Simmy Richman: The Emperor's New Clothes (01/07/12)

With Formula One on the grid, we're supposed to be on the edge of our sofas. But our writer ignores the flag

Share
Related Topics

As any football fan will know, there is little more infuriating than those who would reduce this deceptively simple sport to the phrase "it's just a bunch of men kicking a ball around". So, at the risk of making the 527 million people who watched a recent Formula One season collectively wince, can anyone explain to me what it is about this "sport" that makes it more than a bunch of blokes driving as fast as possible around a track?

I've tried to get into it. I've sat for hours watching events with enthusiasts only too happy to explain the tactical intricacies. Over the course of a stag weekend, I've attended a live race, thinking that the sights, sounds and smells might finally illuminate me as to the reasons for Formula One's popularity. I've read extensively of the many behind-the-scenes struggles to make the modern race more exciting, unpredictable and lively for the spectator. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Which is an appropriate description of what seems to happen on track. "Ooh look, someone just overtook someone. The courage, the timing, the bravery!" Really, I've seen more impressive manoeuvres on that bit of the Holloway Road where the bus lane ends and a second lane becomes available.

"Those guys in the pits can change a tyre in under five seconds." Now that is impressive, because I believed them when they said you can't get better than a Kwik-Fit fitter and I was in there for about two hours last time I got a puncture.

"The money, the glamour…" Agreed, that can be an intoxicating and sexy combination. But then you take one look at Bernie Ecclestone (or worse, Tamara) and suddenly being poor and having an unexciting life looks more and more appealing.

This week, the F1 circus comes to Silverstone. And so, by amazing coincidence, a PR agency representing one of McLaren's biggest sponsors put forward the idea that the race could be run around the world-famous sites of central London. A ridiculous idea that will never happen, according to those in the know. Which is a shame, because at least then we'd all have something to look at.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Java Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: JAVA DEVELO...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Developer

£475 - £550 per day: Progressive Recruitment: MDAX / Dynamics AX / Microsoft D...

.Net/ C# Developer/ Analyst Programmer - Eciting new Role

£45000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .NET/ C# .Pr...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Fist bumps will never replace the handshake - we're just not cool enough

Jessica Brown Jessica Brown
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on