Five things we desperately miss about F1

Date published: May 28 2020

Daniel Ricciardo will be the perfect benchmark for Lando Norris says Zak Brown.

No F1 racing since last December but thankfully it looks like we won’t have to wait too much longer. However, we are sure you, like us, are still absolutely pining for it.

Here is what immediately came to mind when we thought about what we are missing the most about Formula 1.

Driver interactions

Formula 1 is special in many different ways but one that makes the sport consistently exciting and entertaining, even when the actual racing doesn’t really deliver, is the vast array of unique driver personalities that we get to see mesh with each other.

Of course there is still some element of media training going on, but the drivers can at least express themselves unlike, say, footballers for example, where the vast majority of players are robot-like in their post-match interviews. If a driver thinks a race was crap, they will say so.

Whilst we still see the odd glimmer of Daniel Ricciardo’s pearly whites or Lando just being Lando in online interviews and streams, we are really missing one of the key positives that the individual teams and the sport as a whole does so well now in creating those deeper connections between drivers and fans.

Whether it is Sebastian Vettel cracking his best dad jokes, Kimi Raikkonen’s continued utter disdain of doing any media activities or a surprise off-hand comment such as Kevin Magnussen’s ‘suck my balls’ jibe, those little moments help make the weekends so much more memorable.

That being said, Twitch has helped us get to know some other drivers, namely Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Alex Albon a whole lot better and we hope that we continue to see them flourish once the real thing returns.

The theme song

Nothing will ever get us as hyped up for a Formula 1 race like the BBC’s use of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’ and we don’t think anything else ever will, but Brian Tyler’s signature piece has quickly become synonymous with current day Formula 1.

Every time we have heard it since the end of last season to now, it has left us with a little ache in our hearts wishing we were about to get stuck into the action.

If the current theme isn’t top of our most played list on Spotify by the end of year then we will be very surprised. Try to resist the urge to play it if you can, imagine how good it will feel to hear that for the first time knowing that the very next shot will be a picturesque view of the green meadows and rolling hills surrounding the Red Bull Ring circuit. The quiet before the storm.

Q3

We realise this very specific but in terms of the tension build-up and the raised hope of seeing some brilliant driver battles, we really do savour the moment when the 10 cars head out on their final out-laps before they go for one last glory run.

Ok, it does usually end with Lewis Hamilton on pole position in a locked-out Mercedes front row but we will, without fail, always have that hope that we are about to witness an epic clash for pole position.

It baffles us when we hear Formula 1 chiefs talking about toying with the qualifying format as we think it is perfect as it is. Something to play for in each session, the gradual build-up to the top 10 shoot-out and all done inside an hour.

Nicholas Latifi’s suggestion of awarding points to the pole sitter has intrigued us, but let’s maybe wait to see if the playing field can be levelled before we give Mercedes any chance to amass a 1,000 total points in a season.

The paddock politics

Toto Wolff recently said that in all his time in Formula 1, he has never known the sport be as political as it has been in the last six months. Sadly, we have only been able to hear about the fall-outs from afar long after the conference calls have ended.

The bickering and selfishness can get a little tedious but it is absolutely fascinating watching these off-track battles play out usually in front of the cameras over the course of a race weekend.

We may still be hit with an avalanche of protests and controversy when the season does finally get underway, but we have dearly missed that regular sound of teams butting heads with each other over upcoming rules and regulations or little tricks that teams try to use in the relentless pursuit of beating the opposition.

Oh yeah…and the racing!

Thought we were forgetting something…the feeling of watching those five red lights disappear to the roar of ‘it’s lights out and away we go’ needs to be bottled up.

We are wary of the rose-tinted spectacles being firmly over our eyes here as we do get a fair share of stinkers and we do see some questionable TV directing which leads to us missing some of the best moments, but god we miss it even with its flaws.

Even if a race didn’t quite live up to its billing, it is still helping paint the picture of the season that we will look back on and reference in conversation for years to come.

Although we will get to see the storylines eventually unfold, it is a crying shame that we have missed the immediate on-track reaction to some of the early 2021 driver moves taking place.

Imagine if the Vettel news leaked the night before a race or we were able to see Christian Horner try his best not to smirk after hearing Daniel Ricciardo is ditching his old mate Cyril Abiteboul for McLaren next year.

The lack of immediacy and fast pace on and off the track has made the gap turn into a gaping chasm over these last few months.

Even though it won’t be the same without the packed grandstands (god knows who Lewis is going to thank in his post-session interviews) but we cannot wait for racing to return.

Hopefully not long left to wait now. Stay strong!

Mark Scott

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