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I'll Never Forget Whats'isname

The DriveWrite Archives Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Formula 1

I'll Never Forget Whats'isname

Geoff Maxted
June 15, 2013

Bernie Ecclestone
When it comes to politicians it is often hard to put a name to a face. Certainly anyone who takes an interest in the country could probably name a few of the crew at the top of the greasy pole but, as for the rest, they mostly blur into a sort of amorphous grey blob.

These days it’s the same with motor racing. Right now there’s a debate about Formula 1 and it is certainly true that F1 has lost something. The argument rages on, and it is either all about tyres or pit stops or lack of overtaking or lack of personality. This last item is my point.

Most people can put a face to Jenson or Lewis. They possibly know about the One-Finger Kid but how many mildly interested viewers can put a name to all the faces further down the grid. How many people know their Pic from their Bottas?

It is DriveWrite’s belief that it is the lack of personality that is slowly strangling the sport. The whole circus is awash with money and technology but it is at the expense of excitement and viewer involvement. We feel remote and uninvited, like the poor kid with his nose pressed against the window of opportunity. It’s a private party.

The buck has to stop somewhere and the hand of retribution hovers over Bernie Eccleston, for it is he who has transgressed. DriveWrite has never met the cove but he doesn’t strike us as being either being particularly pleasant or particularly fun. In the pursuit of money the sport has forgotten what it means to race.

Apparently, back in the day, star drivers walked amongst us like ordinary people. DriveWrite knows of individuals who have chatted in the paddock with some of the great names from the more recent history of Formula 1. Many fans will be more familiar with iconic names from the past - Ascari, Rindt, Clark, Hawthorn - than they will be with the current crop.

Sadly, the four above mentioned heros of F1 all lost their lives in pursuit of winning and nobody wants a return to those dangerous days; but what we would like to see is a return to perhaps more equalised mano a mano battles on the great racetracks of the world. The cars are much safer, so now’s the time for F1, it’s rulers and drivers, to find a way to make the racing more exciting for fans.

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