Why Motorsport Isn't For Every Petrol Head
I know this might sound confusing, It just isn't the most straight forward topic...
Ah yes, two more races until it's lights out for the last time in this 2020 season. This Formula 1 season is starting to come to an end... it has been pretty chaotic. Fans fighting over each driver, people fighting over the tracks, a lot of drama etc. Suddenly, a few days ago, it had me thinking, why is there's so much chaos and fighting between different motorsports and in certain motorsports? Does this affect people? Does this bother non-motorsport fans? I understand that people have different opinions and preferences, I as well have different opinions and preferences, but I kinda understand why some car enthusiasts stay out of the racing world.
As for me, I have been a huge obsessive Formula 1 fan for quite a while, I obviously know there are different motorsports out there as well, such as NASCAR, MotoGP, sports car racing, stock car racing, drag racing, rallying, off-road racing, touring car racing, production car racing etc. Yet, I have noticed during my time here on DRIVETRIBE, most car enthusiasts stay out of the racing realm, and they just focus on cars, automotive, and more petrol head concepts, which again is totally fine, because we all have different things we enjoy... But I think there's a certain reason and something deeper why most car enthusiasts don't enjoy motorsports...
Daniel Ricciardo - Emilia Romanga Grand Prinx 2020
1. The complexity of the sport
This is something I think everyone can agree on, Motorsport and different kinds of motorsports are very difficult to have a grasp on, especially if you are not a petrol head or have some sort of knowledge on cars. Usually, most motorsport fans have some sort of knowledge on the automotive background, which helps make the sport much easier to understand. For reference, Formula 1 has a very technical and mechanical side, and it takes a lot of knowledge on cars to understand, even I don't know most things, it can be very technical, detailed and confusing for most. However, If you enjoy and like to learn about that kind of stuff, then it is perfect for you, although you have to somewhat enjoy the competition, the racing and the passion of the sport as well. Yet, you don't really have to, you can mostly focus on the technical side, but it would get boring after a while. Which again, proves my point that motorsport is not for all car heads. However, it goes with most sports, it depends on the person, I don't really understand baseball, but many fans know every single detail about the sport. I understand Formula 1 and basketball, and some people don't.
Except for most fans, most fans of Formula 1, NASCAR, and 24 hours racing, don't really care to known about the behind the scenes, the regulations, rules, the technical and mechanical sides of the mechanics and the cars, but of course some do. A few fans know every single rule, regulation, track turn and engine of the sport and of the cars, but most of the fan populations are in it for the racing, the history, the teams and the drivers. When Netflix's show 'Drive To Survive' came out, it showed a lot of behind the scenes of the sport, and it showed many non-car people and non-motorsport fans how difficult and straining it really is. In my humble opinion, to know and really love the sport, you should open your mind to all the aspects of the sport. I came out of my box with Formula 1 and noticed and saw that I started getting even more interested and that I started understanding more. If you love the sport, you will love to learn about it as well...
2. The Fans/fandoms
Now this is an understandable reason, I am trying to look at this from Motorsport fan point of view but also from a non-motorsport fan point of view. The fans and fandoms can be the absolute worst part of the sport. Especially, in Formula 1... In my personal beliefs, I think out of all the motorsports, F1 has the most toxic and controlling fandom. They can be so scrutinizing, so rude and so stuck on one team and driver. Still, I understand that, I as well have a favorite driver and team, and I see my self leaning more than I should. Surprisingly, most of the fans are not too biased, yet many of them are very biased, and hypocritical. It can get very toxic, many of the fandoms don't realize other people have opinions. And it is for all sports and motorsports, and it has always been like that. It can get very harsh and horrible resulting in people laughing when a car and driver crashes out and even sending death threats to many of the drivers.
That's why most people stir away from the motorsport and the F1 world, most car enthusiasts find it very complicated and toxic... since most of the fans worship the drivers and teams, it causes a very uncomfy environment. Sadly, many fan girls and fanboys can be oblivious and naive and be so blind sighted by a driver, where they would 'die for them'. It gets out of hand when people are ignorant and won't expect what their favorite teams or drivers have done. We have to realize as a fandom and as lovers of this sport, that we should not go insane over things that don't go our way. Yes, we hate when Lewis Hamilton wins all time, and I get that you don't like that lance Stroll has a rich dad, but don't be criticizing them 24/7 and sending them death threats because you don't 'like them'. We have to understand why we love motorsport and this sport in the first place, we love cars, we love the history, and we love the passion, so we should unite as fans and enjoy this while it is still here.
3. The controversy/hypocrisy/money
A very consequential topic, but has to be said, many petrol heads and former fans stir away from motorsport because of the sport and the money hungriness. This might be a sensitive and opinion based topic, but it also relates to every motorsport/sport right now. In addition to Formula 1 being a great sport, it is also another great example, the FIA and Formula 1 has been known to show a lot of hypocrisy and many biased claims. This drives out, and has driven out many people from the sport, especially car enthusiasts and people wanting to get into the sport. This season Formula 1 has claimed to be fighting for humans rights and equality. Yet, they have not kept their promise and words, which has sparked a lot of controversy. Recently, Formula 1 announced they will be racing in Saudi Arabia for the 2021 season, yet Saudi Arabia is known to not have decent human rights. Which has shown that F1 only cares about the money being transported to them. Fans are cross and very angry with this certain race. They don't really care where they race, the reason that they are mad is that they are racing in all of these controversial places with indecent human rights and little to no equality rights, and then they go out preaching that they are fighting for rights.
Though, it is not just Formula 1, it is in all motorsports and sports in general. Where money has been shown to overwrite everything else, causing anger from fans and resulting in most people becoming less interested to watch, and for many fans to leave the sport. Again, this is what I have heard, seen and read from many fans and people. I do not speak amongst myself nor all the fans, I'm just explaining how it can be a turn off for many people. But, this certain controversy and hypocrisy can cause many people to be driven away even more, it results in bad publicity and a bad reputation, which makes most people and car enthusiasts to not want to get involved with the sport.
4. the Boredom
Probably the most reasonable and the most common reason why most petrol heads and people don't want to get into motorsports. Of course to get into motorsports, you should at least have a love of cars, and automotive, that's just common knowledge. You should be able to enjoy cars, motorcycles, speed etc. to also enjoy this type of sport. Nevertheless, many car enthusiasts still get bored by motorsports and racing. Formula 1 can get very boring and predicable, Lewis Hamilton winning every weekend can get so frustrating. "Lights out and Lewis Hamilton has already won". No one wants a predictable sport, as Jeremy Clarkson said "they want dangerous driving", but we don't really want the drivers to be in danger. We just want interesting races, that thrill us and excited us, such as the 2020 Italian, Tuscan and Turkish Grand Prix, which have proved to be amazing and absolute exhilarating races, sadly, most races aren't like that.
Same goes with NASCAR and other sports as well, it can get into a boring slump after a while. Yet, as a true fan you will power through that certain phase and still remind your self why you love the sport in the first place. No matter how frustrating it gets seeing Hamilton cross the line for the 50th time...
What I'm trying to get at in this article is that, not every petrol head and car lover, loves and watches motorsport, it's based on preference of the person; We love speed, we love good sounding engines, but sometimes most of us don't like all the complications the sport brings. But hey, on the bright side the only racer we can all agree is Carroll Shelby, right?