Lenovo Japanese Grand Prix

Harish Samtani Updated: September 23, 2023, 06:32 PM IST

Formula 1 has come a long long way since its inception. While it spluttered and floundered now and then, it seems to have gathered full steam to power it ahead regardless of the foregone conclusion as to the winner and the constructor. Further, it is astonishing that even while the television audience is exponentially increasing, the live spectators are packing the venues. This is despite the fact that the cost of travel, hotels and entry tickets can set one back by hundreds of dollars in a global economy that is just about recovering from the pandemic downturn overall.

Then, to add to the dismay of many a non-Redbull racing / Max Verstappen fan, of which there are millions, the juggernaut continues with just a breather when Max didn't quite make the cut in Singapore. Just to reiterate, there were no such reactions when Schumacher and Hamilton ruled the roost and almost drove F1 down to its knees in their prime. Is it because Max has become the guy people love to hate? Perhaps. Max is a kinda Michael Schumacher clone in a sense that the latter wasn't playing the game to make friends. In fact, he did make quite a few enemies with his ruthless behaviour on and off the track. That bundled with a burning desire to win at any cost and working tirelessly with the engineers 24/7 to get that extra millionth of a second. Reminds me of the old date ' The harder I work, the luckier I seem to get. Rules and regulations have changed drastically between Schumi's and Max's era, but that doesn't take away the fact that a thinking driver can add to the arsenal and then some.

Liberty Media, who own this mega enterprise, have brought in some serious marketing muscle and are increasing the F1 footprint around the globe. Many a pundit disagree to this approach and argue that the purity of the sport is threatened by taking it to non-motor sporting countries/venues. Racing racism? You tell me!