Grand Prix Legends hit out at state of F1

Grand Prix Legends\' editorial hit out at the poor marketing of Formula 1

Grand Prix Legends' editorial hit out at the poor marketing of Formula 1

Anyone who’s shopped for F1 clothing, a model Formula 1 car or some other kind of memorabilia will likely have heard of Grand Prix Legends. Their adverts have been running on this site for some time.

Their new catalogue dropped through my letter box today and I was surprised to see they’d given over five pages to an editorial attacking the state of Formula 1.

You can read the full article below.

Grand Prix Legends had the following to say about the state of F1:

There’s little overtaking, little real racing and very few of the drivers ahve any personality to talk of.

The new breed of young photogenic drivers may think they have a ‘cool image’ but often they come across as little more than shop-window mannequins and, as such, fail to engage with the fans.

One day, F1 may regret ignoring its grass roots support.

I haven’t seen any mention of it on their site or the blog run by one of their team.

You can read the full article here (click to enlarge):

Grand Prix Legends editorial - page 1

Grand Prix Legends editorial - page 1

Grand Prix Legends editorial - page 1

Grand Prix Legends editorial - page 1

Grand Prix Legends editorial - page 3

Grand Prix Legends editorial - page 3

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38 comments on Grand Prix Legends hit out at state of F1

  1. That is true and I’m an avid follower of several of them (MotoGP, TT races, DTM, etc), however F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of single-seater racing and therefore should be required viewing. But how can it be a pinnacle of racing when it falls very short on providing it?

  2. I haven’t read the article but would have thought there’s a very obvious reason for a decline in die-cast models………Most of the cars look bloody ugly!!!!!! Seriously – who’s going to be a model of this years Renault with it’s anvil wing and puke paint scheme.

  3. michael counsell said on 23rd July 2008, 16:04

    The most boring thing about F1 these days is the 20 to 25 minutes of advertising breaks per race.

    The pinancle of single seater racing means the are faster in every respect they accelerate, brake and corner faster leaving less oppurtunity to overtake. The drivers are generally the winners of lower categories who make very few mistakes again leaving very few opportunities for mistakes.

    I don’t think F1 has ever tried to market itself as having the most overtaking manouveres per minute. However it can say that it has the fastest and most advanced cars, best drivers, season long battles with occasional defining moments in a season.

    They are changing the regulations to reduce the aerodynamic effect and make the cars harder to drive but F1 still has to be significantly faster than GP2 or Indycars on a road course, to satisfy the drivers.

    Racing isn’t just about wheel to wheel racing its being first to the finish, the same as athletics, cycling etc. At the end of the day its all about winning and not so much about putting on a show. Changing things too much to appeal to fans is almost patronising.

    Even in a standard race with no rain or safety cars there is usually at least one fast driver out of position after the start trying to make up positions and maybe other drivers on similar pace to each other racing closely. Admittedly it may take a mistake for one to pass each other but no one has a divine right to pass another unless the other is at fault.

    The middle of the race is generally complex as strategies unfold and faster drivers get caught behind slower drivers. If you don’t appreciate what this does for a race I really can’t understand you.

    The end is perhaps a bit less interesting but sometimes there are battles still to be resolved.

    Take away pitstops or change the cars completely and over 300 Kilometres I don’t think you would improve racing over the distance. I’m fairly sure races would be resolved far earlier than they currently are, ultimately leading to a boring overall race.

    And another thing F1 drivers don’t lack personalities the media creates them with every headline, description and feature (Sutil playing piano, Trulli at his vineyard, Webber on a bike) and I really couldn’t care less.

  4. Dorian said on 23rd July 2008, 16:53

    Oddly enough, I’m kinda with Michael Counsell on this. Don’t get me wrong, I would like to see MORE wheel to wheel racing than we currently have. But I do believe the FIA etc are working towards this with the aerodynamics/racing slicks changes and so on. But I LOVE the strategy that surrounds the racing. I love the refuelling and I love the pitstops. I watch F1 for both the drivers and their driving AND the teams and their technological advancements/strategies. I would also hate it if all of the cars were of equal capabilities. I love the hierarchy involved with the Ferrari/McLarens at the top through to the Williams/Toro Rossos to the Force Indias. Please don’t misunderstand me though: I would like to see the gap between the teams tighten so there could more than two championship winning teams. But I do enjoy seeing drivers working their way up to the top-dogs. It’s much like the rest of life in a funny way, well professional life anyway. You start at the bottom (well most do ;-) and you work your way up. Pay your dues and ye shall be rewarded. Sorry that was a bit deep and hippy-like ;-)

    But that’s just me and I wouldn’t expect everyone or anyone to agree, this is just my preference. I love racing but I also love everything else that is F1: The thrills and spills, the technology and strategy and the glamour. All of it!

  5. the limit said on 24th July 2008, 3:49

    The most upsetting and often disturbing thing about this debate is when you watch an old grands prix, say for example, one from the late 1990’s, and the pundits are saying the same thing then as they are now.
    No overtaking, the race being won in the pits, and so on. Sometimes it is easy to look at life through rose tinted glasses and say that F1 was better then than it is now, it is a different sport, it has evolved, for better or worse.
    Yes it has its weak points, mostly based on its politics, which have always been a problem, but I do believe that F1 is getting stronger and better.
    On average, the races are more entertaining than they were, say five or six years ago, with more drivers capable of winning.
    Should the drivers be more fan friendly? Ofcourse they should, but then so should their bosses and the FIA.
    Lead by example.

  6. Stunz said on 24th July 2008, 5:05

    In my view, the most disappointing aspect of F1 these days is not the drivers (lets face it, James Hunt (for example) was a boorish git when he was racing – his overall life was interesting and that unfolded over time, many F1 20 somethings are frankly uninteresting beyond their driving abilities in this or any era although the current ones seem to have no life outside F1), not the racing (there is some close racing, there is overtaking, there is unpredictability – this varies in past years as well eg only 3 teams won a race in 1973, Jimmy Clark won with monotonous regularity in ’63 and ’65 etc) or the spread across the teams (in the midfield its super competitive) or the elitism (its F1 after all) or the ludicrous motorhomes – for me its the boring sameness and ugliness of the cars themselves. I am sure they are fascinating if you are an aerodynamicist but strip the paint off and all but the most hardened followers couldnt tell them apart. And even the paint schemes seem complex and a total mish-mash (except maybe Ferrari) although this may be a function of the bitsy surfaces to work on. I know this is a function of the supercomputer generation but it doesnt make for an eclectic spectacle in F1 or most motor-racing any more.

  7. GP Legends does something like this every year (or nearly every year – I haven’t seen the 2007 version yet). It’s their way of telling everyone the state of the modern GP memorabilla market. Usually they are broader than this, though, and talk about what each team is doing right and (usually) wrong. Maybe they’ve decided that they won’t listen and are therefore a lost cause?

    Mind you, in my experience die cast is alive and reasonably well – people (at least in my area) simply prefer to go and buy it in shops instead of online. This is due to a combination of delays in merchandise arriving (admittedly mostly the teams’ distribution chain’s fault) causing people to prefer getting items when they know they’re in stock and the regular discounting that occurs (I picked up a 1:43 2007 Fisichella Renault for less than £10 in a model shop recently, which is less than half of the price generally charged by the likes of Grand Prix Legends). The 1:18 models aren’t getting discounted yet, but that appears to be because they’re selling well enough at the original price set by the shop (which is about £35 – hardly a discount on the £28-£30 quoted by Ratboy for normal 1:18 F1 models!).

    Those who can’t go to a shop to pick up models (for instance, because they live in America) look for heavily discounted models online. They do exist, but are more difficult to find. But when found, sometimes the discount is even bigger than it is in the model shops.

    What this suggests is that the RRP (Recommended Retail Price) of die-cast models is much higher than the market will bear. This is unsurprising, since they are luxuries in a time when many have to watch every penny. Since Grand Prix Legends generally sell at RRP price, they would have been hit really hard by the lack of interest in such high prices. They’ve been expensive for ages, which is one reason why I have never used them (the fact that it was easier to hide the extent of my F1 obsession by bringing my merchandise home myself rather than via a postal service was an important consideration too).

    Until Grand Prix Legends finds a way of discounting its die-cast models without making a loss, as the bricks-and-mortar shops and the discount web sites have, it will never make die-cast models work. And until die-cast model producers orientate their distribution and pricing structures towards the model shops and discount web sites of this world, they will never make the die-cast market work either. (and to The_Pope: I’d certainly buy a 1:43 Force India car, and only wouldn’t buy a 1:18 because nearly every horizontal surface is covered in books and magazines, many relating to F1).

    So I suppose the short version is that it is the model producers’ and teams’ fault for producing this situation. The market is still there, it just looks in different places and at different prices to what has been marketed at in the past.

    Incidentally, I notice on page 2 that they say that TV broadcasters love F1. ITV doesn’t, otherwise why would it let go of the rights mid-contract?

  8. Brar said on 25th July 2008, 0:23

    I found these year cars more atractive then they were in the last past years.

    There are some nice photos from Jerez. Mclaren Cars looking like some kind of animal and Ferrari too. BMW was very diferent this year, and that is nice.

    But the 2009 cars have a boring look (Like the Jerez BMW-Sauber look). Bloody rules. Breathtaking Design, downn by law.

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