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“OPINION: Bringing it All Back Home”

June 8, 2020

© Williams Racing

This may come as something of a surprise, but while motorsport’s return to action amidst the Coronavirus slowdown is welcome, the breath and silence the enforced break offered will be missed.

When the green went down at Texas Motor Speedway for the restart of the NTT IndyCar Series on Saturday night, it is certain that feelings of relief and delight were not only mine.

The anxiety of January and February, that fed to the fear, inactivity and insulation through the following months brought death and hardship not felt for generations. A vast majority of outdoor activities to a halt and has severely crippled countless industries and businesses.

From territory to territory, lockdowns followed – some more severe than others – as governments, oppositions, media, scientist, doctors, the ill, the ill-informed and the plagiarists argued their points endlessly.

And just as Formula One dithered and twiddled thumbs and fingers in Melbourne, the curtains of motorsport drew to a slow close and have only in recent weeks began to twitch back into life.

The quiet life has been just that. Avoiding the sim-racing boom for the most part, the past few months has allowed for time to restart work on the next World in Motorsport and also catch up other projects that had been put to one side. What it also did was reduce waste.
With less to report on, the reduction in utter garbage that passes for written content has been notable, as publications moved toward well researched an interviewed works, as opposed to the rambling, inarticulate and often pointless “news” posts that usually fill the void.
In this, the only blip has been the Vettel/Sainz/Ricciardo merry-go-round, but even that died out quickly. By the looks of how things tailed off, no one seems to give a shit who drives the 2nd Renault next year.

There is no doubt of my love of motorsport and in particular Formula One, but I have argued for quite some time the current calendar expansion could be dangerous and recent events have only reinforced that feeling.
Rather than an endless procession of non-descript Grand Prix – most of which could be held anywhere – a direction Formula One seems determined to undertake, one cannot help but believe the top level of our sport requires a selection of high-quality events, that make each race special and not just another Grand Prix.

The extended break offered not just a breath, but also the opportunity to enjoy my work in motorsport far more. Soon the pummelling will start again and I will love it, but also be exhausted by it.

© Indycar

One Comment
  1. Here, here, Leigh. I’ve found the extended off season a nice break from what can feel like a slog of a season nowadays, especially in F1. While some folks yell that there should be more, more, more races (I’ve read some folks who insist that IndyCar and F1 should have upwards of 24-25 races, mainly because “that’s what NASCAR does!”, as if it’s a one-size-fits-all strategy to success), I find myself thinking back fondly to my early days of fandom in 1991-92, where IndyCar and F1 both had 16 races (give or take one), and they were both starting in mid-March and wrapping up by late October (though a quick Google search shows that IndyCar was actually done a little earlier than that and F1 went until the first or second weekend in November those years). That gave a real chance to savor each race during the season, and a real, meaningful offseason, during which you could grow a sense of missing the sport, such that you were dying for it to come back by the beginning of the next season. Of course, this is through the rosy glasses of hindsight, but this extended break has given me a nice chance to catch up on some things that went by the wayside during a very, very busy 2019…like, for instance, watching the last 5-6 videos on your YouTube channel, which I enjoyed, even though they were covering races that happened some 6-8 months prior…great stuff, and I hope you and Sam make a return in 2020.

    Anyway, I’m just about ready for racing to get back in action, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you have cooking for this year.

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