I remember sitting in the living room, aged around 7, thinking about how boring watching Formula One was. It felt like my dad was constantly watching and it was like football, essentially just the same small people on the TV screen doing repetitive actions.
“It’s just cars going round in a circle!” I wailed at my father, who was glued to the screen, his eyes flitting over the many different drivers, eagerly anticipating their next moves.
Now, sat in my 21st year of living, I find myself once again glued to TV screen, but my eyes aren’t re-watching American horror story for the billionth time. I’m watching racing, in all its glory, and I’m yelling and cussing at the screen in pure anger and excitement as the race unfolds.
Your probably thinking I’m crazy, sports really isn’t something for you, but hear me out. The world of racing is a fair bit different then games, mainly because the risk of death is imminent at every race. Cars are tumultuous, there is beef between drivers and more importantly, you never quite know what a race will entail, or what the results may be.
I may be naïve because the last season was a car wreck, literally. Most races resulted in near death crashes, intensely fuelled by hatred. Cars broke down in crucial last laps, their were penalties, twitter was alive with fans screaming for justice and every race came with its own dramas.
The players in the game all have one goal, and that isn’t for second or third (except in some cases it definitely is,) but mostly it’s the battle for first. It’s the idea that you can’t take any move for your position or your slot in the race personally, and off court drivers tend to be really good friends, but as soon as it’s lights out and away, they attack each other like a war battle. Since only 20 cars are on the circuit, two drivers for each team, your chances of becoming a driver are slim to none anyway, so you find so many drivers hitting it at full steam, to try and be the best.
I personally gravitated towards a team that was other than Mercedes, mainly because I like to root for the underdog. It helps when your partner or someone in the room can explain the beefs and what exactly is happening the first time you watch it because it gets messy, (it took me a few races to fully understand the side bar and the tyre pressure). There actually is a lot of drama behind both every decision of the team and between some drivers themselves. If you fancy learning, check out Drive to Survive on Netflix, it’s a magnificent program with all the gossip.
You find yourself rooting for your team, even the minor successes such as a fifth or a sixth. Sometimes your even happy if your drivers get in the top 10 for those precious points. I know the lingo, what the difference between soft, medium and hard tyres is. I am fully immersed in the world of racing.
I do wish that there was more female representation, and the new year brings new promises of sponsorships for female drivers and even races solely made up of women. It is very much a male dominated sport, with zero of the drivers on the court being that of women but a girl can dream that one day there will be multiple female drivers taking on their male counterparts and kicking their asses.
But I do like to think that formula one is worth a watch, even if you are a sport hating female like myself. You might just be as surprised as I was to find myself enjoying a race. And if not, there’s always tennis.