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The man in the street


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#1 Peter Perfect

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 13:55

F1 has been all over the papers/news websites for the past couple of weeks, partly for the Brawn victory, but mostly for diffusers/penalties/flexi-wings/.. i.e. matters don't show F1 in a particularly good light.

Most of us here will keep following F1 through the year and beyond no matter what happens, but what about the casual viewer who watches a few GPs a year and has a vague grasp of the sport? The reason I ask is because I have a few friends whose F1 viewing/reading habits have changed recently. Of the 3, 2 of them don't believe it's worth watching F1 because they don't think that the race decides who wins and there's far too much politics in the sport. The other 1 has interestingly become more interested in F1, but isn't interested in watching the races, instead it's the politics and intrigue which draws his attention.

Now, F1 has always had its political side, but in the last couple of years it seems to have come to the fore in a way not seen since the mid '90s and is more akin to a daily soap opera. Maybe that's a consequence of instant online news that feeds the hunger for every detail and provides an outlet for wild rumours, but to be honest it's not a direction I particularly like.

Has anyone else noticed changes in attitudes to F1 by casual fans?

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#2 Yellowmc

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 13:58

The media plays a huge part in it all, Mosleygate is testament to that. In this day and age, news spreads quicker than wildfire and the media is more obsessed with finding the next big story, this leads to all the political rows we constantly have.

#3 senna da silva

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 13:59

I've noticed how many F1 fans are bandwagon jumpers. Just look at all the BGP and Jenson fans coming out of the woodwork.

#4 Peter Perfect

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 14:07

Originally posted by senna da silva
I've noticed how many F1 fans are bandwagon jumpers. Just look at all the BGP and Jenson fans coming out of the woodwork.


True, but then that's always happened with success. A portion of fans always want to be on the winning side and will swap accordingly and deny their past allegiance.

#5 engel

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 14:15

All sports have technicalities, politics and scandals, F1 is by no means unique. The difference between F1 and the other sports is F1 is far more sparse in the competition side (17-18 races / year) whereas other sports are multiples of that, so in F1 a story stays afloat longer because there isn't so much "real" stuff to report.

Anyways, man on the street is fickle ... do you know how many Brits watch F1 even sporadically simply because of Lewis? Same to Spaniards and Alonso or Germans and Shuey etc etc. You can't always please the man on the street, nor in my opinion should you, as a sport.

#6 MWM

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 14:22

So, should we dumb down F1, and ignore transgressions of the rules so that *anything goes*, because, heaven forbid, decisions to enforce the rules are made off the race track, and apparently the poor man on the street is too stupid to understand that decisions made off the race track are perfectly valid and rational if it means applying the rules to an on-track transgression.

F1 is a complex sport. Good. If fly-by-nights and thick folk don't get it that's fine by me. They are easy to spot as they are the ones who grumble about decisions being made in a court room or by stewards, apparently oblivious to the fact that, inevitably, if you cheat or break the rules or lie that is where decisions are going to be made to punish those that break the rules.

If F1 is too complex go and watch something simpler like football....and even there you have the offside rule.

/rant

#7 Frans

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 14:24

I know a lot of people who now, after this 1st GP and all it's disqualifications and undo disq's and all those weird things like some have KERS and others don't, just stop watching the rest of the season.

Look, fairness has left the building ever since, well, always has not really been there. Money rules the sport, the winners AND the losers, there's almost no sportivity in there. Still the propaganda slogan "sport" is used to name the event/circus what F1 is. Don't let that fool you.

I watch F1 because of the crashes, not for the winners, I have learned over the years that it's absolutely NOT the best driver/racer who wins. It's just isn't the case. It's the other side (money/politics/etc) what declares who's what in the end.

The man on the street who does not have followed F1 before, just will not be able to grasp the current events what happened after the race. :down: Good on you F1. :down:

#8 Buttoneer

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 14:29

Joe Public suffers from ADD. "Lewis who? Look at how brilliantly Button is doing!"

#9 RoutariEnjinu

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 14:30

Originally posted by senna da silva
I've noticed how many F1 fans are bandwagon jumpers. Just look at all the BGP and Jenson fans coming out of the woodwork.


Also don't forget, there are probably a myriad of Force India fans out there. I for one am keen to see them do well, but when they're languishing at the back, there's no real news, or anything to get excited by. There's no reason for threads, or noise.

Yet if Force India do start doing well, I for one will be over the moon, and making lots of noise. It doesn't mean I've jumped on a bandwagon.

Maybe this post needs to be saved in case this happens as my defence.

With Honda it was the same deal, but then the idea of aligning yourself with one team and one driver, in a show as big as this, seems retarded to me.

That said, I'm thoroughly enjoying the success Brawn GP are having, and can't shut up about it to my friends.

#10 MWM

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 14:33

Originally posted by Frans
I know a lot of people who now, after this 1st GP and all it's disqualifications and undo disq's and all those weird things like some have KERS and others don't, just stop watching the rest of the season.

Look, fairness has left the building ever since, well, always has not really been there. Money rules the sport, the winners AND the losers, there's almost no sportivity in there. Still the propaganda slogan "sport" is used to name the event/circus what F1 is. Don't let that fool you.

I watch F1 because of the crashes, not for the winners, I have learned over the years that it's absolutely NOT the best driver/racer who wins. It's just isn't the case. It's the other side (money/politics/etc) what declares who's what in the end.

The man on the street who does not have followed F1 before, just will not be able to grasp the current events what happened after the race. :down: Good on you F1. :down:

So, should we just habe an anything-goes, no-rules series?

Seriously, I doubt the man on the street is as thick as you think. Society has rules, most fair, some not, and I think most folk understand that.

As for "I watch F1 because of the crashes...", well done mate. I mean, seriously. :rolleyes:

#11 Zarathustra

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 14:36

It's embarrassing to be an F1 fan when you're expected to be able to explain what rules have been broken and why the official race result is different to what everyone saw on the telly in a succinct and clear fashion.

#12 Peter Perfect

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 14:37

Originally posted by MWM
So, should we dumb down F1, and ignore transgressions of the rules so that *anything goes*, because, heaven forbid, decisions to enforce the rules are made off the race track, and apparently the poor man on the street is too stupid to understand that decisions made off the race track are perfectly valid and rational if it means applying the rules to an on-track transgression.

F1 is a complex sport. Good. If fly-by-nights and thick folk don't get it that's fine by me. They are easy to spot as they are the ones who grumble about decisions being made in a court room or by stewards, apparently oblivious to the fact that, inevitably, if you cheat or break the rules or lie that is where decisions are going to be made to punish those that break the rules.

If F1 is too complex go and watch something simpler like football....and even there you have the offside rule.

/rant


But with football the rulings are made there and then. At the end of the game you know who's won. F1's problem at the moment seems to revolve around decisions being put off so that no-one (least of all the competitors) knows.

F1 is complex sport, and always will be due to its highly technical nature, but the idea that the end of the race isn't really the end will always put the casual viewer off. Unless you follow it to a high degree (like most people here) you don't know the details of what's happened and what it means.

For me (and probably most casual viewers) the action should take place on the track. That doesn't mean rule breakers should get away with it, but that infringements should be dealt with immediately so that everyone knows what's going on.

I want to follow a sport I can be proud of, but at the moment it's tricky.

#13 Buttoneer

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 14:51

This is easy to deal with as an F1 fan though isn't it? Lewis lied to get an advantage and another driver got heavily penalised because the stewards couldn't be arsed to do their job. Easiest sell in the world because it's nothing to do with on-track controversy.

Spa '08 was a nightmare, on the other hand, because nobody in the real world outside of Atlas could see the advantage which is gained by letting another car overtake you.

Seriously chaps, this one is a piece of piss.

#14 Rich

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 15:15

Originally posted by Peter Perfect
For me (and probably most casual viewers) the action should take place on the track.


It does. Do you think that the casual fan cares that Lewis Hamilton gets disqualified a couple of days later? He's watching to see very loud and expensive cars being driven at very dangerous speeds by very talented drivers. How does a technical ruling made several days later diminish that spectacle?

Even many of the celebrities in attendance at GP couldn't care. They're there to experience the sound and the vibe, soak up the atmosphere and be thrilled by the proximity to such intimidatingly awe-inspiring pieces of machinery. When it's finished, they go out to an expensive restaurant and talk about what fun it was, how their ears are still ringing and how their ribs chattered together like castanets when a F1 engine started up a few feet away from them. If driver x or team y gets penalised for an infringement a week or a month or a year later, it's water off a duck's back to them.

Many casual television fans only watch for the possibility of seeing spectacular shunts. The sport's off-track controversies don't affect that one bit. I only watch boxing to see the likes of Mike Tyson knock hapless opponents on their butts in spectacular style. If Tyson gets disqualified and suspended a month later for failing a dope test, what do I care? It doesn't change the impact of that spectacular left hook he threw. And I just find another hard-hitting heavyweight bout to watch.

If casual fans only want to know the result, they can get that from the newspapers. No need to even watch the race. Trust me, it's only the hardcore fans who are bothered by Max and KERS and steward decisions. Nobody else cares. Why would they?