Formula 1’s Modern Day Struggle
It would seem as if the row around the axing of the grid girls is the least of Formula 1’s troubles. Grid girls are being replaced by grid kids, roaring powerhouse engines by more environmentally friendly electric versions and classic tracks by modern new circuits in the heart of the Middle East.
Formula 1 is, if anything, systematically losing all of the elements that made up its very soul. Truth be told, it is necessary to move with the times, if any sport is going to remain relevant. There’s nothing inherently wrong with shiny new circuits leaning towards commercialism or newer engines more in tune earth’s needs than earth’s wants, and yet, if you remove all that is the very essence of a sport from that sport, what will be left in the end?
The bad behaviour, the larger than life personalities, the sex, the danger, the dizzying speeds; these were the making of the world of Formula 1 for many years. Safety-wise, no one would particularly like to return to the years where every race could very well be any driver’s last, but it would be foolish to deny the general appeal of the hard-core nature of the sport.
Finding The Balance
CEO and Executive Chairman of the Formula One Group, Chase Carey, isn’t blind to the plight of the sport or its looming existential crisis. Carey said recently that although the grid girls would no longer be an instalment at the races, he would still like to see the glamour preserved and that pretty girls at the races would forever enjoy his personal vote of support.
Just how wishing for different circumstances is going to make any difference to F1’s relevance plight remains to be seen. If truth be told, it’s probably not even going to make a dent in the bonnet. A new game plan is desperately needed and in many ways, it may very well be the exact same game plan that the sport originated from.
After all, as the old adage goes, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Reinventing the wheel always comes at a price and it seems as if the world of F1 is by no means exempt.
This may be why Carey seems stuck between wanting to slam on the brakes and revving the engines. It’s a perfect toss-up between keeping with modern-day social norms that are politically as well as socially correct, and wanting to re-capture a bit of the essence that made Formula 1 a great sport to watch.
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