How to Watch a Boring Race
How to survive the worst of F1
This is it.
You’ve wait the whole week the race: having watched as much practice as possible and qualifying, everything’s building up to the decisive 2 hour race. You’ve woken up at 1AM to watch the race, and you can barely keep your eyes open. You sit through the intro’s, previews and the national anthem, all for 5 red lights. The F1 theme blasts you awake again, and maybe even the rest of your family, and you watch the cars line up for the last time. Engines roar, brakes are smoking away and the sound of the lights coming on fills the room. Your heart rate is up to 120, and the lights are finally out. Yes, the race is finally underway! Hamilton leads into the first corner and has a 2.0 gap to Bottas playing wingman behind, and it’s Noah’s Ark formation all the way down to the Williams. Argh, how frustrating! The event of the week is going to be a complete snooze-fest, and you consider going back to bed and dream about V10 engines.
I’ll try in this article to help you through the struggle of races such as France (urgh, France) and watch a boring race with some tips that genuinely work for me to keep me interested even while the cars are going round like Scalextrics.
1. Watch the Midfield
Even if Mercedes are on for a 1-2 up front, and Lewis is going to get another Grand Slam, there’s a race going on further down. The drivers in Alfas and Toro Rosso’s have little to lose so they’re likely to go for the small gaps in between cars for solitary points, rather than the front runners who want to conserve big points. There’s almost always some drama going on down there, it’s not uncommon to see one Racing Point 7th and the other 17th, the midfield depends a lot more on driver skill than at the front.
2. Get 2 Favourite Drivers
Making certain drivers your favourite, I suggest one from the top six and one from the midfield. Making them your favourite instantly makes you more fixated on them, and when they do something good or unexpected it heightens your reaction, like from that was a good pass to literally screaming WOOOOOOOAHHH!! It happens for me a lot when Hamilton does pretty much anything. Just think how I must have been when he passed Verstappen in the pit stops in Brazil. Yeah, my mum got worried I’d hurt myself.
The reason you need two is for a couple of reasons: Firstly, one at the front is good if you want to see a driver you like win, which is much more likely at the front, and to have a driver who can take more risks and have fun further down the grid, and instead win best of the rest with seventh or even sixth, and if you’re lucky, a podium :0. Secondly, you one driver to fall back on if one retires or has problems, so you feel like you still have a purpose to watch the race. Lastly, if the two drivers get into a fight themselves, you’re even likelier to enjoy it, and the race is suddenly more emotion-compelling.
3. Good Old Social Media!
This one works quite well, if the race is rubbish simply go onto whatever platform you use. Find F1 accounts or other fans to chat with, and talk about how rubbish the race is. Find an account that makes you laugh, watch some memes, it will surely relax you and make you more light-hearted about the situation. In addition, you’ll feel more likely to watch races in the future. Not really sure how the last bit works, but it just does.
I suggest Seven Level
4. Live Timing
Ah, live timing. Where would we be without it? Using this is easy, just get the F1 app, go online, or simply watch the screen to measure gaps between drivers. They’re updated every 100 metres I believe, which is amazing, and it means you can fantasize a little. If the gap between Leclerc and Bottas is 5.6 seconds, and after 2 laps that you’ve been watching it like a hawk, you notice it’s down to 4.3 and you think, maybe, just maybe, Leclerc will catch him… Not only does it make you hype up races, it makes you a whole lot more interested in drivers, and sooner or later you try to question, well why is the gap coming down, is it because of tires, or the cars, or even does one of them have damage? Instantly, you become a detective trying to solve the mystery of the Leclerc-Bottas gap, and the race became more fun.
5. Fantasy F1
If you don’t have a fantasy team, stop reading this. Close Drivetribe and go get a fantasy team. Trust me, it’s the best decision of your life. Promise.
Even if you don’t have a favourite driver, fantasy teams will make you love certain people. You basically pick a team of drivers based on who you think will do the best over the season, and sure enough you’re rooting Stroll to pass Raikkonen and get some more points so you can beat your mate Rick and win your league and- You get it. It’s great, so do it.
F2 is crazy stuff. It’s like what F1 would be if we made it a bit more synthetic and freezed development in certain areas. So, why does watching a junior formula make F1 more intruiging? Well, it has you thinking about under-performing F1 drivers who should be sacked, and who they should be replaced by from the F2 rack. You make yourself a scout, trying to figure out the next stars, who could become a legend and make history. It makes you try and predict what will happen, who will go to where for next season and so on. Basically, it makes you gossip.
So, those were my tips for making borefests more enjoyable. I sincerely hope they work, and the F1 community can like the sport more, and have less F1-bashing. We've lived through dark period sort of like this before, eg. Schumi, Vettel, and we were rewarded with some excellent seasons. The sport is most certainly not dead
Long live F1!