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Monday, July 03, 2006

The Problem With F1.

I love that F1 comes to town. I love that thousands of foreigners bring their credit cards to town. I love the energy that a race brings to town. I hope the superegomanic that is F1 czar Bernie Ecclestone can sit down with the Speedway and work out a deal to return.

Yet the actual product is boring and I never understand how people can watch it.

Here is the nutshell to the race yesterday. Race starts and 6 or 7 cars are eliminated in a Turn 1 crash. (This is the most excitement for the day.) Driver #2 for Team Ferrari has the lead. Driver #2 still has the lead. Now Michael Schumacher, Driver #1 for Team Ferrari has the lead. Michael Schumacher still has the lead. Yes, Schumacher still has the lead.
Michael Schumacher wins by 8 seconds over his teammate. Michael Schumacher has won 5 of the 7 U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis. Schumacher would have won a 6th race, but he braked on the last lap of one race and let his teammate win that year. Sadly the above description would be fairly accurate for all 7 of the F1 races at Indy.

I'm sure F1 czar Bernie Ecclestone will think I'm a provincial rube, but there is no passing in F1 and that makes it a boring product.
Take the Indy Racing League race in Kansas yesterday. Sam Hornish Jr. beats Dan Wheldon by around 2/10 of a second. In approximately 120 IRL races that is merely the 22nd closest finish ever. Meaning in 120 or so races 21 had closer finishes. Those two passed each other mutltiple times on the last few laps from what I'm told. The winner was in doubt. The winner wasn't determined until the last second. That makes racing exciting. The Indianapolis 500 had the second closest finish this year with Sam Hornish Jr. beating Marco Andretti at the last second. The 500 has numerous lead changes in the last 50 laps of the race. I watched some F1 races on Speed. I have yet to see a race as exciting as an IRL race or even a NASCAR race. I dislike NASCAR for numerous reasons, but their races tend to have lots of passing and drama.

I don't know what the solution is. Is Schumacher a racing god among mortals? If he retires at the end of the year will competition break out among the other drivers? Is it the nature of road courses to be boring? (I don't believe that is the case. I've seen various road races that were very exciting.)

F1: I want to like you, but so far you just don't do much for me. I wish you do come back to town, but not because I enjoy your product.

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