Sebastien Buemi, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Montreal, 2010

Can you turn a friend into an F1 Fanatic?

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastien Buemi, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Montreal, 2010
Sebastien Buemi, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Montreal, 2010

The new F1 season is less than a month away. But not everyone is ticking off the days with the same kind of anticipation as we F1 Fanatics.

Perhaps you’re in the lucky position of having a group of friends who all like F1.

But there are others know that when they excitedly relate what happened in the latest race they’ll get only blank stares from their mates.

BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey has made it his mission to attract a new crowd of fans to F1. It’s a great idea, but will it work?

I’m not sure that plonking an F1 virgin (not the team, the other kind) in front of the Bahrain Grand Prix is the best approach. Even hardcore F1 buts were struggling to keep their eyes open through last year’s race.

So what is the best way to get someone who’s new to F1 into the sport? Is it even worth trying?

If I were trying to indoctrinate a mate in the wonderful ways of F1 – and I speak as someone who has tried and failed in the past – I would do it by showing the sport at its best.

Forget Bahrain – after last year it’s too risky. Pick a race that works well for your time zone and can be relied upon to entertain.

Think Melbourne or Montreal – the two best races of last year according to F1 Fanatic readers.

Once you’ve got them interested, drip-feed them a few YouTube clips of the sport’s greatest moments. Villeneuve vs Arnoux, Mansell vs Piquet, Mansell vs Berger… Mansell vs anyone, really. That’s how I got hooked.

Providing, of course, you can find them before Bernie Ecclestone has them taken down.

And make sure you get them to the “Senna” movie, if and when it finally opens in your area.

If you start hearing questions about whether there’s a race this weekend, your plan has worked.

But complaints that “it’s just cars going round in circles” or “it’s all down to the car – the driver doesn’t make a difference” are signs your subject is one who will never know the peculiar pleasure of getting up at 3am to watch a practice from Shanghai.

Have you ever tried to get a friend interested in F1? Did you succeed or fail? Share your stories and tips in the comments.

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Image ?? Bridgestone/Ercole Colombo