W​as motorsport really best in "the 'ole days"?

4w ago


P​eople always think about the past fondly, because our brains are designed to. We forget the bad, unless it's really bad, and remember mostly the good stuff, because boring things aren't memorable, (hence them being boring).

I​t's for this reason that people daydream about Formula One in the 70s and 80s. They forget that the 1979 season was somewhat dull, because of three or four laps at the end of one Grand Prix.

A​nd, other motorsports are treated the same way.

T​ake Indycar for example. In 2019, they have a four-way title fight, incredible cars, and incredible races. But still, 'the C.A.R.T days' are looked upon as the golden age of the sport.

C​.A.R.T was an incredible time for the sport of Indycar, but so is right now! They've mastered everything we want. They let drivers race, make incredible racing, and the cars look sensational.

M​otorsport was more glamorous in the past, but don't confuse glamorous with better.

T​he notion that everything was better in the eighties and nineties is somewhat accurate, but this doesn't apply for motorsport the same way it does for music and the rest of pop-culture.

W​atching the racing through a grainy video seemingly distorts our view, but in nearly every category, motorsport has improved. The cars are safer, faster, and in some cases better looking.

Y​et, we still think it was better in the past.

E​ven DRIVETRIBE's very own Jeremy Clarkson is guilty of this. He pleaded for last-lap battles in F1 akin to Dijon '79, but the most recent race at the time was Austria, a race in which Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc fought for 2 laps, before Verstappen overtook in a wheel-banging fashion, and shortly after Indycar's race at Mid-Ohio, which ended on the last lap with teammates going side-by-side for the lead of the race.

Motorsport is art, but we don't have to treat it like Van Gogh. It's amazing right now, why can't we seem to appreciate it? Motorsport is in its golden age, but we continually say it's falling apart. S​ure, F1 has some work to do, but it also had work to do in the eighties, and even so, F1 is only a slice of the motorsport pie.

T​his year's Indy 500 was as exciting as ever, Le Mans was no bore-fest, and the Monaco Grand Prix was the best in recent memory. If motorsport was truly worse now than ever, this wouldn't be the case.

Keep telling yourself that motorsport is dead. I've got some amazing racing to watch.

And no, it isn't old footage.

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