Whither Formula 1 ?

"So, who won the race ?" "Who cares ! - We made $350m" (picture courtesy of Sky Sport)

“Who won ?” “Who cares ! – We made $350m”
(picture courtesy of Sky Sport)

Normally I keep away from the Monday media following a Formula 1 Grand Prix. The fact that coverage must now be paid-for means I rarely catch a race live – so I avoid hearing the results from a Sunday race so that I can at least enjoy the Channel Four highlights.

Today I was actually interested in hearing the result. There has been the usual – but slightly muted – reaction on my social feeds but no-one has actually mentioned the result. Apparently the wonderful Max Verstappen did well and the race was stopped due to the rain. But who won ? Did the unlikable but talented Hamilton keep the deserving Rosberg away from winning the Championship at Interlagos ? Dunno.

So how come ? Perhaps the silence means a bad result for the spoilt Brit, yet it seems unlikely the local media would steer clear, regardless. Not even a word on BBC Breakfast. This waves a big yellow flag that the ‘sport’ I loved is disappearing up its own arsehole. (OK so it’s really just a ‘business’ with prizes but it was once entertaining). Formula One has been drifting out of the national consciousness for some years now. I do not buy the argument that it was the danger and crashes that people wanted to see – the majority seek a race: skill, daring, speed and even the odd tangle. However, the sport is becoming increasingly inaccessible to real fans. Even the most ardent race-goer cannot afford decent tickets to the circuits and look to telly coverage to fill the void.

Races are largely provided for the benefit of corporate jollies – booze and canapes for the absolutely fabulous. Charming pit-lane strolls, well separated from the fenced-in proles; staff to bring all sorts of tempting fare; useful networking with like-minded, wealthy notables;  the occasional talentless click-bait against which to rub one’s shoulders. And all the while, some decent double-glazing in the hospitality pavilion to keep out the irritating noise and smell that would otherwise blight a damn, fine spread in agreeable company.

This is Formula One today. Who won ? I am not sure anyone cares anymore.