Is F1 now only exciting for the drivers?

Wednesday, 13 juny 2018, 05:49 , by Paul Macdonald

This is a debate that simply won't go away - has this been an exciting Formula 1 season so far? There seems to be some differences of opinion forming, and the question is: is the current racing exciting and intense for the viewers, or just the drivers?

Sebastian Vettel spoke out after the race in Montreal on Sunday, saying that 'every World Cup match won't be exciting' and that is unrealistic to expect every single race in the calendar to be packed with incident. 

The German, who picked up the win in Canada to move ahead in the driver's championship, said: "Don't even look for an answer.

"Write about something else. I don't think it's justified to criticise the racing, or criticise this race. I don't know if it was boring. From my point of view, it's still busy inside the car no matter where you are.

"I don't know why people today are so short-sighted. We had seven races this year, some were phenomenal, some were boring. We do our job inside the car and if we can race, we race but obviously, we also do our job inside the car and try to avoid racing – disappear, stay in front, or not get overtaken."

Vettel raced around the 70 laps (or 68, if you are counting) with excellence but in truth was never really threatened at any point in the race, despite Valtteri Bottas driving well in second, and it is clear that as he is driving a car reaching speeds of 300 km/h, it is a hugely thrilling and absorbing experience for him. 

Hamilton admitted that being behind the wheel means it is difficult for him to pass comment - for obvious reasons.

He added: "I've not watched these races so I don't know what you guys feel.

"I heard today there were not many overtakes, and a couple of my friends said the most exciting part of the race was the crash at the beginning. If that's what Formula 1 is about then that's sad to hear, because there is so much more to it."

Bottas delivered the most cogent point: "Like Seb said. It's not like we are getting enough time to get bored in the car.

"There is always something to do and we need to keep concentrating 100%."

So, quite clearly, controlling these incredible machines is a stressful experience that requires the utmost attention. If you've ever driven a go-kart, played a time trial in the latest F1 game, or have even driven a car in a city in heavy traffic, you know that you are concentrating heavily on what you are doing and aren't aware of much else. 

That of course doesn't translate into a spectacle. Vettel is right when he references boring football matches - there will be plenty of them during this month in Russia. But there's also 64 games within a month. If one is bad, there's another right around the corner. The F1 schedule doesn't have that luxury, particularly at a time when Liberty Media are attempting to attract a younger audience who statistically have shorter attention spans. Cars in formation for 70 laps over a 1hr 40min period isn't going to engage them without anything of note happening.

But what do you think? Let us know in the comments below and we'll publish the best ones. 

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Comments (28)

  • Gabriel Spacca
    Ah short memories. Thirty odd years ago, there were only two drivers guaranteed to win. Senna or Prost. The rest made up the numbers. Then there was the period where Williams dominated, and the others were also-rans. If anything recent seasons have been more competitive, notwithstanding Mercedes’s success. F1 has always had one or two teams dominating, and a mixture of races with exciting close racing, and races that are processions. That’s just the nature of the beast. Some may prefer the artificially managed competition of Indy car style racing, but I prefer the unadulterated nature of F1, occasional boring racing et al.
  • Ashley Ford
    We’ve had two bad races. Monaco is always bad and Canada served up an unusually dull race. The first 4 races were good. Not every race is going to be a classic. We have a 3 team championship battle and go into every weekend with 5 drivers potentially up for pole. It’s the best season we’ve had in years and that’s coming from a Hamilton fan.
  • Hylton Cliff
    I am a petrol head but I am seriously struggling with keeping any interest in the sport. I am even starting to wonder if I will see any young guns win a championship. It's their era soon and it would be nice to be a big fan still but..........................
  • Rick Musselwhite
    Been watching F1 for decades, it is and has been boring for a while,not much competition and the cars sound like vacuum cleaners, not like the cars of the 80’s and 90’s, I know things need to evolve, that’s called progress, but F1 is going in the wrong direction
  • Grant Townsend
    If the drivers sat down and watched the race, like us fans do, they would understand the issue we have. The cars are amazing, so quick. But compare it to the 2004 era, just as quick, but there was racing involved most, if not, all of the time
  • Neal Pattenden
    F1 is becoming similar to speedway; whoever leads at the first corner, more often than not, is the winner! Plus, only seeing a few races each season on ‘free to air’ tv, when they’re tedious, seriously thinking of not bothering watching more races.
  • Wes Trevino
    I have gotten into indy car alot more since the hybrid era took over. I'm still watching f1 but it's just not really doing it for me anymore. I will continue watching but just hope they will get back to their roots.
  • Callum Seagrave
    Make it compulsory for all teams to have to make their own engines. Make your tv in race layout graphics so that can actually be read. Two types of tyre only slicks and drys. The list goes on
  • John Saville
    It's called the drivers championship for a reason. They drive, manage, and coax their prototype vehicles round and round. There is no racing anymore
  • Oliver Peto
    Love f1 but unfortunately the last two races I fell asleep.twice during Monaco! So you could say it needs to be bit more exciting
  • Randy Buster
    Monaco was a parade - good drive by Ricardo but that was all. Canada was a parade - the word racing should be stricken from F1.
  • Trevor W. Riley
    Interesting question...i see both sides of the coin, but you have to think the entertainment/TV value is declining.
  • Paul Cooke
    F1 is definitely not exciting for fans what’s the point of it if there’s going to be no action on the track
  • Luke Fidler
    When is the last time there was a competitive on track pass for the lead?
  • Adam Glass
    Ever since ESPN took over the coverage its next to impossible to watch it
  • Armin Rahmanovi?
    Are we still having fun with F1 ? Simple - NO, thanks, bye
  • Rick Wilson
    I continue to watch. But it’s mostly boring as hell.
  • Chris Matthews
    Even they're finding it boring most of the time
  • Michael Mondor
    Ya you can blame liberty group for all of it
  • Charles Chatham
    Sorry, apart from Max it's boring.

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