Originally Posted by old man
We are certainly in for a period of great changes with growing interest in virtual racing. The $Million race in Las Vegas is a sign of the times and with enthusiasts able to race from home for a few quid actual attendance and interest in "real" racing is under threat. With the owners of F1 in the media business they will utilise the Internet to make profit and grow their market.
Internet races are a pale imitation of the real thing to my eyes but they do allow participation rather than just watching. Without the original they would not exist but if the real thing fails to satisfy and excite attention will switch.
Historic racing has never been more popular and the cars never more interesting and valuable.
A very significant point.
The true and somewhat knowledgable enthusiast died many years back.
F1 became a carnival. As really did most heavily sponsored classes of racing. Saloons being one of the worst; a cross between banger racing and money. The net result was circuit costs and regulations rose to the stratosphere.
In the late 1960s, an acquaintance of mine, Len Selby, competed in the European Formula III championship, driving an already outclassed Cooper BMC. (The works XSP 998C.C. screamer).
Len was then single, saved up sufficient of his own cash and drove around Europe to every circuit, towing his race car behind an MGB drop-head, into which another racing chum installed a London taxi diesel engine! I helped on the last couple of days. Len lived in a tent in the paddocks; cooking his own food on a primus stove!
Impossible now: far too expensive.
However, Len met his passion and dream. Incredible achievement.
And this is the core problem when a genuine sport is driven simply and solely by filthy lucre.
Take tennis; my other love when young. Once Mark McCormac entered the fray, then such as the once hallowed All England Club was driven by money and media-created "Stars". On Court behaviour became appalling; since the organisers refrained from banning players when they had teenager type hissy fits of temper and extremely poor sportsmanship, mainly since their gate receipts were wholly dependent upon these normal gifted players who had been elevated, by the mass media to ill-deserved stardom.
Same now with FI:Hamilton, IMHO, is the exemplar of lack of class and dignity. He behaves as if he is a rock star; pillock.
Gone are the gentlemanly days of Hill, Clark, Brooks, Brabham, Surtees, etc etc.
Clearly, the young are fixated on fantasy: inhabiting a virtual cyber-world of shoot-em-up games, loud noises, demons and dragons et al. Virtual F1 racing, where no one is seriously injured or killed; players can destroy car after car with no cost penalty and there is always a new car waiting, is just their cup of imaginary tea.
Unfortunately, the real World isn't like this.
I recently re-read Fangio's autobiography and life story, edited and much assisted by his lifelong friend and manager, Marcello Giambertone in 1961.
Places it all much in perspective, for myself.
I am extremely lucky and count myself most fortunate to have been involved during the closing years of the greatest human sporting activity ever.
We shall never ever see it again.