Posted 09 May 2009 - 07:44
Like most sports F1 can be followed in a superficial way or in great depth. For most people who see it on TV it is just 'driver racing' and the car is a piece of sports equipment to be completely taken for granted like golf clubs or a tennis raquet. Their knowledge of history goes back to last season and no further. For people with a more serious interest the sport is 'motor racing' and to them knowing about the car and its technology and the people behind the technology means a great deal. Motor sport also has a considerable body of racing history behind it now and that is also a source of interest to aficionados. It is a team sport with the driver being just the tip of a very big iceberg with layer upon layer of managers, engineers, technicions, businessmen, politicians, stratagists, spin doctors, press co-ordinators (etc) behind each driver. I would say that the back room story of a sport like F1 is much bigger than the back room story of any other sport. How many people does it take to keep Tiger Woods or Rapael Nadal on the road? Well, probably more than I realise but not 500 specialists I think. That does tend to make F1 rather esoteric as you have to make a real effort if you want to gain some degree of understanding of what is going on. Bear in mind that when a car/driver gains pole position the driver is responsible for about 20% of that achievement, the car and the people behind it for the rest. If you don't know anything about the back room guys and what they do then you don't really understand what is going on and why it is working out the way it is.