There is a contradiction as strong as it is apparently invisible in Formula 1 which has persisted for several years. What we see is never what it really is. It’s not a question of being naive, we know that F1 has always been a category of “sharks” who, in order to achieve success, are ready to exploit any more or less gray area of the technical and sporting regulations to which the financial one is now added. The last example of tired illusionism was that of presentation of the Red Bull RB19 which actually showed only the livery of the new car which however differs from the old one for very inconspicuous details. The presentation of the livery is now part of that neo “advent liturgy” of the new season that the various teams respect more or less in all phases: Presentation of the livery, “fire up” of the power unit among the moved eyes of the team members, presentation of the graphics of the drivers’ helmets, presentation of the static or rendered car which masks almost everything and then finally the real car takes to the track for the pre-season tests. All things to the benefit of a quick social media reel but which have little substance until you start racking up kilometers for real. However, the presentation of the new RB19 was, let’s face it, a loud mockery since the car was clearly that of last year but the words “RB19” were flaunted everywhere. Also last year Red Bull showed a clearly different RB18 from the one that everyone knew would be on the track in a few days. Nothing new then, but the theme is just this: the F1 public has become addicted to completely false representations of reality and don’t even complain about it anymore or even pay attention to it anymore.
Stride even more the fact that since the advent of Liberty Media, that makes communication its reason for existing on the sports and non-sports entertainment market, the more or less large episodes of opaque, late, clearly not very credible communication have multiplied over time. The first and most significant still today was the celebrated “secret agreement” between Ferrari and FIA rendered “known” at the beginning of 2020. As will be recalled, through a press release that said little and explained even less, it was informed that the FIA and Ferrari had found a “private agreement” after the investigations carried out on the 2019 power unit. Agreement whose contents remained mysterious as well as the matter of the dispute. Only the suddenly insufficient performance of the Maranello power unit from the beginning of 2020 was explicit, which also dragged on into 2021 due to the freezing of technical regulations due to Covid.
From then on, reality in Formula 1 began to appear intermittently like a sea serpent. The race order under the checkered flag many times turned out to be a largely provisional result. Often, in fact, the decisions of the judges have changed the order of arrival, almost always in the back-up positions, on the basis of considerations that could also be considered acceptable but which, put together over time, have not always been consistent in similar cases. The result has often been to read an order of arrival which after several hours of switching off the televisions was changed. We have seen podiums reassigned and celebrated by a single team after hours of delay, sub judice starting grids for overcoming the newly famous “track limits”, yellow flags not seen but perhaps not visible, radio negotiations between the FIA and the team during the course of the race regarding interpretations of the sporting regulations, etc. If in 2021 the climax of this regulation “a la carte” had been plastically represented by at least questionable ending in Abu DhabiIn 2022 was the theme of porpoising and the risks for the backs of the pilots, to impose or to be imposed on everyone’s attention up to lead to a rewriting of the technical regulation during the race. How much there was concrete in terms of health risks has never been disclosed. If medical studies have been carried out, they have not been given great prominence, but in any case the regulation has been rewritten on the spot and back pain has disappeared.
There was no shortage of other sporting decisions made in favor of the television show. The most evident was in 2022 the penalty to Leclerc for cutting the chicane in the last lap imposed on him a Suzuki when the pilot had still practically not even got out of the car. A speed never seen by the judges, albeit on a sacrosanct decision, probably taken only to quickly award the second title to Verstappen who learned about it on live TV while being interviewed. And so the words “Honda” are back on the podium of the home grand prix for the Japanese engineer to celebrate the two-world champion power unit. But didn’t Honda withdraw the previous year? The engine was officially marked by the newborn “Red Bull Powertrain” … certainly no one had ever believed it though this we had been told for months. Everything vanished when it was a question of hastily raising the advertising banners. In that race we missed the highest moment of the sporting season, when the team communicates to its driver via radio “You are the new world champion!” with screams of happiness and emotion coming back from the pilot’s helmet, too bad. an athlete’s explosion of genuine happiness is one of those true things that make any sport warm and close. But communication needs also affected this time last year.
We could go on recalling last season’s “grand finale” on the theme of Budget Cap which involved Red Bull in particular on the balance sheets of the 2021 season. Also in this case the FIA and Liberty media have not been able to handle the various rumors about the alleged infringement and its real consistency. For weeks, figures and indiscretions of all kinds were circulated in the media and in the end, with much delay, when the extent of the infraction was made known, the penalty was at least questionable in severity. All the strict rigorism trumpeted with the entry of the financial regulation that was supposed to lead to a leveling of performance between the teams (another chimera that 2022 has made clear) has shown itself to be a simple intention. One of the biggest regulatory innovations in the more than seventy-year history of Formula 1 showed its fragility in its first year of application, like a driver going straight into the first corner of his debut race. That hypothetical pilot would have been inundated with criticism, receiving at most a few words of sympathy. In the case of the Budget Cap, on the other hand, much understanding from the world of Formula 1 and no particular indignation has reached the streets of those who govern this sport.
Despite all these events that clash with the idea of clear, fast and consistent sports communication, Liberty Media celebrates the success and growth of its Formula 1 in terms of worldwide audience, and very often declares to be close to the fans and to constantly take consideration of public requests. But what audience appreciates a sport in which what you see too often is not what it is in the end? Perhaps the public of die-hard enthusiasts has been joined by an audience that has grown up on episodes of drive to survive, which brings to the fore characters and episodes that in reality of the season had a very different relevance. The sum of the two audiences, which however mix with the same ease as water and oil, is certainly a number that is constantly growing. And after all there were tens of thousands of spectators connected online for the presentation of the Red Bull RB19. However, they probably saw a good show and the fact that the object of the presentation itself was missing seemed to most to be a negligible fact.
#Fake #Formula #FormulaPassion.it
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