Is There Anything More Boring Lately Than F1?

Is There Anything More Boring Lately Than F1?

Greetings from the sports desk located somewhere below decks of the Good Pirate Ship RedState. I have no idea what Sammy the Shark and Karl the Kraken are up to at the moment, although in Sammy‘s case, I imagine it’s probably pouring over prospects’ reports in anticipation of getting a high pick in the 2024 draft. Such is life as a Sharks fan. But I digress.

As noted on March 11 by my colleague Jeff Charles, Deadspin, the once provocative and edgy sports website now reduced to a woke shadow of its former self, has been sold yet again, in the process laying off its entire staff as apparently, the new owners want something a bit more aligned with their vision. Precisely what that vision may be remains undetermined, although it may have something to do with reporting on sports instead of trying to score woke points and getting sued in the process.

MORE: Deadspin Has Been Sold Again – New Owners Purge Current Staff

Guess Who’s at the Super Bowl? That Kid Who Got Smeared As a Racist by Deadspin

Since the new owners are from Europe, one suspects they will try to convince anyone who might still bother reading the site — if, in fact, said people exist — that a) soccer is the most fantastic team sport there is (it’s not) and that b) F1 is the ultimate in motorsports entertainment. It’s not, for reasons that have become painfully obvious.

If individual dominance to the point of tedium is your definition of sports entertainment, F1 is your cup of tea. Last year, Max Verstappen of Team Red Bull won 19 of 22 races. His wingman … er, teammate Sergio Pérez, won two of the remaining three. The 2024 season is rapidly turning into the 2023 season redux, as Verstappen has won the first two races by over 22 and 13 seconds, respectively, over runner-up Pérez. Oh, what a thrill.

There’s no knocking Verstappen or his team. Clearly, they are the best in the business and deserve everything coming their way. However, when the only point of interest in your entire sport consists of whether or not a team employee sexually harassed another team employee — adding interest to the story for pop culture aficionados is that the accused harasser happens to be married to a former Spice Girl — you’ve got problems, Really, really big problems. Right now, F1 is the most boring spectacle in sports. You know Verstappen will win, and the only question is by how much. When the froth and furor over a car race focuses on who might finish eighth … you get the idea.

Compare this to NASCAR circa 2024. While the sport has declined in popularity recently, did you catch the action at the Atlanta race on February 25?



Three-wide photo finish. That, my friends, is auto racing at its finest.

F1 snobs—excuse me, fans—love to preen and preach about how excellent their sport is, how significant the technological advances in their cars are, etc., etc., ad nauseam. The latter is accurate, and the $140M or so each team is allowed to spend per year certainly shines in the competition by every team whose sponsor does not give them wings for third each time out.

F1 faces the unique dilemma of beginning to bore its potential audience to death at a time when its audience is at its height, particularly in the United States, courtesy of the “Formula One: Drive to Survive” Netflix series. How exactly are you supposed to entice people into continuing to watch a sport when you know who will win the next race, and all races after that, before it even starts? Hoping that perhaps people might think one of the drivers is cute or funny?

Short of making Verstappen start 30 seconds after everybody else does, it’s difficult to see precisely what F1 can do to create competitive balance in the current situation. It’s not healthy for the sport. You would think they know it, but in their usual vainglorious elitism, F1 doesn’t seem to want to admit that it has a massive issue on its hands for the foreseeable future. But that’s someone else’s problem. Like the new owner of Deadspin.

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