*the 5-10 year test:
If a country has such an international event, then rather than scoff it immediately, a certain amount of time is given in which a grassroots level of drivers may develop – if there is not even a blip on the radar after 10 years, then the project may be deemed a failure. There are obvious exceptions to this rule (i.e. – Spain) but they are very rare indeed.
A few folks that know me, know that I am a fan of a number of Formula 1 and Motorsports websites and blogs in general, but one of my favourites is a website called PitPass. Many F1 websites and journalists tend to be rather sycophantic simply because they have to be – any anti-FIA articles are often met by a withdrawl of one’s press pass.
Over the weekend of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, there were many empty platitudes offered to the wonderful facilities and the wonderful hotel and the wonderful flashing lights and the wonderful yachts, but few spoke of the circuit itself – which speaks volumes. When some of the drivers did open up, many spoke of how it wasn’t much of a driving challenge at all; but at least the facilities were good…
Personally I couldn’t care less where F1 goes, as long as Australia, Britain, Monaco, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, Japan, Canada and the United States are on the schedule – fill up the rest of the 8 races in the middle of the ocean for all I care, but if the circuit isn’t up to it and isn’t a challenge, then what’s the point. As it stands, none of the new territories has yet to pass the 5-10 year test* and when you also factor in the empty grandstands at Malaysia, Bahrain, China and Turkey, one must consider if they ever will.