I understand Toto Wolff’s comments about stopping the negativity surrounding Formula 1 these days and that as ambassadors, we should be seeing and speaking of the great spectacle that is currently F1. I get that. I love F1. I will defend it until it no longer warrants defense and Wolff’s comments are legitimate from his point of view as a leader in the sport:
“It’s a good sales campaign…” said Wolff of the recent spate of negative publicity.
“If I take my Mercedes hat off and I look at what the spectacle has to offer, I think it is a good spectacle.
“Is it good that one team wins pretty regularly? Maybe not but we have seen that in the past as well.
“We have a duty to Formula 1 to not talk it down. We are all Formula 1’s ambassadors.
“By constantly picking the negatives we have got ourselves into a spiral of negative controversy.
“I don’t think this is what is good for Formula 1.
“I have read a couple of articles in last couple of days which are really rubbish in comparing it with Formula E.
“I don’t want to even go there. We have a duty to Formula 1. It’s just my personal opinion.”
What I will say, however, is that this is not a simple snowball effect of negativity. Welcome to the mobocracy. One doesn’t have to go very far to see the oppressive demand for conformity either way in politics and even more so with pop culture and the judgment that is so pervasive these days. Formula 1 is not unique in experiencing the ugliness of the media machine and social media as a whole but it may be one of the last to try to come to grips with it all.
F1 has issues and they will be echoed, parroted and become cacophonous by the time they reach the average fans media timeline. I read the same articles as Wolff regarding Formula E and how Sir Richard Branson feels it will eclipse F1 in 5-year’s time.
Let’s be realistic here…Branson is heavily invested in green energy and green racing series. He has a dog in the hunt but Wolff is correct, Formula E may appeal due to the ease at which a race can be hosted, the low cost of the race sanctioning fees, the quiet sound in city centers and an outlandish social media strategy but it has no where near the TV viewers that F1 has.
Unless F1 completely implodes, I don’t see five years as realistic. That’s the point…will F1 implode? It would have to seriously do something epic to lose 500 million viewers. I like Formula E for what it is and I believe F1 blurred those lines with their hybrids. You want electric, Formula E should be the series. It is an FIA event. You want the visceral top-shelf of motorsport? F1 is you’re series.
F1 asked for the comparisons when it ventured into sustainable racing ideology and fair enough, they felt folks were really keen on that idea. They missed the mark, however, and it’s costing them. Wolff should not discount frustration and negativity as a “sales campaign” by other series, it’s a real frustration from real fans.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT