the curse of commercialism is the ruin of every sport and the degeneracy of motor racing… #F1

Words that are relevant today, but in fact they were written in 1906. The full quotation is: “The curse of commercialisation is the ruin of every sport, and the degeneracy of motor racing as a sport is due to the financial issues now involved in each race – the immense value of victory and the commercial disaster of defeat”, Those were the words of early motor racing pioneer Charles Jarrott one hundred and eight years ago, but he could be speaking of the current era.

In fairness he could be speaking of many eras, for I can well recall the shock and horror that greeted the Gold Leaf Team Lotus rebranding in 1968, the first of the fag packet liveries to replace national racing colours and no doubt enthusiasts of various vintages around the world will have their own examples. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose as Monsieur Jarrott might have put it.

In the world of F1 we have the governing body doing little about competition issues and instead wasting their efforts on frippery wush as giving drivers race numbers for life and, at the time of writing, looking at ways of making the cars noisier. Those at the track are quite happy with the quieter cars of this season, for they can still be heard, but they sound quiet to the TV audience and so measures are being considered to address that.

This is all about the show and not the racing and whilst I do understand that the money generated goes so way to paying for F1 to happen (once the financiers have creamed off their share), most enthusiasts would be happy to see more racing on the classic tracks where they would go and watch rather than on the sterile slot racing circuits that abound as one of the worse legacies of the Bernie era.

We don’t need the package; let Ferrari run three cars, or even five cars, if they want to at some races. Let any team hire out a spare car to a local hero or up and coming driver from time to time. Let the teams flog off spare cars to privateer outfits. We don’t want a homogenised package we want races.

Vettel whingeing on about his car this season is pathetic; he wasn’t complaining last year or in any of the four seasons that he had the best package, so let’s not listen to his complaints. Charles Jarrott had it right back in 1906 and he was a true hero of the sport; it is his voice that needs to be heard.

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