Useful Idiots

There is a part in politics that works toward softening a message, making it palatable and beautiful. When packaged correctly, propaganda can rally the hearts of men and women to big causes but the tragic end to propaganda is that the great causes are usually disastrous and if it took propaganda to sell it, then everyone should think twice.

The recent F1 Strategy Group’s “double points” concept is one of those causes where initial reactions are usually good enough to go on and that being the case, the outrage was deafening. Today I noticed the first useful idiot, as they call it in politics, chime in on the double points concept.

“I’m in favour, I think it will make things really exciting,” Sergio Perez told Sky Sports News.

“It can go against you, it can go for you. Let’s see how things go this year but I expect to have a lot of excitement in the final race. It will be a positive to have double points and will put a lot of interest at the end of the championship, both in the Constructors’ Championship as well as the Drivers’ Championship.”

One can forgive Sergio’s exuberance as he was blowing on the drying ink of his new contract when made this statement but it goes back to propaganda and letting the message organically fester in the minds of the public.

While the double points message was, indeed, festering in the minds of F1 fans you trot out a driver to champion the cause and you continually assert that it will be exciting. The FIA has a way of being very heavy-handed with their endorsement of a stratagem and belittling detractors as outsiders who really can’t understand the complexities of F1 and why this of that is a great idea.

You don’t have to be a seasoned Formula 1 insider, team boss or commercial rights holder to know this is a bad idea regardless of how exciting that final race is. It betrays the DNA of Formula 1—something McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said he desperately did not want to do.

You may or may not like Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel but at least he had the attachments to call it like it is and isn’t succumbing to the role of useful idiot. Sure, they’ve changed the point system before and everything worked fine but there is a large host of folks who would like the old points system to return. There are two sides to every coin—I’m just having a hard time seeing the other side of this double points coin….but here goes nothing:

Regardless, I think this new point system will be really exciting and should really spice up the show for F1 fans. It will really test the teams and drivers heading into the final race and it will be a real thrill to see how each team handles the pressure and how the season will exciting all the way to the final race with lots of passing…See? See how that’s done? Now you try it. Go ahead, be a useful idiot for this crazy scheme.

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