“F1: And So, It Begins Again”

There may be rain in the Styrian hills. More than a little in fact.

And as it peppers the some re-propositioned stretch of tarmac once called the Öesterreichring, one realises that it really doesn’t matter how long Formula One has been away.

All that matters is that it’s here.

It is not just noise. It’s the hills and how the artificial mesh with nature. And with no fevered, passionate crowd in attendance, the rather tamed Formula One engines – twenty of them, choked at the point of exhaust and exhaustion – will meander and wander and reverberate, before petering out.

Frequencies and sine waves will push and pull, with sound registering in the brain, as the echoes of those very same waves become entangled in the impossibly minuscule hair follicles buried in the inner ear.

The art of hearing is beautiful.

Up close and Formula One can be a punishing experience. Less so today compared to the previous generation’s dreary and tonally vacuous V8s.

There is little doubt that Formula One’s aural experience is part of its appeal, but the V8s has the curious habit of being quite painful to listen to, while simultaneously sending sleep signals to the brain, such was the time spent in the distortion zone.

That was then however, and today as the hybrid regulations enter their seventh year, Formula One will begin to play catch up, as life around the world reawakens.

COVID-19 is still very much with us, and as people continue to die from the virus, fears are ever present. But there are hopes that it will now have slowed to such an extent that life as was once known will eventually begin rear its head, emerging as it were from hibernation like an animal with heavy eyes.

Just not yet though.

To me, it does not matter who wins on Sunday. I have a feeling as to who the victor may be {note 1}, but that is not the most important story right now.

All I am waiting for is the green light at the end of the pit lane and the rumble from the tyres as they power out onto the Red Bull Ring.

I just wish that I could be there.

{note 1}

Lewis Hamilton will win.

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