There’s been talk recently about whether there is a future in Formula 1 or whether attention will turn to other similar motorsport. There’s no questioning the heritage of Formula 1, the prestige of Formula 1, the beauty of Formula 1. What’s being questioned here, is whether it can survive new rule changes and whether it can ever be the sport it once was.
Formula 1 drivers used to be household names, Hunt, Lauda, Hill, Prost, Senna, Mansell – all names people recognised. Today’s F1 drivers don’t seem to carry the same status. Only a day ago I was told the only reason my friend knew who Hamilton was, was because of me. If the sport was still truly as great as it once was surely she would have known who Hamilton was. He isn’t an obscure driver, he is arguably the most famous Formula 1 driver currently on the track, he’s a three time world champion. How can it be that his name wasn’t known? Is this proof of the battle F1 is facing?
2014 was a big year for Formula 1, it saw the introduction of the new rules and regulations which made for a complete overhaul of what F1 previously was. The regulations were met with not a lot of support from the fans. I remember myself, being at the British Grand Prix for the first time that year and being completely underwhelmed by the sound of the cars. Not only that, but at the fan forum Christian Horner even spoke about how disappointing the new regs were. 2014 was also the year Bianchi had his crash, this is even more significant now than it was then. Since his crash there has been a call for closed cockpits in the F1 cars, the most notable design being the ‘Halo’. I completely understand why drivers would want this after the tragic death of their friend and colleague but, the fans of the sport are not so supportive. They see the ‘Halo’ as something not to be taken seriously, people can’t see how that is meant to protect drivers, others have argued that they still don’t believe drivers would be able to see as clearly as they currently do.
The heads of the FIA and big figures in Formula 1 have some big decisions to make as to whether they want Formula 1 to be safe or to survive, because as it stands at the moment fans aren’t hugely enthusiastic about F1’s future. And if current fans don’t know where they stand, how are we to believe that the younger generation will know. It’s problems like this that throw the question out there as to whether Formula 1 is for now and forever.