09 Jul — News flash: Its a complex sport. Fans, try to keep up.

 I am going to get right to the point today.  I am sick and tired of reading that “the fans” are sick and tired of all the technical aspects and rule changes that are too difficult to understand.  I am tired of hearing “this is hurting the sport” or “this is not what Formula One needs right now.”  Nothing, in my humble blogger opinion could be further from the truth.

QUESTION: Why do we, as a racing community, watch Formula One?  Or, put another way, why do we NOT watch NASCAR or the IRL, with the same type of conviction?

After all, that is also racing (well, sorta).  There is plenty of racing going on (well, sorta), there are plenty of very attractive women walking around in the pits (well, sorta), there is some star power that shows up (well, ok, so Bono has not been to a NASCAR race yet–hope I’m right about that one.)  Well, at least there is plenty of on and off track drama, like Dario Franchitti spinning Will Power around and out of the Toronto Gran Prix or Helio Castorneves screaming at a marshall last year that was twice his size.  Anyway, back to the question, why am I and most of Europe un-interested in these American forms of racing.  Well, they lack some very important points of interest. For one, the cars could not be made to look any more boring or unattractive.  Every time I see an Indy car it reminds me of a tank, with big goofy mirrors stuck on the top, and as for the NASCAR cars with their long overhang in the rear, Audi and BMW would never make a car that looked so silly.

More to the point, what is so compelling about F1 and its tech aspect is the fact that each  team is responsible for the design of its own car.  They are all different and they are all searching for the next f-duct, or double diffuser, or clever solution to gain that extra 10th.  And in regard to this pursuit of that 10th you have what makes F1, F1.  And right now the hot dealio is the blown diffuser.

We (the teams, the FIA, and the fans, yes I said it, the fans), all seem to be obsessed about this highly complex idea of blowing gas/air out of the pipes off-throttle.  Or in the case of McLaren, over-run. What could be more genius than someone (in this case Adrian Newey and the Renault engine designers) seeing this as a benefit and parlaying it into an advantage?  And this is why F1 is the third most-watched sport in the world and why we love it so much.  It is precisely why most people I talk to that follow F1 are so into F1.  As far back as I can remember, Formula One has always been about the equipment as much as it has been about the driver or a famous marquee.  Now more than ever, I wish that we as the fans were more connected to the technical aspect of F1.

I feel that there are so many story lines each race weekend that we don’t get to hear or see mostly because The Speed Channel (I can only speak for myself here in the States) thinks I’m dumbshit and I won’t or can’t follow anything more advanced than what a 6th grader could draw out on a chalkboard.  Whatever! Many people say that Formula One and racing in general is too complex, I say tuff shit, like the title says, get with it and try to keep up.  Air pressure folks, the faster it moves under the car, the more downforce you get, the faster the car will go.  What is so complex about that?  What more do you need to know?  Racing, bitches!  Bring on the complexity.  I’m out. jp.

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