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Question for those that have watched F1 really long time


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#1 Hati

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 09:58

The long seasons and how they skew statistics is popular topic nowadays but at which point season turned long? When I started to watch the 16 race season was a norm but that already was longer than before, did the addition of races to 16 from 10 or 11 feel similar or have we passed some point when season broke 20 race barrier? IE.  when it really is too much and not just something one is not used to.



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#2 wj_gibson

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 10:02

I recall, as a child, getting a review of the 1977 season from the library (this would have been in about 1985-86) and noting that the intro section commented on the then record breaking 17 race calendar - described by the author as far too long and that there was a need to consolidate the calendar back to about 11 or 12 races, as had been the norm only a few seasons earlier.

 

So it seems that calendar expansion and a sense of excess has been around for a while.


Edited by wj_gibson, 05 September 2022 - 10:02.


#3 Risil

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 10:03

I'm not really in your target demographic but something that's important is that F1 was up to around 16-17 races a year before there was regular live TV coverage so your relationship with the sport and how you followed it would've been different, unless you happened to work there.

 

From reading old magazines though, there was a lot going on in May-September even when the world championship was only a handful of rounds.



#4 cpbell

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 10:07

I'm not really in your target demographic but something that's important is that F1 was up to around 16-17 races a year before there was regular live TV coverage so your relationship with the sport and how you followed it would've been different, unless you happened to work there.

 

From reading old magazines though, there was a lot going on in May-September even when the world championship was only a handful of rounds.

Including most F1 drivers doing F2/Indycar/sportscars etc.



#5 Bloggsworth

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 10:11

The long seasons and how they skew statistics is popular topic nowadays but at which point season turned long? When I started to watch the 16 race season was a norm but that already was longer than before, did the addition of races to 16 from 10 or 11 feel similar or have we passed some point when season broke 20 race barrier? IE.  when it really is too much and not just something one is not used to.

When I started watching there were 7 GPs in the championship, of which 3 IIRC were televised by the BBC; Monaco, British and Italian. Occasionally one would see a Pathé News black and white film a few weeks later.


Edited by Bloggsworth, 05 September 2022 - 10:12.


#6 Alan Lewis

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 10:13

And regular non-Championship Formula 1 races.

The drivers of the past didn't race any less than today's do, they just didn't compete solely in the one damn series to the exclusion of all else.

#7 macjim

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 10:14

I've been watching f1 since the late 70's, I can still recall the Hunt-Lauda, Andretti et al.

 

Todays seasons fell really long, you never really went passed Oct with 16 races, also each race was almost always stand alone - the 3 races we have back to back feels like overkill.

 

In the 80's we didn't have wall to wall coverage, we had to rely on highlights on the BBC, and catching up with Autosport and other magazines.

 

But todays media world is different, you can watch the parts you want to see e.g. just the race, and avoid all the other crap the TV companies put out to fill the time before and after the races.

 

In my opinion 16-20 races are enough, talk of 25+ just dilutes the "sport"  



#8 PayasYouRace

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 10:22

The seasons were about 16 races long for nearly 30 years, so I’d imagine there’s an entire generation of fans for whom that was normal.

I was recently looking at cancelled races and discovered that the 1985 season was set to be a record breaking 19 races, with Dallas, New York, Rome and Mexico (and no Brands Hatch). It ended up as 16 but I bet it would have been a shock to the system 20 years before it actually reached 19.

#9 JimmyClark

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 10:38

When I was a child/teenager, I would have loved these long seasons as weekends were boring and all I wanted to do was watch F1. 

 

Now I'm an adult in my mid-30s, I'm very busy and I just can't dedicate nearly half the weeknds of the year to F1, so I end up missing a lot more. 

 

Also when it was 16 races, it did feel that each one counted for a lot, and you recall a lot of each race. Now so many just blur into each other I find, but maybe that's age too. 



#10 Sterzo

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 10:42

A part of me regrets that "The Grand Prix" lost its uniqueness when Italy held one too.



#11 Bliman

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 11:05

I have been watching for around 40 years now and to be honest there are far to much races now imo. It feels totally overkill and it is pulling me more and more in the direction that I don't care anymore and the sport feels more and more diluted. It feels like drinking a very sweet drink over and over for many days. Sooner or later you will get sick of it.

#12 Bliman

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 11:05

When I was a child/teenager, I would have loved these long seasons as weekends were boring and all I wanted to do was watch F1.

Now I'm an adult in my mid-30s, I'm very busy and I just can't dedicate nearly half the weeknds of the year to F1, so I end up missing a lot more.

Also when it was 16 races, it did feel that each one counted for a lot, and you recall a lot of each race. Now so many just blur into each other I find, but maybe that's age too.

yeah it feels like a blur.

#13 MinardiCrashDummy

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 11:15

I have said this for a while that there are way too many races now and F1 has lost the "special event" feel it had for me.

 

I have watched since the early 90's and races were spaced out enough that you got a chance to miss the sport and were really excited when "race week" came about.

 

Now it's week 3 of a triple header and it's here we go again feeling not excitement.

 

If your favourite music artist does a tour every 2-3 years you feel like you can't miss it, if they do one every 3 months it losses that that special feeling.

 

To me a season should be 18 races max.



#14 AlexPrime

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 11:16

It's a bit much for me, 16 was ideal IMO.



#15 JimmyClark

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 11:22

2000 was the perfect season. 17 races, all two weeks apart.

#16 MKSixer

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 11:24

It's a real double-edged sword.  I've been watching since the early/mid 1970s, first casually as I was more a sports car guy, then more rabidly.  I have no problem with the calendar as it stands now as progress should always be made and F1 is now an actual global championship vs being a mainly Western Hemisphere, racing series.  This is a good thing.  The bad thing is the intimacy of being a fan of Formula One and the quirky uniqueness associated with it is no longer there.  Not the greatest thing, IMHO.

 

If I wear team kit out and about now, it is a conversation starter and I love the camaraderie, what I don't appreciate is the instant rivalry I see in some new, "fans".  I'm ok with more races and I believe the sport will grow stronger.  There needs to be an effort similar to Steve Matchett's efforts on TV to educate fans about the various nuances of the sport and what they are actually watching.  

 

Sorry about the rambling mess.  



#17 Risil

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 11:25

2000 was the perfect season. 17 races, all two weeks apart.

 

Except for putting the British Grand Prix in April anyway.



#18 smitten

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 11:33

Ah, the halcyon days of F1 where seasons were the right length, car reliability kept us entertained and DRS was unthought of. Where we didn't have a driver of the day poll (sponsored by Rich Energy), a fastest lap award (Sponsored by Immodium), a pole award (sponsored by Spearmint Rhino), and the polesitter was just the chap who went fastest in Quali.

 

F1 has changed a lot.

 

I suppose I still manage to watch most weekends so the season can't be too long, can it?  But I'm probably in the ~16-19 races (one every other weekend plus a summer break) is the ideal season length camp.



#19 cpbell

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 11:51

When I was a child/teenager, I would have loved these long seasons as weekends were boring and all I wanted to do was watch F1. 

 

Now I'm an adult in my mid-30s, I'm very busy and I just can't dedicate nearly half the weeknds of the year to F1, so I end up missing a lot more. 

 

Also when it was 16 races, it did feel that each one counted for a lot, and you recall a lot of each race. Now so many just blur into each other I find, but maybe that's age too. 

I find the exact same thing (42).



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#20 PayasYouRace

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 11:53

2000 was the perfect season. 17 races, all two weeks apart.


It wasn’t perfect for the teams, who never had a proper break. It was a massively full on season and it’s why there’s a summer break now.

#21 Ellios

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 11:53

16 races



#22 Werbank

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 11:58

I can easily recall many races from 1980s or 1990s (I can recite most of the winners from that period) but almost none from the last 10 years, not even from this year.
May be the age but may also be that I’ve seen many hundreds of F1 races in my life so the brain cannot dedicate enough room for each new one :-)
I feel that the 16-17 races calendar is enough.

Edited by Werbank, 05 September 2022 - 12:06.


#23 PayasYouRace

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 11:58

Also when it was 16 races, it did feel that each one counted for a lot, and you recall a lot of each race. Now so many just blur into each other I find, but maybe that's age too.


We’re about the same age and I’d say that’s an age thing. I find the same thing with the Indycar season now too, and Indycar is currently about 16 races now and CART seasons were up to 20 when we were young.

I definitely put as much into following Indycar as I do F1. Having more races isn’t what makes all the races blur into each other. It’s the inexorable passage of time.

#24 Izzyeviel

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 12:15

mid 2010's.  Really theres so many races now I no longer care if I miss one. Liberty talk about turning races into events like the superbowl, and that is a good idea. There's just one fatal error: the superbowl is special because its a rare event. If it happens every week, a lot less people care about it.



#25 Ali_G

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 12:19

Late 80s. Too many races. 18 or so would be plenty.

As others have said, drivers drove in more disciplines back in the day. It was a dying breed even before Kubica had his rallying injury.

#26 JimmyClark

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 12:26

It wasn’t perfect for the teams, who never had a proper break. It was a massively full on season and it’s why there’s a summer break now.

 

True, but the thread was from a fan's perspective. Indeed the summer break is very welcome for all! But I liked the consistency of 2000, and it was never too much. 



#27 Rumblestrip

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 12:36

Late 80s. Too many races. 18 or so would be plenty.

As others have said, drivers drove in more disciplines back in the day. It was a dying breed even before Kubica had his rallying injury.

 

Same here. But then that's common across sports, just look at football and the number of champions league/World Cup games. More equals more money, although I'd argue it dilutes the whole experience and for F1 it's just another weekend as opposed to "an event". Maybe that's another reason (apart from nostalgia) why the late eighties/early nineties feel so much better seasons to me than the last 10 years or so.



#28 ensign14

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 12:43

The long seasons and how they skew statistics is popular topic nowadays but at which point season turned long? When I started to watch the 16 race season was a norm but that already was longer than before, did the addition of races to 16 from 10 or 11 feel similar or have we passed some point when season broke 20 race barrier? IE.  when it really is too much and not just something one is not used to.

 

There were often 20-30 top level races annually back to the forties.  Just that most of them were non-title races.  Or were sportscar races in which the Grand Prix drivers also took part.  

 

Taking the 1,000km of the Nurburgring of 1958 at random, 9 of the 10 drivers finishing in the top five had World Championship GP races that year, and the tenth would do so in 1960.  Around 35 drivers in that race started a WC GP race and another two attempted to do so.



#29 DeKnyff

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 12:47

I started following the sport by the early seventies, when there were 12 races per year. It increased to 16 races by the end of the seventies, until the beginning of the 21st century.

 

For me, 16 races is perfect. More races make the sport uninteresting. A Grand Prix must be an extraordinary event and it loses its magic if we have too many.



#30 Atreiu

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 12:57

The long seasons and how they skew statistics is popular topic nowadays but at which point season turned long? When I started to watch the 16 race season was a norm but that already was longer than before, did the addition of races to 16 from 10 or 11 feel similar or have we passed some point when season broke 20 race barrier? IE.  when it really is too much and not just something one is not used to.

 

2004 with 18 races, IMO. The combination of a longer calendar and dominant teams benefitting from bulletproof reliability allowed them to consistently steamroll seasons and boost their stats at a higher rate than ever before.



#31 pdac

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 12:58

It may be an effect of the number of races but, for me, there now seems to be very little uniqueness about each GP. One blends into the next. Although different, each circuit now seems the same as the rest. All of those little oddities that differentiated one from another have now been ironed out (for the sake of how the cars are designed now and the need for safety).

 

So not really an answer to the original question (which I think has been answered well already).



#32 PlatenGlass

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 13:04

I grew up with 16-race seasons and it generally seemed fine. I think 1995 with 17 was the first that went above that. But I actually think that 16 is at the higher end. I'd say it's fine but no more than that. What if it was 12? Each race would have greater importance and if you come at it afresh, it seems like a reasonable number of events to make up a championship. Less than that would be getting a bit sparse though.

 

I remember in 2016, Nico Rosberg won the first four races, but it seemed even in the moment to be a bit irrelevant. His championship lead seemed very small and there were still 87 races left. Whereas "back in the day", winning the first four races would be a sizeable step towards the championship.



#33 IrvTheSwerve

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 13:07

18 is more than enough IMO. Triple-headers are a bit much, I think. F1 is a time consuming sport if you follow it properly - although I don't think Liberty care too much about the die-hards.



#34 LolaB0860

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 13:08

We’re about the same age and I’d say that’s an age thing. I find the same thing with the Indycar season now too, and Indycar is currently about 16 races now and CART seasons were up to 20 when we were young.

I definitely put as much into following Indycar as I do F1. Having more races isn’t what makes all the races blur into each other. It’s the inexorable passage of time.

Indycar event count by itself is fine and something F1 should follow. Their problem is that they're hold in too small of a timeframe. February/March start and September finish (because of stupid football which they seem as problem for some reason) makes the season feel bloated in the summer. And then even in that timeframe you have lame filler races in Indy RC

Edited by LolaB0860, 05 September 2022 - 13:10.


#35 Hati

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 13:19

As others have said, drivers drove in more disciplines back in the day. It was a dying breed even before Kubica had his rallying injury.

I think big part of concentrating on one series came from sport in general turning more professional. In ye good olden days a talented man could participate in many sports at top level, now they have to choose which to concentrate at very young age.



#36 HerbieMcQueen

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 13:22

18 is more than enough IMO. Triple-headers are a bit much, I think. F1 is a time consuming sport if you follow it properly - although I don't think Liberty care too much about the die-hards.

Sadly true, and they'll dump it the second it's not profitable enough like every parasitic corporation.

 

To the question asked: it will only invite subjective answers, but for me 16-17 was the limit. Small enough to keep an air of exclusivity around the sport, large enough to keep people interested.



#37 Risil

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 13:23

We’re about the same age and I’d say that’s an age thing. I find the same thing with the Indycar season now too, and Indycar is currently about 16 races now and CART seasons were up to 20 when we were young.

I definitely put as much into following Indycar as I do F1. Having more races isn’t what makes all the races blur into each other. It’s the inexorable passage of time.

It's hard to say. I think 2021's races were pretty memorable and distinctive. A lot of 2014-20's races were sort of reruns of each other, or at least that's how it felt to me. Similarly there is no way I can tell you how all of Michael Schumacher's wins in 2002 differed from each other.

 

When I was younger I spent a bit more time rehearsing what had happened in previous years in my head. Reading yearbooks etc. I don't bother with that now and as such things don't tend to lodge quite as firmly. I can tell you more about what happened in Indycar's 1993 season, which I did not watch, than Indycar's 2019 season, which I did. Again, some of this is age and having other priorities in life, but some of it is media that generally militates against recollection and recapitulation and various other words beginning with re-.



#38 monolulu

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 13:41

It is difficult to say going back over time as there are so many other changes in your life. Back in the late sixties my only chance of seeing a race was if I was home visiting my parents as that was the only access to a tv. Later weekends were spent either participating in sport or watching my kids sports so following F1 closely didn’t have a high priority. Over the past 15 years with fewer commitments, so much more access via tv & internet that I’ve been able to watch nearly every race. Also enjoy going to 2 or 3 a year.  I do feel that with over 20 races saturation point is being reached especially for most fans with family & work commitments.



#39 Forghieri

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 14:15

The seasons were about 16 races long for nearly 30 years, so I’d imagine there’s an entire generation of fans for whom that was normal.

I was recently looking at cancelled races and discovered that the 1985 season was set to be a record breaking 19 races, with Dallas, New York, Rome and Mexico (and no Brands Hatch). It ended up as 16 but I bet it would have been a shock to the system 20 years before it actually reached 19.

 

Yeah, for me 16 was the "normal" number and it started feeling wrong when they exceeded it. More than 20 is something I can't bring myself to accept.



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#40 Beamer

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 14:21

Been into F1 since 1989. It was 16 already back then. That always felt ok. When it got past 20 that felt as too much. The season also got too long all the way into December. November was already stretching it for me, but December is defenitely too long. For some time (end 1990's / early 2000's) we had this nice rythm of every 2 weeks a race starting at 2pm local time. To me that was the best schedule. 



#41 cpbell

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 14:29

18 is more than enough IMO. Triple-headers are a bit much, I think. F1 is a time consuming sport if you follow it properly - although I don't think Liberty care too much about the die-hards.

I think we tend to view F1 like a series of Morse whereas Liberty view each GP as an episode of a soap.



#42 Dolph

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 14:35

I'm willing to go down on the number of F1 races if I am reimbursed with the equivalent number of IndyCar races.



#43 WOT

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 14:42

The first year that I followed F1, I was 10 and there were 8 Formula One "Championship" races (I'll let you google that to figure out how old I am). I waited with bated breath on the postman delivering my "Motoring News" air mailed from England to read the reports of the (much) earlier Grand Prix events. I remember being SO excited at the time. 
 
Today there are 3 times that number of races and I am jaded.

Edited by WOT, 05 September 2022 - 14:44.


#44 RedRabbit

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 14:42

I preferred the 16-18 races per season era - each race had more importance in the scheme of the championship.

Longer seasons are one of the reasons we have such continued dominance by a driver - the better teams have more opportunities to win.

#45 azza200

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 14:56

Started following F1 in 1994 16 races 18 races is max imo But as others stated its overkill and saturation with the amount of races and and the constant triple headers. The season is too long now its cluttered. Hell even playing the F1 games the season drags by the time you get thru the european leg its still like 5-6 races to go and it drags on and on some **** tracks. 

 

F1 now i don't even like the branding image font etc its hideous even the tv graphics are awful compared to the ones in the early 2000's. LG's & Siemans had great graphics simple and enough info. I get that F1 is a "world championship" but its still an european sport. Yet the constant flyaway races have lost the appeal and interest they once had back in the day late 90's early 00's 



#46 potmotr

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 15:01

16 races is perfect. Each race feels like an event. Today they're all a blur. Less is more. 



#47 Nemo1965

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 15:28

I have followed F1 since I was...say five? That is perhaps an exaggeration. But I clearly remember I was that old and I was playing with my 1/8 model of the Gold Leaf Lotus 72 on the floor of my father's house (he lived in Zandvoort) and there was GP going on, that day, so the sounds of the engines drifted in out of earshot, from the track about three miles away, into the town, depending on the wind. And I can remember my father saying to my older brother: 'No, no, Emmerson Fittipaldi, he is the best.'

 

That must have been 1970 of 1971. I don't think we watched F1 that evening on Studio Sport, certainly it was not broadcasted live. It took a very long time for Dutch viewers to be able to watch more than a handful of F1-races a year. And now there are about 22, right? 

 

I can empathise with the viewers of my age, who have been watching more than thirty years, who feel jaded, slight bored, 'overeaten' as it were. But I don't feel like that, because I am not invested so much in any sport. When Jos Verstappen flunked, it was really a bad feeling, because I had followed him since he first tried a dusty, very old FF 1600 at Zandvoort (and was so quick the timekeepers thought their equipment was broken). I was sick when the Dutch lost the 1978 World Cup-final in 1978. Cursed an yelled when they were beaten by the Brazilians in the US for the same tournament of 1994. It will never feel that so... personal again.

 

It is very gratifying for me that not only a Dutchman is winning races, but even dominating F1 (at the moment). But if Max would have been found out by Carlos Sainz, or Ricciardo, or Gasly or Perez, I would not have slept a minute shorter per night or watched a minute less of F1. It is a nice pass-time, it is thrilling to watch a good race (like past Sunday), but because my emotions don't run that high anymore, I don't get over-satiated as well... So even if it's 30 races, fine. 


Edited by Nemo1965, 05 September 2022 - 15:36.


#48 milestone 11

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 15:30

 

The first year that I followed F1, I was 10 and there were 8 Formula One "Championship" races (I'll let you google that to figure out how old I am). I waited with bated breath on the postman delivering my "Motoring News" air mailed from England to read the reports of the (much) earlier Grand Prix events. I remember being SO excited at the time. 
 
Today there are 3 times that number of races and I am jaded.

 

I thought I'd be alone in that club WOT. I agree, far too many, 8 wasn't enough though, 14-16 would be my ideal.



#49 Bloggsworth

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 15:31

I love the idea that "Watching since the 80s" is a long time...



#50 Brian60

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 15:36

I have watched formula 1 since around 1971 on and off. Am I right in thinking back then a season was only 9 races or is my old memory deceiving me? Back then if you were lucky you got a live race on BBC sport on a sunday afternoon, but more likely edited hightlights the following saturday.


Edited by Brian60, 05 September 2022 - 15:39.