Home » Who Is The Formula One Race In Las Vegas For?

Who Is The Formula One Race In Las Vegas For?

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I’ve been on a motorsports kick lately, what with Le Mans coming up and the Indy 500 in our rearview. I’ll even be attending an F1 race this year, but it won’t be Las Vegas. It’s clear F1 Vegas is going to be the party-to-end-all-parties for people who are richer or cooler than I am, which is not a high bar to clear. With race packages topping out at $5 million, the question is: who is this race for, exactly? If you’re not into motorsports, I’ll also touch on the return of Chinese car-incentives, a Consumer Reports plea to standardize crash alerts, and a big UAW fight that’s coming over battery jobs.

F1 Las Vegas Will Be The Most Expensive F1 Race

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Vidframe Min Bottom

Saying your F1 race will be the most expensive F1 race is a little like saying you’ve got the biggest Hummer. It is a superlative on top of a superlative. I’m not sure there’s a cheap F1 race, but there are plenty of pricy affairs. There’s the Monaco Grand Prix, which is effectively a parade running between a wealthy principality and a yacht show. There’s the sexy beach party that is Miami. Hell, Stef Schrader did a great job in her article talking about how the F1 race in Austin is not as much for car fans as it is for the elite of the elite.

That the costs for F1 Vegas are going to be outrageous is no surprise. My pal Jenna Fryer had a great writeup last year that previewed what was coming:

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali told The Associated Press the Las Vegas Grand Prix will be the most expensive fan experience on next year’s 24-race calendar, particularly from a VIP experience.

Tickets were scheduled to go on sale late Saturday night with the price of admission starting at $500 for a three-day general admission pass. Those seats were only added after fans complained that hotels planned to purchase massive ticket blocks and repackage them\

Another pal, Hannah Elliott, has an even bigger roundup of the $5 million experiences, crazy events, and other excitement around the event in Bloomberg.

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“I don’t know anyone who’s going to Vegas who’s not involved in F1, media or with a brand,” says Lily Herman, who writes the F1 culture newsletter Engine Failure. “These Grand Prix weekends have become more like music festivals in terms of the vibe, the money spent. I don’t know an average Joe American going on a median individual salary to Vegas.”

Meanwhile, Vegas is “an easy sell to stakeholders,” says Vincenzo Landino, who writes a motor sports newsletter called the Qualifier. The Clark County Commission’s landmark decision on Feb. 8 to grant permission for the race to be staged on the Strip until 2032 only strengthens the appeal, he says.

[…]

This delta between the audience that brands want to reach directly and the broader actual F1 fan base has created a dynamic in which high rollers flock to glitzy cities such as Vegas and Miami for weekend-long orgies of opulence. Meanwhile, devotees of the sport who follow weekly standings and geek out over their favorite drivers—but lack access to corporate boondoggles—save their money to attend one race a year in a less expensive market, or don’t go at all. To wit: Netflix Inc.’s gossipy F1 documentary series, Drive to Survive, has pushed the sport’s popularity perhaps more than any other single activator. Still, half of the platform’s subscribers make less than $50,000 annually; an additional 30% make less than $100,000.

The Formula E race in Brooklyn was a lot of fun the two times I went, even if it felt more like a business conference than an actual race. Liberty Media, owners of F1, are an in interesting position here. It’s done an incredible job of making people in the United States care about F1 and has given us three races within our borders and two nearby (Mexico City and Montreal). We’ve got two street courses and one honest-to-goodness real track. Everyone is talking about the sport. The flipside, as Stef pointed out, is that regular fans without a huge amount of disposable income can get pushed to the side a little.

Currently, it seems like the Vegas and Miami races are for: rich people, celebrities, the media, and fans who are wealthy enough to afford a ticket. Austin F1 is a little more affordable and seems to attract a lot of new followers of the sport. The Bloomberg piece mentions that European races are less expensive and so it’s sometimes easier to just make a trip elsewhere if you’re an obsessed fan.

The pendulum will probably swing back towards affordability once the hype dies down and, hopefully, Liberty Media can find the sweet spot between popularity and approachability. In the interim, it’s hard to blame them for making money while the money is there.

Consumer Reports: Automakers Shouldn’t Charge For Automatic Crash Reporting

Byd Crash

Consumer Reports is in the interesting position of being a non-profit news agency backed by regular folks (and some rich, mostly progressive people). In addition to reporting on toasters and cars and such, the magazine also has advocacy as a part of its mission. The latest target? Automatic crash notification systems.

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Currently, most new vehicles have some sort of automatic crash notification system that alerts the authorities if there’s an accident. Here’s an analysis from Consumer Reports on the availability of crash detection across the market. Right now Acura/Honda, Hyundai, JLR, Mazda, Audi, Polestar, Porsche, and Volvo offer this for free on their vehicles for life. If you get a Jeep, Kia, Lexus, Mercedes, Ram, Toyota or Volkswagen, you get it for a period of 5-to-10 years on most or all vehicles from those brands.

Everyone else charges at some point before five years or doesn’t offer the technology at all. This is bad. This should be free. Consumer Reports thinks doing so would save 700 lives a year. According to The Detroit News, there’s a big campaign coming to convince the holdouts to make this a widely available and free feature:

“People injured in a crash shouldn’t have critical medical care delayed because they choose not to pay for features like remote start or a mobile hot spot,” said William Wallace, Consumer Reports’ associate director of safety policy. “It’s one thing for automakers to charge extra for conveniences, but this is about safety, and safety isn’t optional.”

Agreed. 

[Editor’s Note: I’d have to think about this a little more. I’m fine with this particular tech being free (and in general I don’t like subscriptions for car features), but I’m not sure I agree entirely with CR’s broad point about “safety shouldn’t be optional” (Even though I understand that aligns with one of CR’s main missions). I think there’s no limit to how many safety features an automaker can offer, and to require every one to be free doesn’t seem reasonable, and could disincentivize an automaker from developing it in the first place. This is a complex topic, of course. -DT]. 

The Chinese Government Is Doing Incentives Again

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One of the default positions of late capitalism and quasi-capitalist controlled markets like China share is that the graph always has to go up-and-to-the-right. This means that there always has to be growth, because it’s someone’s job to make growth occur. Grow, grow, grow. This isn’t sustainable, of course, and rather than try to flatten towards an average, instead, societies under these economies have to endure large and costly downward shocks followed by quick upswings that don’t often benefit everyone proportionally.

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I mentioned earlier this week that Chinese suppliers were complaining that the sudden loss of demand due to the lack of incentives meant those suppliers were getting squeezed. The solution? Incentives are back, bay-bee.

Per Reuters:

The commerce ministry said it would coordinate and push local authorities to roll out targeted policies and measures in favour of car consumption. Financial institutions will be encouraged to introduce measures to boost lending for auto purchases, it said.

The campaign will target multiple car sales categories including both new and secondhand vehicles, it added, and push to replace gasoline cars with new energy vehicles (NEVs) such as battery-driven cars and plug-in petrol-electric hybrids.

It’s their country and we’re not ones to talk, but the world turned orange outside my window yesterday and the sun became  an eerie phosphorescent copper color so I’m not super excited to read sentences like “targeted policies and measures in favour of car consumption.” At least they’re hybrids and electric cars, I guess.

The UAW Is Rushing To Help Battery Workers

Solid Power Battery Plant
Photo credit: Solid Power

With the rush to build as many battery plants as possible is also a campaign by the United Auto Workers (UAW) to secure fair wages for those individuals. None of this is going to be straightforward or easy, and it could be a plant-by-plant fight, especially given that these new facilities need fewer workers-per-vehicle than traditional automotive production facilities.

From Bloomberg via Automotive News:

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The dispute could be lengthy and complex, since the 18,000 or so workers those carmakers — General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Stellantis — plan to hire in the U.S. will work for a patchwork of joint ventures not covered by existing labor contracts. The new corporate structures also mean the UAW might have to craft new deals for each plant.

The outcome of the negotiations, due to kick off in July and accelerate in the fall, could have far-reaching consequences — not just for auto workers sweating the move to electrification. As producers of everything from EV batteries to semiconductors, along with miners and processors of lithium, try to bring manufacturing back to the U.S., unions will fight to represent a new generation of workers doing jobs that moved abroad decades ago.

I’m a union man so you’ll get nothing but solidarity from me. The Inflation Reduction Act (and CHIPS Act) should result in foreign manufacturing coming back to the United States for the first time in generations so it makes sense that the UAW sees this as an existential issue.

The Big Question

When was the last time you went to a race? Are you going to a race soon? Do you care, at all, about motorsports? If not, why not?

Photos: Petronas F1, BYD

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Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
1 year ago

The last race I watched was this year’s 12 hours of Sebring which ended up being the best race I’ve ever been to. Went with my aunt, uncle, and daughter and we all had a really unexpectedly great time.

Aside from noticing that Cadillac had gotten back into racing, I hadn’t ever paid much attention to IMSA or WEC races. That’s now changed.

We went into the planning phase thinking that everything would be super expensive, but it ended up being rather reasonable. I think the two-day passes I got were around $120 each, food was cheaper than the county fair, and Yuengling talls were a fair-enough five bucks. Even the merch tent wasn’t bad. Of course, free lodging always helps and it was nice that my aunt and uncle had just bought a place about five miles from the track.

The racing was terrific – I loved how the sound was just everywhere as we wandered around the infield, alternating between watching the race, and checking out the various car-related stuff to be found. Several places were set up where one could watch a broadcast of the race to catch up on who was actually leading. The cars themselves were amazing – growing up on Nascar and dirt track racing, I greatly appreciated that these race cars had functional doors, headlights, and even windshield wipers.

I was also amazed at how one could just show up in the paddock on the morning of the race and check things out. Standing there outside of Cadillac’s area and watching these amazing machines get towed by, mere feet from where we were standing, felt just about worth the price of admission by itself.

Hanging out on the starting grid that morning was yet another cherry on the racing Sunday. The constant, frenetic energy was something to behold. We were four total noobs wondering around with the biggest smiles on our faces just trying to take it all in. Somehow, we ended up right in front of the local marching band as they started to play, another fun surprise for my daughter who’s in marching band and qualifies as a music nerd in general.

Those type of surprises managed to land all day. We didn’t realize we’d be able to test drive a variety of GM’s latest offerings, including a new Camaro, not to mention get free hats and shirts for doing so. Didn’t expect to sit in a Corvette C8 or Escalade V-series either. Overall, I don’t think any of us and been expecting to be that entertained for almost 15 straight hours.

We also didn’t expect Cadillac to win! It was quite the end of the race. About 30 minutes before, we moved from the curve we had camped at for awhile to watch the main infield Jumbotron to see what was going on. 18 minutes prior to finish, the “absolute chaos” occurred which allowed the remaining Cadillac GTP #31 to win the race.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_2NLcTU0ck

Hearing that car roar through the finish line while watching it on the big screen, with fireworks going off shortly thereafter just capped off one of the best events of any sort I’ve ever been to. Like my daughter said: “We need to make this “a thing’ each year from now on!” I’m already planning for next year’s return.

Last edited 1 year ago by Boulevard_Yachtsman
Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago

I love IMSA and WEC so dang much. Everything’s so open to look at, there’s plenty of time to walk around and see the track from different spots, and it’s always a huge party at the tracks that encourage campers to hang out the whole weekend. Endurance racing FTW.

Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
1 year ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Couldn’t agree more! In fact, another of the things we did was walk the entire perimeter of the track the best we could. And the party crowd is indeed excellent! We talked to several people while on that walk – everyone was great. It’s so fun to be surrounded by so many people so into cars. I definitely have to try infield camping there some year going forward.

Waremon0
Waremon0
1 year ago

I go to King of the Hammers every year. In person qualifying is exciting but the race is generally best watched on the live stream.

The best part for me is that it is still, largely, an amateur racing series and most pits are open. As long as the team isn’t in the middle of rebuilding a transmission or something, they’ll generally invite you in to check out the car and talk with the team.

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
1 year ago

The only race I’ve ever attended was a vintage car race, and even then I spent about 5 minutes watching the racecars whiz by and multiple hours ogling parked cars at the car show around the race course. If it were only the race without the associated car show, I probably wouldn’t have attended.

Las Vegas is an interesting place. I like to think of it as a societal magnifying glass. Vegas has everything that you can find elsewhere, but in Vegas all of those things are bigger, more intense, more ostentatious, etc. This translates to the emotions of visitors to the city — the intensity of everything magnifies your reaction to it. If you’re an optimist, you’ll find something you really like; if you’re a pessimist, you’ll find a lot of things that I really hate.

So it comes as no surprise that these extremes extend to their F1 race. Vegas probably isn’t the best place to dip your toe in the motorsports waters if you’ve never been to a race before — I know it’s not even on my radar. But if you’re a race fan and are looking for a unique (and uniquely ostentatious experience), it may have some appeal.

I attended a (non-motorsports) sporting event in Las Vegas recently, and it was indeed a spectacle. I had a blast, but I’ll acknowledge that the experience was not representative of the type so maybe not the best for a newbie. Still, it was a fun change of pace to see all aspects of the event cranked up to the max.

DadBod
DadBod
1 year ago

Years ago I used to go to Road Atlanta for the vintage car races (Petit Le Mans?). It was really fun to see old mustangs and stuff ripping down the last hill. My only eposure to F1 is the Netflix show, which is probably a bunch of orchestrated bullshit but still engaging.

Timothy Arnold
Timothy Arnold
1 year ago

My last car race was probably the PNW Historics near Seattle about 10 yrs ago but my last race in general was at the Austin MotoGP race about 4-5 yrs ago, which is a lot of fun and still brings some European flavor without such high prices.

A friend and I drove to Barcelona from his home in Koeln in 1997 to see the Spanish GP… I think it was maybe $150 bucks per person for the weekend, and the hotels down the coast were really nice and about $60 per night… those were the days, I guess.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
1 year ago

The Vegas race is gross. I live in SoCal, it’s the closest race to me by far and I had originally planned to go… until tickets skyrocketed to the multi-thousand range within the first day they were made available.

As for other races, I’m actually driving up to Sonoma tomorrow to watch the NASCAR race this weekend, and the last race I went to was NASCAR at Fontana in Feb.

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
1 year ago

I go to the local grassroots tracks weekly. Stafford springs and Waterford. I also go to the drag strip often, so I pay very little to attend races. Less that 100$ total for food, admission and gas. Does this count?

Major races. I think I went to an NHRA event in the early 00’s and maybe a Pocono NASCAR race in the 90’s.

Parsko
Parsko
1 year ago

CT represent!!!!

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
1 year ago
Reply to  Parsko

Don’t forget Thompson.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago

Grassroots tracks are fun as hell, so absolutely. Hell, a lot of times they’re more fun than the pros.

Bob Rolke
Bob Rolke
1 year ago

I like going to lemons races. The wildly different skill levels and car speeds makes it interesting to watch. There are more saves, offs, and passing than in any other series that Ive seen.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
1 year ago

Since I live 5hrs from Vegas now, was interested in the Vegas race. Wasn’t too thrilled about the setup as it might be crappy track like Miami and not race purposed classic like Spa, Silverstone, Brazil, etc. When I got the Venetian email when packages opened, for two it was $12000, zero cancelation or transferability or resale. Outrageous price plus risk in case couldn’t attend, was like no way.

All sports has gone so downhill, to much of the attendance is geared for the ultra rich or connected who are not true fans. The world is too obsessed with celebrities, rich people, and sports. It’s just a fricken game and all you are to them is revenue.

TurboCruiser
TurboCruiser
1 year ago

Most racing just sucks to watch. Usually it’s a big track where you can only see small parts at a time and you’re almost guaranteed to miss something. And if it’s in a stadium where you can see the whole thing, it’s still got the hurdle of being boring.

The best races are ones with excitement. See: Stadium Trucks, Monster Jam, Demolition Derby’s

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 year ago

I like the vintage races that coincide with the All British Field Meet at PIR every year. No real competition, no big sponsors, no bullshit, just cool old cars being fast and loud. The big-block Corvettes are my favorites; you can feel them go by.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, I’m going to a Formula E race later this year. Looking forward to seeing what that’s like.

I don’t give a damn about F1, and I actively hate Las Vegas.

S13 Sedan
S13 Sedan
1 year ago

I think the last professional level race I’ve been to was back when they had rallycross on Belle Isle. I like motorsports but usually never feel like traveling all that far to go watch it. MIS is close and I’ve been starting to try to get back into NASCAR but I just don’t feel like spending all that money to go see it. I may try and get Detroit Grand Prix tickets next year though, I like the new course layout but tickets were all sold out by the time I decided that I did actually want to go.

I wouldn’t call it a race but I do make the trip up to Wisconsin every year for Final Bout and always have a great time. That’s by far the best drift event in the country in terms of track, driver skill, and cars that actually look cool.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
1 year ago

I’m going to SOFR this Saturday, because 1. Rally!, 2. It only costs money for gas to get there and food to pack to eat. I dream of going to an F1 race, but I probably can’t afford one for a while.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago

I gotta make it to a rally on this continent, man.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
1 year ago

“When was the last time you went to a race? Are you going to a race soon? Do you care, at all, about motorsports? If not, why not?”

I feel like this question has been posed to the membership as a way of asking, “hey, do we need to report on motorsports or are we mostly a DIY’er group who doesn’t care about that stuff?” Because I don’t mean to make any assumptions, but it doesn’t seem to me like the current staff here cares about motorsports too much. Which is fine, but it would seem to me that a lot of automotive enthusiasts have at least a little interest in it. Which is my way of saying I wouldn’t mind some coverage here.

As far as attending races, I have a longstanding date with the IndyCar round at Road America and we try to make one NHRA event a year. We’ve gotten an invite to the Chicago NASCAR round which will be interesting if nothing else.

As far as the Vegas F1 race, I’m a Vegas Person® and I love F1 so it was a match made in heaven for me, and I told my wife I wanted to do whatever it took to be there for the first one. But then the room packages came out at $4500 (mandatory three-day stay) and that was that. Which is unfortunate, because I would have forgone the race ticket itself, just to be in town for the vibe, watch on the TV while the cars zoom by out the window.

Turbeaux
Turbeaux
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

I also wouldn’t mind some coverage. I don’t follow any series, but I do enjoy reading about the cars and at least having a little knowledge of what’s going on. The part I don’t enjoy is all the behind the scenes drama that comes with racing, and sometimes that’s the only part interesting enough to write about.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
1 year ago
Reply to  Turbeaux

Probably haven’t missed an F1 race in five years, and a friend asked me how I liked DTS. I told him I’ve never seen even a second of it, the on-track drama is real and enough for me.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

But then the room packages came out at $4500 (mandatory three-day stay) and that was that.

Egads, that’s dumb. I remember our hotels in Austin going Full Stupid the first few years, too, but not THAT stupid. It did mean I could trade couch space for a ticket with a friend who wanted to drive down for it, though.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stef Schrader
Pupmeow
Pupmeow
1 year ago

F1 is not for me. Lemon races, demo derbies, etc. — that’s some cheap fun.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
1 year ago

Last race I went to, was the Petit Le Mans last year, but it’s been 20 years since I last went to an F1 race (British in 2004 also did Monaco that year).

Drew
Drew
1 year ago

I haven’t been to a race in years, and when I do, it’s something local, usually with a few different races at the same event. Amateur racing is more accessible and seems like it provides more variety.

I pay attention to some of the NASCAR and F1 news and highlights, but I’ve never been to a race or even sat to watch one.

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 year ago

F1 is supposed to be elitist and expensive, that is its brand. As for Vegas, I always avoid that cesspool but Austin, Montreal, and Mexico City are great places to attend. And don’t forget Indycar venues like St. Pete, Barber, Watkins Glen, Road America, Mid Ohio, and Detroit.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago

 I think there’s no limit to how many safety features an automaker can offer, and to require every one to be free doesn’t seem reasonable, and could disincentivize an automaker from developing it in the first place. This is a complex topic, of course.

This has a very clear analog. Some years ago, “smart guns” (guns that can only be used by the owner, generally via fingerprint or an NFC chip in a watch or the like) looked to be coming soon. New Jersey passed a law in 2002 that would require all guns sold there to include that tech 2.5 years after it was commercially available.

US manufacturers responded by abandoning any development of such guns, and a company that planned to import a German gun activated by matching watch was bombarded with threats and bad reviews. The law has since been repealed, and there are now companies offering smart guns.

I strongly believe you are right that requiring all safety features to be included as standard would slow or halt the development of new safety features.

Martin Ibert
Martin Ibert
1 year ago

For one, since when has how much money you spend on your car not impacted your chances of survival in a crash? If you buy a small, cheap, used car, your chances are significantly lower than if you buy a big, expensive, new car.
But in this case, I agree that the tech should be free to use for the foreseeable life of the car.
BTW my car has all the hardware in it, but the service was not free, and now it has been discontinued because I drive an GM car in Europe. So now I die even if I would be willing to pay for the feature, but I can’t. Bummer.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago

As I said the last time you asked this question, my preference is to see racing decided by engineering ingenuity and prowess over driver skill, so the spec-based racing that is basically ubiquitous these days holds little to no interest for me.

Maybe there will someday be a self-driving car race series that would not need to bother itself with human safety and could therefore push the envelope in a real way.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Based on this statement, I’m surprised you aren’t interested in F1, where the engineers matter as much as the driver.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

Every F1 car uses a 1.6L hybrid V6, an 8 speed transmission, has an identical wheelbase, a minimum weight requirement, a single tire supplier, and a laundry list of banned technologies.

It may be less of a spec series than NASCAR, but actual creativity and design freedom are pretty curtailed.

If for example, I said you have a $200,000 budget to buy any stock vehicle available on a dealer lot, $50,000 for modifications to make it go faster, and it must pass this basic set of safety criteria, while competing in a variety of formats over the course of a season (oval, road course, endurance), that would simply interest me 100X more than F1. You might end up with a spec series after a while, but I suspect not.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

What ends up happening is one team ends up running away with the championship and everyone gets mad or bored, or both, and then the rulemakers bring in BOP measures, or a formula for everyone to work within. That’s how auto racing has evolved over the course of 100 years or so.

Although now that I think about it what you’ve described sounds a lot like LeMons racing, only with fewer digits to the left of the decimal point.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

Although now that I think about it what you’ve described sounds a lot like LeMons racing, only with fewer digits to the left of the decimal point.

Exactly right. If there were a way to scale that mindset up, I’d watch. Give extra dollars or extra privileges of some kind to the losers to balance things out over the season.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Every F1 car uses a 1.6L hybrid V6, an 8 speed transmission, has an identical wheelbase, a minimum weight requirement, a single tire supplier, and a laundry list of banned technologies.

That’s because those are parameters set by the organizers, like every single motorsports series in history. That doesn’t make it a spec series.

Spec series is defined by a single vehicle manufacturer who supplies each team with identical chassis. F1 is nowhere near that.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago

If I’m using the wrong term, I accept the correction, but my point stands. I’m simply not interested in watching racing where everyone is driving basically the same car.

I’m certain F1 junkies can tell me how different each team’s approach is, how there really are big differences in the cars, yada yada yada. It’s certainly not obvious to me as a casual fan in the same way it would be if different engines, transmissions, aerodynamics, tires, etc were used.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Pretty good answer but I just want to point out that IndyCar has been using the same spec chassis for eleven years, which in itself probably has saved the series from imploding.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

I knew one of you guys would be in here shortly.

If it’s not possible to have entertaining racing in a variety of cars (that are immediately and obviously different from each other in both design and engineering) then I’m probably not going to be a racing fan. And I guess that’s fine.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

This sort of contradicts your original statement though.

my preference is to see racing decided by engineering ingenuity and prowess over driver skill”

That’s exactly what happens in F1. Verstappen is a great driver, but you can put most of the other drivers on the grid in his car and I bet money they podium. George Russel made this apparent when he drove Hamiltons car during his last year on top.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago

Honest question then, is it obvious to the layman why that is the case?

If the margins in a race are about finding 1% more efficiency in the engine, or 1% more downforce in the turns, or something like that, then it’s an awesome technical achievement and very cool, but not really compelling viewing IMO.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Isn’t finding that technical edge what you’re looking for?

It’s even harder to do within the framework of a rule set. That’s why I find production car ‘Ring records more compelling that I did the 919’s effort. And yes it is what I find compelling, as an F1 fan. If you don’t, then that’s fine too. I don’t quite get baseball, for example. 🙂

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt Sexton
V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

That’s why I find production car ‘Ring records more compelling 

I do too! But the 8 fastest production cars around the Ring are equipped with respectively:

mid engine 1.6L turbo V6 hybrid
rear engine 3.8L turbo flat 6
front engine 4.0L turbo V8
rear engine 4.0L NA flat 6
mid engine 6.5L NA V12
rear engine 3.8L turbo flat 6
mid engine 2.7L NA V8
mid engine 5.2L NA V10

That’s an awful lot of ways to make a car go fast around that track.

Probably the closest thing that exists to what I want to see is the experimental class at Le Mans.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
1 year ago

Maybe. But Max spent years in a distant third to Mercedes in an outclassed Red Bull… and yet nobody was close to him either. I think the HAM-BOT-VER years allowed Max the time to hone his craft with no real expectation to win. Meaning, he’s a lot better than he gets credit for sometimes (like Lewis before him).

Perez is in the same car as Max and yes has some wins and a lot of podiums, and I like Perez, but yet on sheer speed there is still a gap to Max. I don’t think you can put “any other” driver on the grid and get the same results. Alonso? Yes probably. Tsunoda? No, I don’t think so.

It’s a cliche but racing (especially F1) really is a team sport, the engineers and the strategist and the pit crew matter a ton. But the driver still matters the most.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt Sexton
Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

I would love to see that racing series. I also suspect it might interest more of the videogame racing crowd, since most games give some kind of variety, so seeing a racing series like that would make for easy cross-promotion.

I’d also love to see it go a little farther: I want to see the best all-around racers. Add rally, drag, whatever else. Give them a budget, and they have to decide how much to sink into each build and how many cars they’ll field.

That said, I do think that limitations on F1 still allow for some interesting engineering. They have to find the ways to get the best performance within the rules. I can see why it doesn’t necessarily feel that way, though, which does make it less interesting than a bunch of interestingly modified cars.

Last edited 1 year ago by Drew
Turbeaux
Turbeaux
1 year ago

I haven’t been to a NASCAR race since before I was drinking age, and my wife’s family lives near a track, so I imagine we’ll attend one of those at some point. I plan on taking my son to an NHRA event this year. He’s at the perfect age to get interested in speed and cars.
The most fun I had at races though was going to the dirt track as a kid. That got me more interested in cars than anything else.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
1 year ago

I have never been interested in motorsports. I have tried to watch races in the past, but I got bored since to me it is just a bunch of cars driving around. I think I would have a greater appreciation for motorsports if I ever raced a vehicle myself. It is hard to appreciate any sport when you have minimal understanding of what is actually going on, which is why I tend only watch sports I played in the past.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
1 year ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

This is why motorsports is usually such a tough sell to casual fans; they have no frame of reference.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

Yep, and this is why I go above and beyond to only show my friends the races that I think they’ll find most interesting. It’s slowly working.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
1 year ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

I think this makes a lot of sense. For example, I’ve been running for decades and I LOVE watching marathons or track & field events on TV. But I realize 99% of the general population finds these events extremely boring (b/c they complain when I try to watch them).

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 year ago

Formula 1 is essentially the motorsports equivalent of golf. It’s a sport that’s by the 1%, for the 1%, so they indulge in their money incinerating hobbies in an ostentatious display of excess that they begrudgingly let the rubes and the money worshippers who naively dream of being one of them one day watch. It’s a dick measuring contest.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
1 year ago

You are clearly not a golfer. I play a lot of golf, but only at cheap public courses. Most of those courses are infested with beer swilling yahoos who only play golf for an excuse to drink in the morning. Golf is not a stuffy rich guy’s sport anymore (I kind of wish it were, though).

Toecutter
Toecutter
1 year ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

Give us the money Lebowski!

A. Barth
A. Barth
1 year ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Nice marmot

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 year ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Or ve vill cut off your johnson!

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 year ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

I really want to agree with this take but with the PGA agreeing to take Saudi blood money and merge with LIV earlier this week I’m not sure that I can

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 year ago

Yeah not sure who is the biggest turd in that deal. Screw them both I say.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago

There’s a big distance between chill muni golf with your friends (a cool, fun time) and whatever this LIV deal is (sportswashing Captain Bonesaw’s misdeeds under the rug)

Honestly, a similar thing can probably be said for like, grassroots stuff vs. big budget pro racing. F1 sure loves it some despot money.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago

I actually don’t agree with this analogy.

To make a hobby of golf can get expensive of course, but pretty much anyone can pay $30 to play a municipal course, and most events, even majors excepting Augusta, are not out of line cost wise to attend vs NFL games and the like.

F1 is creating a spectacle like the Super Bowl (the closest thing to this in American sports IMO) and expecting people to pay for it over and over. I’m not convinced it will work in the long run, the NFL is obviously the king of sports.

My friend and I are reasonably frequent gamblers in Las Vegas, we have some status at the hotels. Not ballers by any means, but he has a host, we can get rooms comped basically whenever, etc. There’s zero chance we could get a crumb the F1 week. The amount of money coming for that dwarfs anything I’ve experienced in Vegas.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Like I said in my comment above, I wish I could agree with this take and I actually grew up around golf (my first job as a kid was caddying) so I actually can speak from a relative level of experience even though I’m lucky to get through 9 holes without losing every single ball I show up with….but with the news that broke yesterday about the LIV/PGA Tour merger I’m struggling to see golf as this inclusive working class accepting thing that fans of the sport are always trying to sell it as being.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago

I mean, the owners of every sports league/team are billionaires.

I guess I find it hard to muster much outrage over the Saudi thing when the other leagues (NBA especially) are deep into China, when my tax dollars already go overseas to prop up awful regimes, and are also extorted by said billionaires to build glitzy new stadiums here at home.

Ultimately, none of that affects me taking my 15 year old set of clubs out, grabbing some beer, and shooting 110 with my friends for under $50. That’s accessibility in a way that no other sport can really match (F1 especially).

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
1 year ago

I think you need to separate televised, competitive professional golf from the kind that regular foks play, and then it will make more sense to you.

A. Barth
A. Barth
1 year ago

“People injured in a crash shouldn’t have critical medical care delayed because they choose not to pay for features like remote start or a mobile hot spot,” said William Wallace, Consumer Reports’ associate director of safety policy.

I appreciate this approach, but imagine that guy is really sick of Braveheart references.

About motorsport: last year, the place I worked took a large-ish group to the Formula E race in New York. Unless you were in one of the air-conditioned luxury areas, you were in the stands with no shade. In July. A bunch of us spent the day in the concession area where they had umbrellas over the tables.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
1 year ago

I looked at the Vegas F1 race when the hotels all started rolling out their packages and realized I was far from the target income bracket for the race. Mexico City is about the most affordable “all-in” F1 experience I could price out. Can’t make the dates this year but may try to go there for 2024.

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