The Roar
The Roar

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Why bother being a Formula One fan?

Former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone. (GEPA pictures/Red Bull Content Pool)
Roar Pro
31st March, 2016
3

I’m struggling to describe the erratic, bizarre behaviour of Formula One over the last month. Is it a mid-life crisis?

Is it a self-harm emo phase (a theory supported by the darkening of the grid in recent years)? Is it some suicidal trip? Does the sport seem to enjoy masochism?

If you watch just the races, given what we received in Melbourne, you should be enjoying yourself! We’ve had great racing (on a track that is difficult to pass on), intriguing strategy, big crashes (which people walked away from) and a genuinely close field.

If you just turn on the TV (or streaming website, depending on your opinions on Rupert Murdoch), just watch the race and turn off as soon as the podium interviews are done, well done, you got a good 90 minutes of entertainment.

Stick around after the race to hear the press conferences and talking heads and things quickly deteriorate.

The amount of bizarre decisions made around Formula One this month have been breathtaking.

From a disastrous qualifying format to a damaging TV deal to the removal of fan made mods for video games, its not a good time to be an Formula One fan.

The Italian Grand Prix, the adopted home of the Tifosi, the Grand Prix of the people, is going to be replaced by a soulless circuit in Las Vegas, the city of greed.

That’s actually a fitting metaphor for what is going on.

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Its like FOM, FIA and the like actually wants us, the hardcore fans to leave. If you are a casual fan, 2016 is shaping up to be a great year of on track racing. If you are an obsessive, addicted and devoted to the sport, well, you get punished.

And then in three years time those casual fans will disappear. Formula One will slip onto Pay TV, leaving the popularity of free-to-air television behind. Don’t expect the casual fans to follow.

So who is left after that. The casual fans are driven away, the hardcore ones forsaken and forgot until we give up. We leave.

Who will watch your sport then Bernie?