Is motorsport getting duller and duller to watch live?

Is motorsport getting duller and duller to watch live?

50 years ago you could go to a motorsport event (like thousands did in those days) and stand on a hay bale 3cm from a car with no roll cage and a driver wearing shirt sleeves, goggles and a basic helmet. Spectators could get really close to the action – in fact, they sometimes were caught up in the action. Today we have sanitised motorsport where all spectators must be behind wire fences, back from the track. The drivers are cocooned in a web of steel piping and have all manner of belts, harnesses, fire extinguishers, etc to reduce risk.

No, we won’t be seeing the likes of Roy Salvadori jump out of the cockpit just before an impact, because now it is safer to be in the car when a crash happens. Every detail is minutely managed so that crashes hardly happen anyway. Yellow car periods, pace cars if it’s raining, red flags if it’s raining heavily, black flags if a car is dropping oil. Where’s the fun (for the people watching?)

I am personally fairly bored with watching motorsport. I think the day passed sometime in the early 1990s. Sure, motorsport is safer and I applaud that from a competitor’s standpoint (especially seeing as I have been a competitor), but it’s losing its crowd appeal because humans in desk jobs crave vicariously lived danger. All the money that’s involved in the sport may eventually dry up as sponsors find it harder to get the exposure for their sponsorship dollars.

50 years ago you could go to a motorsport event (like thousands did in those days) and stand on a hay bale 3cm from a car with no roll cage and a driver wearing shirt sleeves, goggles and a basic helmet. Spectators could get really close to the action – in fact, they sometimes were caught up in the action. Today we have sanitised motorsport where all spectators must be behind wire fences, back from the track. The drivers are cocooned in a web of steel piping and have all manner of belts, harnesses, fire extinguishers, etc to reduce risk.

No, we won’t be seeing the likes of Roy Salvadori jump out of the cockpit just before an impact, because now it is safer to be in the car when a crash happens. Every detail is minutely managed so that crashes hardly happen anyway. Yellow car periods, pace cars if it’s raining, red flags if it’s raining heavily, black flags if a car is dropping oil. Where’s the fun (for the people watching?)

I am personally fairly bored with watching motorsport. I think the day passed sometime in the early 1990s. Sure, motorsport is safer and I applaud that from a competitor’s standpoint (especially seeing as I have been a competitor), but it’s losing its crowd appeal because humans in desk jobs crave vicariously lived danger. All the money that’s involved in the sport may eventually dry up as sponsors find it harder to get the exposure for their sponsorship dollars.

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