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Is it enjoyable to support under performing F1 team?


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#1 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:34

Inevitably some of us will support teams that next season will have mediocre seasons.

I am curious as to whether you find it as fun to support a under performing team as a competitive team? Certainly this could possibly be the case for Hamilton fans (and again for Rosberg fans) next season.

The template is quite routine:

1. Great hope surrounds the unveiling of the lastest wind tunnel honed contender. Be it the neatly packaged new Jaguar. The Williams with the final (and same as last years...) BMW V10 engine. Or the all-new Williams with the exciting 20,000rpm Cosworth V8. Or for non-Webber fans, maybe the latest Honda RA series or the latest Toyota TF series.

2. The car is semi-competitive in some early races... giving hope for future success. Be it: good qualifying positions or fastest race laps.

3. Hope for success is dashed with repeated disappointments as the car retires in a plume of smoke or with no drive from semi-competitive positions.

4. As the season wears on, results become more mediocre with mystifying lack of speed.

5. The odd weekend achieves a respectable top 5 finish , and subsides a little of the depressing feeling.

6. At season's end ultimately it is a lost cause, with a disappointing finish something like P7 or P8 in the WCC.

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#2 MortenF1

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:02

I found it equally, or perhaps more enjoyable supporting DC while at Red Bull, than while in his best McLaren years. The satisfaction can be bigger from a fourth in the '05 european gp, than from a win in '98. Getting that surprise result is a good feeling.

....but even if Red Bull weren't winning a few years ago, they weren't underperforming.
I will enjoy Hamilton at Mercedes next year. You'll soon know what is a good and what is a bad driver performance.

Edited by race addicted, 06 December 2012 - 12:09.


#3 spacekid

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 14:13

It depends what you mean by 'underperforming'.

All I'm interested in is seeing teams do as well as possible with the resources available.

If you mean a team that isn't as strong or big budget as the other teams then yes its great to support them, there is plenty of racing that goes on through the whole grid and the scraps for the lower points can get really intense. Its often a lot more enjoyable and 'competitive' than whats happening at the sharp end of the grid.

If you mean in the way that Mercedes underperformed this year then no. They have the budget and personel, but seemingly they didn't have a clue. I found them immensley frustrating as they should have been doing better but just sucked. I'd rather see a team that is expected to come 15th finish 10th as that is a real achievement and something to cheer about, than a team expected to come 5th finish 10th.

#4 XOR

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 14:37

less buzz less politics and such bs

#5 RedBaron

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 14:41

It's enjoyable, but it's tough. You have to be realistic with expectations.

Source: Me, Schumacher fan see 2010-2012.

#6 weston

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 14:58

Hard but fun.

Minardi (with Alonso) -> Toro Rosso (with Vettel) was always fun to follow. At the end of Berger's last year*, Red Bull was beaten by Toro Rosso. 3-4 years ago they lost their mojo though.

*Berger sold stake back to Red Bull.

Edited by weston, 06 December 2012 - 15:06.


#7 UPRC

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 14:59

I've been a Mercedes fan since it was announced they were taking over Brawn (I was a Honda and Brawn fan as well). Imagine how disappointed I've been as of late.

#8 Lazy

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 15:09

The BAR/Honda years were a bit tough with JB but 2009 was all the more fun because of that :)

#9 sailor

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 15:30

I've been a Mercedes fan since it was announced they were taking over Brawn (I was a Honda and Brawn fan as well). Imagine how disappointed I've been as of late.


Your wait is over.

The fast one is here to rescue you from your dissappointment

#10 RedBaron

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 15:34

Your wait is over.

The fast one is here to rescue you from your dissappointment


I didn't know Hamilton redesigned and built Formula 1 cars! And all in just a couple months. I am impressed!

#11 boldhakka

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 16:10

Well, 2012 was better than ever for supporting the lower tier teams. Sauber had several podiums, Williams won a race as did Lotus and Merc. Force India had some strong finishes as well. So there was always something to celebrate for the supporters of these teams.

Mostly due to Pirelli ...

#12 Seanspeed

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 16:35

Its not difficult if you manage your expectations.

#13 Andrew Hope

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 16:55

I'm not really a fan of any teams, I generally just hope whatever car has the best livery wins. But I think cheering for midfield and backmarker teams has a lot of charm that sometimes gets lost when you're supporting the bigger teams. I went nuts when Fisichella put the Force India on pole at Spa 2009, and those same nuts nearly exploded when Markus Winkelhock was leading the 2007 race at the Nurburgring in the Spyker. I think it shows you that less is more in a strange way, it means more to me personally if a Caterham nicks a 10th place than if Ferrari wins another race or Red Bull wins another title. Beauty in rarity and all that ****. Having said that, I don't buy into any bullshit that smaller teams deserve anything more than bigger ones. It just feels better for me when a team scores an unlikely podium than a likely victory. When a driver gets a nearly-impossible point than when another driver gets an entirely-possible victory.

#14 MrFondue

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 17:02

It's pretty much the same as with football.

#15 Myrvold

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 17:04

I was a die hard HRT-fan. The times when HRT outqualified other teams was brilliant. Or seeing Karthikeyan running in the points in Malaysia!
I also kinda like Caterham & Marussia. Though, all that Lotus - not Lotus - Team Lotus - Bogus Lotus - Lotus Lotus - Renault Lotus - Lotus Renault - Lotus Flowers time, have made be a bigger supporter of Marussia. And with HRT gone, it's Marussia all the way! :D

And Bruno Senna of course! :D

At least, in these situations I'm able to be as neutral as one can be when it comes to situations in the top of the field. Thus being able to be labeled an Alonso-, Vettel-, Hamilton-, Button -fanboy all at the same day!

#16 Pothead4Philosopher

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 17:24

Fittipaldi Automotive and Keke were my first impressions of F1. Bitter sweet memories.

#17 TifosiUSA

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 17:25

As a Mercedes supporter the last 3 years...NO. It sucks. Now, a team like Sauber you never actually expect to do well, then it's more fun. But a big time manufacturer like Mercedes being that terrible wasn't fun.

#18 2ms

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 17:59

I generally am an underdog supporter. However, in F1 it can be very frustrating when the team you would like to see win has clearly inferior race strategy and general organization. It can be almost infuriating when you know they could be winners but come Friday and Saturday you see them losing all their setup time because they had X mechanical problem for the umpteenth time, so then you're watching them in qualifying with an obviously substantially slower car than they could have had if only they'd had better organization to avoid stupid problems. It can also be hard to endure persistently slow pitstops and having the knowledge in races that it's always only a matter of time before they do something stupid like pitting at the wrong time or obviously choosing wrong tires.

I guess it depends on the potential of the team. If you can see that they have driver and engineering needed to win, but have some kind of other problems that seem "stupid", then races can be almost unbearable to watch sometimes. If it's a team with lower theoretical potential punching over its weight, however, that can be more rewarding than watching a team who wins but were expected to.

#19 hogstar

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 21:33

As a lifelong Williams fan, I know all about supporting an under performing team, but it makes no difference. If you want to be a glory hunter, you would support Red Bull, Ferrari or McLaren. It's the team what counts and Williams have always done it for me, even though they are not the most successful team and may never be again. Alan Jones and Keke Rosberg had the biggest balls and very much were the ethos of the team, though a team that can turn triumph out of adversity and equally adversity from triumph will never be dull.

That said, it must be bloody frustrating supporting Caterham... :)

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#20 Peter Perfect

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 21:47

The BAR/Honda years were a bit tough with JB but 2009 was all the more fun because of that :)

:up: True, but it's still difficult remembering the Earth Dream years without wincing!

#21 Longtimefan

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 22:29

After supporting Merc for the past 3 years I have to say no, its damn awful and depressing.



#22 Kingshark

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:36

After supporting Merc for the past 3 years I have to say no, its damn awful and depressing.

This.

#23 NotSoSilentBob

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:55

Nope, supported Williams when Webber was there and it was boundless disappointment. I too wanted to throw something when Webber retired in Monaco 2006.

#24 muramasa

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:36


Honda fan and been proud of it  ;) :cool:

#25 baddog

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:12

Honestly doesnt really bother me.. seeing them fail when they should succeed can be very frustrating, but midfield stuff can be as much fun as front rank stuff.

#26 metz

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:38

Well, that's the thing with F1.
The teams are so uneven we actually get to see 3 races in one.
The front teams, the mid field, and the enders.
I have a favourite in each group.
One is bound to have a good race in their bunch.

#27 F1ultimate

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:06

Yes it is enjoyable. The team I support is Mclaren.

#28 Nustang70

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:10

I've rooted for Williams for the past few years, and it's generally been rough. For a while, I was certain Williams how the worst pit strategy of the field--it seemed like if there was a wrong strategy, Williams was invariably on it.

#29 Anderis

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:56

I've rooted for Williams for the past few years, and it's generally been rough. For a while, I was certain Williams how the worst pit strategy of the field--it seemed like if there was a wrong strategy, Williams was invariably on it.

2009 was an incredible show how to put the good car on the wrong strategy all the time. They've easily lost 2 places in WCC due to that (another 2 due to Nakajima's inability of scoring any points that year). The car was capable of 3rd in WCC and they've only scored 7th, putting themselves in the position which led them to consistently scoring poor positions in WCC later, I believe. I see it worked this way:
Problems with delivering maximum from the good car in 2009 ---> Less money from WCC standings and less satisfaction of sponsors ---> Engine deal with Cosworth ---> Problems with competitiveness ---> Massive sponsorship lost after 2010 ---> The deal with PDVSA ---> Discouraging other potential sponsors ---> Huge problems with competitiveness in 2011 ---> Necessity of hiring two pay-drivers ---> Problems with capitalise from good car in 2012.

Also pit stops seem to be the weak point for many years and even cooperation with MJP hasn't helped much.

On the positive side, it's easier to make you satisfied when you support an underperforming team. I believe that when you're Red Bull fan, all bar race wins and results securing WCC/WDC is disappointment. When you're Williams fan, you can be satisfied just by the fact that both cars are in the top8 or something like that.

#30 Lelouch

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 15:17

Well underperformance is something i can't really stand so at times it's frustrating even as a fan. Personally, i want to see progress and a team moving forward regardless of results. So 2012 was a bit hard for me, supporting McLaren and Mercedes. I rate them both as the most underperforming teams of 2012 although Mercedes hit a whole different level of incompetence, since McLaren at least had the the fastest car. I'd rather root for Marussia this year. I'm trying to exclude the drivers from the equation because ofc when my favourite driver has a good performance I am very happy regardless of the above. But watching a team going backwards is quite depressing.

#31 Rob

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 16:17

Being a local-ish team, I followed Pacific GP. Fun, but frustrating when things are going really badly.

#32 motorhead

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 16:23

Mercedes has a budget and other resources like Brawn to be in a WDC fight, it is just a matter of time...

#33 Anderis

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 17:21

Mercedes has a budget and other resources like Brawn to be in a WDC fight, it is just a matter of time...

Not so sure. In 2011 Williams had more than 75% of Mercedes budget and Lotus had bigger budget than Mercedes.

#34 sopa

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 18:15

Problems with delivering maximum from the good car in 2009 ---> Less money from WCC standings and less satisfaction of sponsors ---> Engine deal with Cosworth ---> Problems with competitiveness ---> Massive sponsorship lost after 2010 ---> The deal with PDVSA ---> Discouraging other potential sponsors ---> Huge problems with competitiveness in 2011 ---> Necessity of hiring two pay-drivers ---> Problems with capitalise from good car in 2012.


Interesting analysis of causes and consequences. Based on that, what will be the problem in 2013, which will be caused by current situation? They got rid of one paydriver, they should still have some decent money and they have good baseline for the car design.

#35 FerrariFanInTexas

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 18:20

Arguably Ferrari underperformed from 1980 to 1999, or at least a good number of those years. I wouldn't call the 80's and most of the 90's "fun" as a Ferrari fan, but that's the deal when you support a team, as opposed to drivers.

And of course because it's Formula 1, while being frustrated with Ferrari's problems in those years, I could at least look at the rest of the grid and enjoy the battles and analyze the dominance at different times of Williams, McLaren, Benetton, etc. And every now and then there would be a ray of sunshine like Villeneuve's wins in 1981, the speed and power of the 126C2 and 3 (even though it was not terribly safe or reliable), Berger's win at Monza in 1988, the flashes of brilliance from Mansell and Prost in 1989 and 1990, etc.

#36 SpaMaster

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 18:22

Underperforming can never be good. Underdogs, on the otherhand, can be so good to support.

#37 BillBald

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 18:30

Yes it is enjoyable. The team I support is Mclaren.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

Yes, it's a big ego-boost when you feel sure you could do a better job yourself.



#38 motorhead

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 18:31

Not so sure. In 2011 Williams had more than 75% of Mercedes budget and Lotus had bigger budget than Mercedes.


Really, does Lotus really have bigger budget? Quite strange if thinking that merc is a factory team of one of the biggest car manufacturers.

#39 Anderis

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 19:09

Really, does Lotus really have bigger budget? Quite strange if thinking that merc is a factory team of one of the biggest car manufacturers.

According to this, yes. At least they did in 2011.

Interesting analysis of causes and consequences. Based on that, what will be the problem in 2013, which will be caused by current situation? They got rid of one paydriver, they should still have some decent money and they have good baseline for the car design.

We will see. So far they've wasted 3 consecutive years and nobody can predict where would they be now if they could deliver enough points from their car in 2009. Lack of results, money, sponsorship interest, confidence, development etc. the lost ground can't be regained in just one good year.
And their driver combination for 2013 is paydriver and a rookie. It still doesn't bring too much confidence of maximising car's potential even if Bottas is considered as a great talent. And all in all, they can still sacrifice 2013 for 2014, as they did in 2008 with the previous major rule change.

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#40 Szoelloe

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 19:53

There is a long and a short version. AND a shorter.

The long version is still painful to write about. The short version: Why do I keep hitting myself with a hammer? Because it feels so good when I stop. The shorter version? >>> NO.

#41 DutchQuicksilver

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 21:13

I always found it touching how Toyota splashed the cash every year, but never managed to get any success. Don't know, kind of had pity for the team. Especially in 2009 when they arguably had the best car behind Brawn in the first couple of races. A shame for them that Brawn had such a superior car, otherwise they would have achieved that one goal they were after for all those seasons: A race win!

#42 tifosi

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 21:18

I've been a Ferrari fan since the early 70s. So over the years they have underperformed and dominated.

My most enjoyable years were from about 85 - 92, so I guess its safe to say that it can be enjoyable, although a lot of it was I just really liked F1 at that time. All out qualifying over two days, the anticipation to see if all the miles of testing between the races panned out, the batteles for victories behind the dominating Honda-powered cars.

#43 Fontainebleau

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 21:57

It was quite enjoyable with Minardi - always hoping for a miracle!

#44 Szoelloe

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:46

It was quite enjoyable with Minardi - always hoping for a miracle!



It was. But Minardi was NOT underperforming. They never did.

#45 Rinehart

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:46

Frankly, its never bothered me. The football team I support is considerably less than brilliant and I simply manage my expectations accordingly. I appear to be less stressed about their serial lack of success and seem to be a happier supporter, than mates of mine who support successful teams. Their attitude seems to be that nothing less than winning every game and every cup is success. A few years ago a client of mine bunged me a couple of Chelsea season tickets, I didn't support them but I went to quite a few games that season since it was free! It bored me that the result was almost guaranteed before each match (a home win) and shocked at how angry fans got about their own world class players.

As for F1, currently I support JB and my favorite team is Williams. To be honest, JB already has his title, so can sleep easy whatever happens now, and as for Williams, its the fact they are one of the original a garageist teams and have stuck to their philosophy as best as they can. Its what they stand for that I support, the results, well, it would be nice if they would be better, but its relatively incidental to me.



#46 Boing 2

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:51

As mentioned on page 1 underperforming isn't the same as an underdog. I've supported Ferrari from 89-97 and also Lotus, Tyrrell, Jordan, Minardi and Williams from 90/91 to their ends (not long in Lotus case I know). So really, only Williams from 91-97 was a guaranteed winner in the last 23 years :(

I don't get any pleasure when a team is underperforming like watching Williams sliding down the grid or going backwards in races but there have been many a giant killing performance from Tyrrell and Jordan down the years, even Minardi had it's day in the sun. When you're following a little team, those occasional days in the sun are like a rainy day for a desert plant, you suck it up and hold on to it for years!

Spa 98 was glorious for me, the 99 Jordan title fight had me in pieces watching races, you're so much more invested in the little guys because you know it's a once in a lifetime chance that'll never come again. The downside is that it's a real dagger in the heart when it flops. I'll never forget Lotus in 94, underpowered and overweight, in their death throes, then Mugen came along with a new engine, the car came alive, Herbert put it 4th at Monza! up to 3rd at turn 1!!!! then Irvine punts him...... Seriously, I can still feel the pain today :(

Or Ralf taking himself and Fisi out of a 1-2 at Argentina in 97 with one of the most beautiful Jordans ever :(

Modena P2 at Monaco in 91 in a Tyrrell!!! then the engine shits itself :(

The small teams are a real roller-coaster but they have to have it in them to surprise, if they're relentlessly slow there's no pleasure. I don't understand anyone supporting HRT, that's not an underdog, it's just incompetence.

#47 Atreiu

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:52

The most enjoyable way to suport someone is to support no one at all and be happy after every race for the race itself.

#48 KimiSolberg

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:54

I was a die hard HRT-fan. The times when HRT outqualified other teams was brilliant. Or seeing Karthikeyan running in the points in Malaysia!
I also kinda like Caterham & Marussia. Though, all that Lotus - not Lotus - Team Lotus - Bogus Lotus - Lotus Lotus - Renault Lotus - Lotus Renault - Lotus Flowers time, have made be a bigger supporter of Marussia. And with HRT gone, it's Marussia all the way! :D

And Bruno Senna of course! :D

At least, in these situations I'm able to be as neutral as one can be when it comes to situations in the top of the field. Thus being able to be labeled an Alonso-, Vettel-, Hamilton-, Button -fanboy all at the same day!


Feel sorry for your loss. Must suck. Do you have a "reserve" team?