Segment 2: FORMULA 1 POLITICS
Subject: putting drivers on equal terms within their team
The concept of having first and second drivers, in theory, seems acceptable. However, when we quite literally see a driver being told to hand his victory to his teammate (as seen in some of these videos), could the authenticity of ‘sheer racing’ be jeopardised?
Firstly, in favour of team orders, many strategies revolve around one driver helping the other. For example, although spectators aren’t aware of it, in qualifying sessions, teams will put one driver (usually the second driver) in front of the other on the track, in order to give their teammate clean air. This tactic theoretically means that we mightn’t see cars setting the fastest possible lap times without the implication of team orders. Furthermore, the first driver in a team will always be the driver with more chance of succeeding in the driver’s championships. With success in a driver’s championship will subsequently lead to more money for the constructor, thus improving their capabilities of building a great car.
Alternatively, we all watch F1 for the excitement of not knowing who will win. Well, that was until team orders were introduced. Nowadays, I turn on the TV on a Sunday, confident that Lewis Hamilton will be gifted a victory by the “Valtteri, it’s James” calls! In fact, the basis under which the ‘pinnacle’ of racing: F1, was established, was that drivers will succeed in accordance of their own merit. But that has evolved so much so that success will now somewhat depend on team treatment. Does this evolution mean that we are no longer watching pure racing?
If spectators didn’t have emotional connections to drivers, then these theories make perfect sense. However, due to the desire to watch drivers compete at the most equal standard possible, team orders are hindering our experiences as fans of the sport. Let me know if you have anything to add...
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