Criticism of Formula 1 is forbidden in Las Vegas
1% sport, 99% show. Word from Max Verstappen.
Long live Formula 1 in Las Vegas! Another episode of “Entertainment Capital of the World” was staged in “Entertainment Capital of the World”. Formula 1 entertainment by Liberty Media. The question that keeps coming up is the same: are we sure that what we are experiencing is interesting in any way, not just from a sports perspective? We tried to put aside judgments, opinions and criticism and enjoy the show. But even if the international F1 commentator tries to say (literally) during the GP:The race provides great entertainment“, the result is always the same: This F1 conveys no emotions.
Although the drivers are exceptional athletes and Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc managed to make the race a little more intense with their talent, that is not enough. This format is The philosophy behind it castrates the sport and the drivers. If the future is entertainment, you might as well lock yourself right into The Sphere. The Stars and Stripes GP was of course primarily about the image, but from this perspective the flop was sensational. Seen on television, the track was simply terrible from both a technical and aesthetic point of view.
It seemed a big track for Formula E (sigh!): the very high security fences, the poor visibility, too many lights, the inaccessibility to the public, the problems for the residents. All of this destroyed the very reason Formula 1 was there. Single-seater masterpieces of engineering, technology and performance, the competition on a Formula E XXL track was dismal and it was clear from free practice that it wasn’t going to be a great show. However, something unexpected but violent came official defense by Toto Wolff, Mercedes team manager and one of the most influential and powerful figures in the paddock, after the manhole controversy “exploded” when Carlos Sainz passed by.
“It’s completely ridiculous. How dare you speak ill? an event that sets new standards in everything? Liberty did a fantastic job and just because a grid wobbled in FP1 we shouldn’t complain.”
A well-argued defense thesis, which the manager added: “In any case, there is no one who looks at European times, here we go!“Used as we are that wrinkle (or plague) of entertainment and monetization by the American owners to revitalize the field and attract new audiences, as well as the arrogance with which these new formats are being proposed from top to bottom, we are not surprised that Wolff is embarking on the new course and himself He is the leader of those who want to ideologically defend the new Formula 1.
A race – as Paolo Ciccarone emphasizes on RMC motori – «strong on behalf of Liberty Mediawho bore the costs The cost of organizing the event is estimated at 800 million dollars, 400 of which only for the paddock and entertainment part, with an annual return of 1.7 billion dollars, as President Greg Maffei said, of which we have not seen a single valid figure have document certifying this data».
However, there was one interesting aspect of the weekend that just passed Almost unanimous criticism from those who then take to the track with overalls and helmet. Aside from the sad fact that Ferrari drivers never speak loudly and clearly and are similar to their president, many champions have spoken out. Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen, to name just the most charismatic, disliked the track and the very concept of the race, which was seen as more of a show than a Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The strongest comment was undoubtedly that of the reigning world champion: “Beware if you talk about Vegas as if it were Monaco, Monte Carlo has the history and culture of this discipline». To then add: «So it’s 1% sport and 99% show, I feel like a clown. I understand that the fans may need something to do on the track too. But I think it’s more important to make them understand what we do as a sport. Most people just come to party, have a drink, see a DJ or see a show. I can do it all over the world. I can go to Ibiza and get completely drunk and have fun».
Sharp words that Steve Hill, Chief Executive Officer of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, had to respond to: “Max was a bit inconsiderate in the comments. Maybe he’s just a little nervous…». “We must always be happy,” sang Jannacci. We, fans and viewers, are also predominantly European, aged and anachronistically linked to a purer motor sport, we should be happy, not cry and put up with these Grands Prix at inopportune times in even less acceptable places without the possibility of criticism, because that’s how it works and that’s it. So, as Elvis sang: Long live Las Vegas!