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F1 and the Olympics


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#1 Gene and Tonic

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 21:10

A great blog post by Joe Saward in my opinion:

http://joesaward.wor...d-the-olympics/

I think that Formula 1 should be included in the Olympic Games, and I cannot see any real reason that justifies its exclusion. Although it was by no means official, there is no doubt that by wearing decals supporting Team GB, both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button showed that they agree with this.

“Having the Olympics back in the UK is great for Great Britain,” Hamilton said. “I carried the flag on top of the helmet today. I hope that it was visible. I feel that I’ve done my part, as has the team, for the Olympics, even though we’re not in the event.”

But one has to ask why not. At a time when tennis and soccer are both Olympic sports the old ideas of non-professional athletes is just daft. The International Olympic Committee recently voted through the inclusion of golf as an Olympic sport in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, along with Rugby Sevens, after considering roller sports, karate, softball, baseball and squash.

One cannot argue elitism when one allows dressage to be in the Olympic Games. Have you tried buying a dressage horse recently?

There is no real solid argument either against the use of machinery. Yes, it is true that archery, rifleshooting, bobsleighs, canoes, sailing and rowing boats all feature very exotic machinery but all are powered (or used) by humans. But why are equestrian events allowed when they are powered by horses?

What is the difference between horsepower and horsepower?

It is is hard to say with any real certainty, but legend suggests that chariot racing WAS allowed in the ancient Olympics and there is no argument that there were Olympic motorboat events in 1908.

If popularity is the key, then F1 does fine and yet such ethereal sports as synchronised swimming, BMX and Mountain Biking are included and F1 is not. In the past croquet, polo, tug-of-war and cricket were all Olympic sports. They even had obstacle races in swimming.

It is certainly commercially complicated to do one-off deals for F1 races in the countries that host the Olympics, but why is that even necessary? The 1956 Olympic equestrian events were held in Sweden rather than in Melbourne, because of the Australian quarantine regulations that made it almost impossible to import and export horses. So why could there not have been an Olympic Grand Prix in Budapest last weekend, tied into the Games because of timing, rather than location. The Olympic GP tag could be like the old European GP title, that was used as an honorific moniker for national events back in the 1920s and 1930s.

I don’t go for the idea of drivers getting medals at each event, but I see no reason why Jacques Rogge and his chums could not award Olympic medals, in addition to World Championship points. It would be no great difference to being handed a trophy, although I think for a driver the idea of being Olympic champion would have a great deal more value.


What do people think? I know there are quite a few forum members that don't see Joe as a good commentator on F1, but I happen to agree with everything he's written here. Personally, I don't think events with horses should be at the Olympics, but seeing as they are, then there is no reason why F1 shouldn't be involved too. It is one of the biggest sports on the planet and incorporates a variety of nations, unlike snooker or darts for instance, thus giving it a certain legitimacy. F1 drivers are athletes the same as any Olympian. Plus it would give Team GB another good shot at a Gold medal :cool:

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#2 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 21:15

There's a ton of reasons F1 shouldn't be there. But how about this one. It doesn't need to be there. For two weeks every four years, the F1 world feels left out. Stop being so insecure about it. It's one of the biggest championships on the planet the rest of the time.

#3 baddog

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 21:18

If they were going to add motor racing it would likely be something like an RoC toruney anyway. Otherwise why F1? Why not rallying, drag racing, bike racing etc?

#4 SCUDmissile

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 21:19

If equestrian is there, you can say F1 is there. But it isn't really in the Olympic spirit having say and RB6 up against a HRT.
Maybe if it was some go kart type thing where anyone from Motorsport could compete, that would be cool.

Kind of like A1 GP, and maybe you have guys like Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Seb Loeb, Tom Kristensen etc. along with the F1 drivers. Would be very cool to watch.

#5 Fastcake

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 21:51

If they were going to add motor racing it would likely be something like an RoC toruney anyway. Otherwise why F1? Why not rallying, drag racing, bike racing etc?


Agreed, though I can never see it happening.

If equestrian is there, you can say F1 is there. But it isn't really in the Olympic spirit having say and RB6 up against a HRT.


Except they don't actually have horse racing at the Olympics so there isn't the same gap in equipment in equestrian events a F1 race would have. Most trained horses are relatively equal in the Olympic events; it's more accurate to say since eventing is included a doughnut competition for F1 cars should be too.

Joe was debunked enough in his comments so I don't need to go into much detail to say the idea of an Olympic F1 event is plain daft. What's the purpose of having an Olympic Grand Prix title added onto an existing race? The Olympics are meant to be the top level of sporting competition to celebrate sports in one place every four years, if we went with that idea why bother with the games at all? We could just have each sports world championship awarding the Olympics medals as well. And bringing up tennis and football as a reason why F1 should be in is pretty much shooting himself in the foot, neither sport considers the Olympic games to be important and neither would probably be missed.

Really why would many top-tier drivers want to bother with the Olympics when concentrating on their own series gives them much more prestige? You'll have a smattering of big names and the rest as filler.

#6 Wander

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 21:53

F1 doesn't need the olympics, but karting would be a fair suggestion, wouldn't it?

#7 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 21:57

Why not just watch the world/european karting championships?

#8 jeze

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 21:58

To paraphrase Kimi the Olympics "is a bit sh*t" :wave:

#9 D.M.N.

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 21:59

Not F1 as such, but a 'mini series' where everyone has equal machinery and anyone from any series, ie you could have:

Australia - Webber and Power
Brazil - Barrichello and Massa
Canada - Hinchcliffe and Villeneuve
Germany - Schumacher and Vettel

etc.

#10 WhatOh

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:02

'So why could there not have been an Olympic Grand Prix in Budapest last weekend, tied into the Games because of timing, rather than location.'

What would be the point? Surely it would just be the Hungarian GP with an honorary name. The drivers would still miss out on the Olympic experience - (opening ceremony, staying at the village etc).

Not convinced about the variety of nations if there was an Olympic GP this year we would have 12 countries being represented.




#11 jeze

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:06

Anyway there would have been a track to race at in 2008, 2012 and 2016 with all of those countries hosting F1 Grands Prix anyways... Shanghai, Silverstone and Interlagos are all homologated for F1 safety. In 2000 Phillip Island would've been a permanent motorsport facility that easily would've met the safety standards, and in 1992 Barcelona would've been an easy track to slot into.

But the problem is that the cars have a very strong commercial identity due to sponsors, and you are not going to paint a Ferrari with a German driver (Schumacher back in the days) silver like that are you? Two blue McLarens for the Brits? There is also a limit of three competitors per nation in individual sports so what if Calado goes to F1? Will he be excluded just, ta?

Nah it's very difficult to merge two such things. Perhaps and Formula 1 driver thriatlon? Now that would be cool to see the Webber vs Button chase :clap:

#12 gm914

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:08

Joe should just watch some old A1GP races on youtube if he feels the idea has any merit.
Has to be one of the dumbest pieces he's written.


#13 SCUDmissile

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:16

Not F1 as such, but a 'mini series' where everyone has equal machinery and anyone from any series, ie you could have:

Australia - Webber and Power
Brazil - Barrichello and Massa
Canada - Hinchcliffe and Villeneuve
Germany - Schumacher and Vettel

etc.

This is what I meant in my post :up:

France: Loeb, Bourdais possibly.


#14 rossbrawn

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:17

If they were going to add motor racing it would likely be something like an RoC toruney anyway. Otherwise why F1? Why not rallying, drag racing, bike racing etc?


That would be brilliant :up: .

#15 Bloggsworth

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:17

Karting OK, and restricted to under 15 year olds - Multi-million £ cars have no place in the Olympics, and come to that, neither have multi-million £ footballers.

#16 pdac

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:19

This probably would have some merit if there were more than a handful of countries in the sport (F1, that is, not motorsport in general).

#17 Wander

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:22

Karting OK, and restricted to under 15 year olds - Multi-million £ cars have no place in the Olympics, and come to that, neither have multi-million £ footballers.


I think that under the current rules you have to be minimum 15 years old to take part in the Olympics.

#18 midgrid

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:26

At a time when tennis and soccer are both Olympic sports the old ideas of non-professional athletes is just daft.


These are bad examples, as Olympic Football is artificially hamstrung by limiting the eligibility of players, and as such is nowhere near as prestigious as the World Cup or continental trophies. Tennis is slightly better, but I don't think an Olympic Gold is valued as highly as a Grand Slam victory. A motorsport Olympic event would surely be a glorified Race of Champions/(racing) celebrity karting event, which, entertaining though it may be, would be no more than a sideshow event to the F1 World Championship, and as such is completely unnecessary, as per Ross's point above.

Plus anything that reminds Bernie of medals is surely a no-go area.

#19 rhukkas

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:27

Karting OK, and restricted to under 15 year olds - Multi-million £ cars have no place in the Olympics, and come to that, neither have multi-million £ footballers.


Why under 15? Most karting pros are 18-30.

Anyway - motorsport and olympics - no thankyou

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#20 midgrid

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:29

This probably would have some merit if there were more than a handful of countries in the sport (F1, that is, not motorsport in general).


I don't think that the geographical distribution of F1 should be a problem - it takes place in every inhabited continent except Africa (which it did in the past), and drivers from all continents have taken part. You might as well argue that every Olympic sport in isolation is not widely represented enough, due to the fact that athletes from only a handful of countries make it through to the final of each.


#21 pdac

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:39

I don't think that the geographical distribution of F1 should be a problem - it takes place in every inhabited continent except Africa (which it did in the past), and drivers from all continents have taken part. You might as well argue that every Olympic sport in isolation is not widely represented enough, due to the fact that athletes from only a handful of countries make it through to the final of each.


So are you suggesting that all of the F1 teams would be happy to offer their technology to any country in the world that wanted to enter a competitor? So if, for example, an official from North Korea turned up at Red Bull and said that they would like to have one of their cars for a couple of years to train up a driver they'd happily hand one over? Or is it that each country would have to develop their own F1 car to the technical regulations? I just don't see how this works as an international sport.

#22 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:40

If motorsport was at the Olympics they wouldn't be running F1 cars.

#23 pdac

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:42

If motorsport was at the Olympics they wouldn't be running F1 cars.

But the quoted article started with the words "I think that Formula 1 should be included in the Olympic Games".

#24 midgrid

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:45

So are you suggesting that all of the F1 teams would be happy to offer their technology to any country in the world that wanted to enter a competitor? So if, for example, an official from North Korea turned up at Red Bull and said that they would like to have one of their cars for a couple of years to train up a driver they'd happily hand one over? Or is it that each country would have to develop their own F1 car to the technical regulations? I just don't see how this works as an international sport.


That would be an insurmountable problem, yes, but I'm assuming that because F1, the pinnacle of motorsport, takes place throughout the world, it will validate motorsport taking place as an Olympic event through a different medium, for example spec cars like in the Race of Champions, or karting.


#25 pdac

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:50

That would be an insurmountable problem, yes, but I'm assuming that because F1, the pinnacle of motorsport, takes place throughout the world, it will validate motorsport taking place as an Olympic event through a different medium, for example spec cars like in the Race of Champions, or karting.


Yes, it makes a lot more sense talking about motorsport rather than Formula 1.

#26 DrF

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:53

Team GB would still have as many medals.

#27 fabr68

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 23:02

England vs Italy

That is about as many countries that will have full competitive F1 teams to compete.

#28 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 23:03

But the quoted article started with the words "I think that Formula 1 should be included in the Olympic Games".


Sorry, my mistake. So he's thought this through even less than I thought.

#29 ryan86

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 23:11

Motorsport, yes, Formula 1, no.

#30 majkel

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 07:23

Olympics are about people, F1 is about machines. Dumbest idea ever.

#31 Peat

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:03

Small minded, self-indulgent journalist tattle. Just what i'd expect from Saward tbh.

Edited by Peat, 02 August 2012 - 08:03.


#32 Rob

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:05

Olympics are about people


And horses.

#33 DrF

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:09

England vs Italy

That is about as many countries that will have full competitive F1 teams to compete.

There are multiple countries involved in every F1 team. It would have to be like A1 GP which is not F1.

Silly idea used to fill space in the off season.

#34 johnmhinds

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 09:52

As other people have said we have already had someone try an Olympicised F1 with A1 Grand Prix, and nobody wanted to watch that.

Edited by johnmhinds, 02 August 2012 - 09:52.


#35 scheivlak

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 10:49

Some earlier threads (they mostly seem to emerge in even years  ;) ) :

http://forums.autosp...amp;hl=Olympics
http://forums.autosp...amp;hl=Olympics
http://forums.autosp...w...&hl=Olympic

#36 senna da silva

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 11:02

To paraphrase Kimi the Olympics "is a bit sh*t" :wave:


:up:

#37 Jon83

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 13:21

There are plenty of non-Olympic sports already included.

A massive No from me.

#38 Coops3

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 13:36

I'm glad this has come up; I've been thinking about it for the last couple of days. The only way I could see F1 working as an Olympic sport is if the race(s) doubled up as an FIA world championship AND Olympic event. I don't think it would work having additional 'Olympic only' races thrown into the F1 calendar.

Then you've got the problem of having to arrange the calendar so that the home GP of the country hosting the Olympics is scheduled whilst the Olympics are actually on, and what happens if the Olympic host doesn't have a GP, etc, etc.

Yet another problem is that F1 teams are multi-national. Is this allowed in the Olympics?

So I don't think F1 would work at all. However, something like Formula Ford would be fantastic, and would give us a very rare chance of seeing F1 drivers compete in equal machinery. Who in their right mind would say "no" to that opportunity?!

Edited by Coops3, 02 August 2012 - 13:38.


#39 Jon83

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 14:09

I'm glad this has come up; I've been thinking about it for the last couple of days. The only way I could see F1 working as an Olympic sport is if the race(s) doubled up as an FIA world championship AND Olympic event. I don't think it would work having additional 'Olympic only' races thrown into the F1 calendar.

Then you've got the problem of having to arrange the calendar so that the home GP of the country hosting the Olympics is scheduled whilst the Olympics are actually on, and what happens if the Olympic host doesn't have a GP, etc, etc.

Yet another problem is that F1 teams are multi-national. Is this allowed in the Olympics?

So I don't think F1 would work at all. However, something like Formula Ford would be fantastic, and would give us a very rare chance of seeing F1 drivers compete in equal machinery. Who in their right mind would say "no" to that opportunity?!


Probably the driver's team bosses for a start.

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#40 Wander

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 14:23

I don't even care about it in terms of Olympics, but having a special race with the current F1 grid in equal cars would be awesome to see.

(Of course I know it's not going to happen)

Edited by Wander, 02 August 2012 - 14:24.


#41 g1n

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 14:29

What about an F1 race during the Olympics around London streets?

#42 Realyn

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 14:36

We can do that in 4 years when we are at London again.

#43 alfa1

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 14:38

F1 would never work for the multiple reasons outlined in the blog comments.

But to take the equestrian analogy seriously, motorsport could work if it was limited to a vehicle that anyone in the world could buy or build, and compete against others in their own country for Olympic selection.

Something like a kart or maybe slightly larger.


#44 Coops3

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 15:13

Probably the driver's team bosses for a start.


:rolleyes:

Wouldn't you like to see that?

#45 cutchemist42

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:06

While autosport, both cars and bikes, are recognized by the IOC as having a sporting structure that would work in the Olympics, the IOC rules bar any sport involving a motorized component. Boat racing was in past Olympics but not anymore. I don't see the difference between motorized power and actual horsepower but oh wells.

If I had to choose, my motorsport competition would be the following:

-Supercross comp
-Motorcross

-Touring car
-A1GP STYLE open wheel race
-6 hour endurance race

#46 Marbles

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 18:10

I'd get a real kick out of this. It would be great to see Bernie doing the bribing and bending over for a change.


#47 Meanbeakin

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 18:21

As other people have said we have already had someone try an Olympicised F1 with A1 Grand Prix, and nobody wanted to watch that.


A1GP didn't have the top drivers in motorsport at the time though.

I must say though, watching sports like Tennis, Soccer and Basketball at the Olympics though, it does seem to lack a bit of meaning as for these sports the pinnacle isn't the Olympics, compared to say Swimming or Athletics. I think any attempt to put motorsport into the Olympics would be the same.

#48 MadYarpen

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 18:59

I guess Saward is just unhappy that most people care about Olympics and not about F1 :lol: What a rubbish.

Edited by MadYarpen, 02 August 2012 - 18:59.


#49 CaptnMark

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 19:13

Pedal powered karts.Perhaps with a rubber band precharge.

#50 hulmerist

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 19:53

So saward has finally gone full retard, what an idiotic piece, the logistics and money involved would be ridiculous and using a sport that shouldn't be in the Olympics as justification for inclusion is just moronic