2013 Over And Out…
This post might be slightly late, but then again I’m not a journalist and therefore not bound by a deadline, one of the luxuries of being a blogger, I suppose. I have had a few weeks to reflect on the season which ended and of course like most of the F1 social media world wanted to add a thought or two (and no, it won’t be about F.A.).
My decision at the beginning of the year to treat blogging a little more seriously and really put some thought into it has forced me to look at F1, its drivers, its teams, the colorful paddock characters, what I would call the magic and also the less savory parts of F1 in a completely different light. In fact I can’t help but think of Pluto’s allegory of the cave. What I thought was the real F1 was instead a pantomime of shadows against a backdrop, giving the illusion of reality. And similar to the prisoner who is unshackled and eventually makes his way out into the light, I have found that my former attitudes towards this great sport that I love have now been replaced with something different. I went from being a pretty straightforward fan, albeit one who is a little too intense at times, to more of an observer, a little less intense and a little more detached.
Now don’t take this the wrong way, F1 still has me vexed at times and completely under its spell all of the time. I am no less passionate, in fact I would say I am even more passionate since I have been hitting the keyboard regularly, but this passion now comes from a different place and is focused on many different aspects of the sport, not just who won and who did not come Sunday. It also drives me absolutely bonkers in all new ways. Like your best friend, or if one has siblings – a brother or a sister – F1 knows how to push my buttons just right, to turn the screws until I can’t take it anymore. F1 on any given day, whether it be race weekend or reading the news cycle in between race weekends, can get on my very last nerve, but I have noticed a definite shift in my attitudes when it comes to F1 in general.
For example, when I began blogging I was a bit more confrontational for lack of a better word. Just look back at any of my early posts on Hamilton, or Vettel for example. I even called out Autosport for trying to charge me after I exceeded the allowed amount of views. I did not pull any punches on that one, ha-ha. I stand by what I said, but my delivery was all wrong, truth be known. Of course anyone who has read even a few of my posts can’t help but notice I shamelessly go on and on about Alonso, his talent and how no one else is as good an F1 pilot as him, even though he only has two championships. Blah blah blah. (I intend to continue being guilty of this one, another luxury of being a blogger) 😉
I liked all those early posts, they were truthful and raw. They were written right from the epicenter of emotion I was feeling at the time, and I will always seek to tell it like it is, or at least how I think it is. But the 2013 season also made me approach blogging in a different way. My newfound perspective just would not let me blog the way I was accustomed to. Now, without a conscious effort, I automatically look beyond what I feel as a fan for the driver(s) I favor and the team(s) that I like. I guess in this way I am just a bit (and I mean only a bit) closer to what a journalist must feel, and the service they are trying to provide to the F1 community. This season made me ask myself questions I have never really thought to ask about the sport, about the people in the sport, about the people who follow the sport, and finally about myself in the context of the sport.
2013 was a season like many others; there was some great racing, several close battles for pole, quite a bit of drama courtesy of the FIA and Pirelli, and the usual unbelievable stuff no one could make up. Right through to the summer break there was a real back and forth between five of the eleven teams. Red Bull looked good but Lotus and Mercedes were on their gearboxes, Ferrari lost their way and McLaren never found theirs. In regards to the championship fights the season did not quite deliver as it did last year. I am not alone in stating that 2013 started with promise … but then again what season doesn’t start that way? However, a close finish was not in the cards and for a fourth straight year Red Bull, Adrian Newey, Christian Horner and Sebastian Vettel and everyone else at the Milton Keyes operation did the best job and claimed the ultimate prize in both the constructor and drivers categories with races to spare. Well done. This you already know.
I suppose I could give you a rundown of AmerF1can’s top 10 list of 2013, or highlight what was the good, the bad and the remarkable, but something tells me your list is similar, no use in wasting any copy if we don’t need to. I think that what I really want to say in this season ending post (I can almost hear your sighs of relief) is that for me 2013 was a point of demarcation, a passing over a threshold, a no turning back point. By year’s end the season for me was less about who did what and how many records were equaled or surpassed. It was less about the politics and the drama. This year was about discovering what F1 meant, what it truly meant to me and why I love it and hate it, and love it, then hate it again, and then always love it even more. If there was ever a question within myself about the commitment I have made to this sport prior to 2013, there is absolutely none now. This is what 2013 really meant to me.
And now I’m really interested to hear from you, my fellow loyal F1 fans — what did the 2013 F1 season mean to you? Please answer below!
-jp- (p.s. you’re not getting off the hook that easily, I have several posts lined up right until the end of the year. LOL…)