Spanish Massage, Part 1


Things happen for no reason at all, sometimes they don’t happen at all.

Maybe they happen for a reason after all… “redaction” has just been informed that it will be travelling to Jerez Formula 1 happening, or as my Oxford dictionary puts it, “altogether it was an eerie happening”. In this case it will be an eerie happening without Marussia and Caterham – more space for the remaining teams’ trucks in the paddock I guess, a bonus. Less cars on the track, a minus.

We’ll start by doing a nice elephant walk before we go super deep: I’m not expecting much from the most expensive racing cars in the world, probably my main interest of the F1 event in Jerez is/will be Vettel’s red Farrari car/Vettel’s red overalls and Alfonso’s McClaren vehicle powered by its brand new Honda soundless unit. Also hoping to catch a glimpse of Laudar in the paddock, take a few pics, ask a few questions and be off for some classic F1 testing due to take place in March in Estoril.

Next, I’ll apply my oil: I’m not going to bad-mouth Formula 1 in its current state, I understand the kind of money needed to pay the bills and the amount of effort that goes into putting 2 ugly cars on the grid, I just genuinely feel sorry for Formula 1 people. How relevant is Formula 1 hybrid technology when Mazda’s SKYACTIV-D Smart Diesel is getting more publicity for a LOT less $$$ in the Tudor USC?

Mazda rocks!

Mazda rocks!

Smart and to the point; you can easily tick all the PR boxes you needed to tick: innovation, road relevance, green, environmentally friendly, race on Sunday and sell on Monday, saving the planet, we care, ice suddenly stopped melting after we went racing, emperor Todtianus Magnus penguins started breeding again and so on. Let’s be honest about one thing – corporate suits will go with the flow to sell whatever they need to sell/plug. Yesterday the planet was freezing over, today it’s at risk of overheating. It’s money-money-money, b*tch.

I also struggle to undestand why, if you look at every major Formula 1 website, the sport’s core fans are abused: get outta here if you don’t like hybrids, we’re told. Maybe it’s about time F1 journos stopped doing that? What if Formula 1 could combine the best of both worlds? Impossible is nothing.

Here’s a useful quite from NASCAR’s France (Brian, not the country).

How do you manage attracting new fans, because you have to do some new initiatives and things that are appealing to millennial fans may not be appealing to some of the traditional fans. But at the end of the day, our traditional fans love – they love one thing. They love safe, exciting, real tight racing, and if the packages and the formats give that to them, then they’re generally pretty happy. Millennial fans and other new fans, well, they may have different time constraints, they may have different things that excite them, and different ways to consume our sport or any sport, and so we’re working on that, too. The good thing is that none of it really competes with one another. It’s really complementary. If we go after the millennial fan on one end and make sure we’re giving our core fans exactly what they want, they usually go together at the end of the day.

Formula 1’s current obsession with teenagers is not healthy, here at HQ we agree it’s important to attact new fans, just gotta do it the right way. Infants and babies need sleep, hence the introduction of silent engines; people who actually travel to races want a bit more value for their money than “it’s great, shut up” argument to justify spending 2,000€ in 3 days (virtually nothing for F1 bigwigs, I know, except it’s a lot of money for normal people).

With all these latest gentle petrissage moves, the FIA/Bernard Charles Ecclestone are not rubbing us the right way. We prefer a Thai V8 massage which will leave us with a big headache, something Arrivabene refers to as “heavy metal”. Pedal to the metal, brother.

See y’all in Jerez.

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