Bobbi, Valsecchi and imaginary sexism

Always be careful what you say, even if you’re joking.

The exchange of jokes between Matteo Bobbi and Davide Valsecchi during the live Sky Post Barcelona GP made the rounds in Italian newspapers and caused a “social storm”. The two were accused of sexism to two girls who, at the time, were in the paddock and could be seen on live TV behind Federica Masolin (as usual co-host of the show with Valsecchi), while Bobbi commented from her now-famous “closet” in the technical room. In a few seconds, the umpteenth episode of the series “You can’t say that” was staged, which led to the two immediately apologizing via Instagram and getting in touch suspended from the role for the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix.

To start with a topic: objectively, Formula 1 has little to say at the moment from a sporting point of view, Red Bull with Max Verstappen has dominated the grid since the start of the season and Ferrari is even a step behind – in terms of performance and morale – compared to Last year, after Binotto had cut off his head in favor of the public at the end of 2022. On the eve of the Montmelò Grand Prix, however, the long-awaited arrival of the Ferrari update packages was at stake, sensationally rejected by Charles Leclerc from qualifying.

And while the technical analysis ends here, it’s the particularly sporting episode that sparks discussion: “I wanted to tell Davide that when he turns around he has a nice package of updates behind him” – provokes Bobbi, pointing to the girls – “I do.” I know them, unfortunately they told me that you can’t test them, I raise my hands!” Valsecchi replies. Federica Masolin attempts to close the question by taking the lead and ironically asking for political asylum, only to then read a viewer’s message:

“After this little curtain, which is especially appreciated by their wives, will we see them again safely at the next Grand Prix?”

Beyond judging style First of all, Bobbi and Valsecchi are two very prepared and competent driversHaving won FIA GT and GP2 championships in their professional careers, they are there precisely for that reason, to interpret and analyze a complex and multifaceted sport like that of Formula 1 without fail. They are the experts in their field and bring this with indispensable added value for the Sky Engine team. The so-called talents are there precisely because they have the sacred fire that the commentators don’t have, they show what the sport is made of at its core, what the most hidden dynamics are.

Now they are suspended and have to apologize for an exchange that is nothing short of provocative and tongue-in-cheek. without any profanity or sexist provocation. Male jokes are quite simply a nuance and difference from the machismo that is becoming less and less permitted in public and media interpretations and is being thrown off balance by the awakened culture that seeks and wants to find rape at all costs and the male enemy as such .

Unfortunately, we find ourselves in the numbness of Formula 1, an environment where everything (too much) used to be allowed and where everything today has to be euphemistic, innocent, funny, but politically correct. An untenable framework because motorsport isn’t like it or not, it’s not innocent, it’s far from it. Motorsport is risk, reason and ruthlessness, courage and fear, Eros and Thanatos. One of the characteristics that has made motorsport glorious is man too human Challenge to death, the erotic drive that allows you to drive your heart as a drum into the abyss of a corner at 300 km/h.

Erotic drive, which is also inevitably expressed in relationships with the female sex. This element, and especially this element, is also the chemical composition of the drivers who glorify us, capable of extraordinary gestures at the wheel of a racing car. They are made up of dominant passions, are constantly searching for limits, they are extroverted, excessive, rich in contrasts, excessive. A bad precedent emerges from this episode, depicting a zeitgeist of castrating thought before action. And race consists of a flashing spark between thought and action, between will and conscience, not moralistic schizophrenia. One last question: but were those directly involved offended?

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