Sunday, 11 May 2014

#F1 - racing is about winning, not looking good

While watching the Spanish Grand Prix earlier today, I saw this Tweet from former BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey, in response to a team radio message sent to Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo from his team's garage:
I'm a big fan of Jake, and usually have a lot of time for him, and for what he has to say about sports…  But this post irritated me - and, frankly, made me quite cross.

It is no secret that a Formula 1 car goes quickest when it is in clear air, not when there are other cars close around, disrupting the airflow.  Racing is about going as fast as you possibly can - so why would you expect Ricciardo and Red Bull to do something which they know for a fact is going to make them slower, purely for your entertainment?

The teams and drivers are there to do a job - and that job is to drive their cars as fast as they possibly can, finish as high up the order as they can, and score as many points as they can.  If the way to do that is to 'drop back and maintain a two second gap', why wouldn't they do that?!

Sport is great entertainment - but it is, first-and-foremost, a high-stakes competition (after all, that is what makes it so exciting).  So, to expect anyone competing actually to harm their chances of a strong finish is crass and foolish in the extreme.

The drivers are not there to make your Sunday afternoon a little bit more exciting, they are there to win races and score points - and they will never stop seeking the best and most efficient method of doing so.  That is as it should be.

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