as I have to watch some grass growing.