Is the World Championship a bad thing?
30th May 2011, 1:28 at 1:28 am #129469
I have been thinking about this since Keith put up his post about having non-championship races.
In the old days, every race win was a big thing, even the non-championship ones. Even into the modern day, it was a big thing even when there were 16 races. Nowadays unless someone atypical wins we seem to almost brush it under the carpet. We don’t think of Vettel winning, we think of how many points he’s pulled out on Hamilton. a 5-way fight for the championship is more important than 5 guys winning a race. Perhaps we should have rolling rankings or several regional tournaments a year, like in tennis and snooker.
I admit this is a little bit of rose-tinted glasses but approaching 20 races a year an individual race seems to have become very devalued. And hey, this is coming from someone who thinks the Championship is more important than the individual races. I’d be interested to hear others’ thoughts on this.30th May 2011, 1:43 at 1:43 am #169484
Nowadays unless someone atypical wins we seem to almost brush it under the carpet.
Really? I don’t think that at all.
Winning a race is no less important than it was 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 years ago. If anything, the way the points system is these days, a win is more important now than ever before.
If you look at what happens when a driver wins a race, they get the cameras focus on them at the finish, they get their team radio broadcast to the world, they get to walk through the Aisle of Beautiful Women, they get on the podium to receive a lovely trophy and then the BBC and the rest of the world’s media rush to their team’s motor-home to watch them all celebrate together after the race.
But a single Grand Prix is just a single event, and the World Championship is, literally, 20 times more important than one race. Ultimately, the reason fans watch a Grand Prix is because they want to see who will take the chequered flag on the day, but the reason fans watch every Grand Prix in a season is because they want to see who takes the World Championship, because it’s far more important. I don’t think the World Championship makes any single Grand Prix win less important or significant, though.30th May 2011, 9:18 at 9:18 am #169485
I was talking about the fan reaction, not the race celebrations. It’s like “Yeh, Vettel won, 7 more points on the championship lead”. Few seem to get excited about someone other than their favourites winning unless it’s someone atypical.
If the WDC is by definition 20 times more important, then the less championship races there are, the more important an individual race becomes. Of course, it does come to a point – no-one would think a race was 20 times more important than it is now if there was no world championship. And of course, if there were no championship to score points for then race wins wouldn’t be seen as great as they are now, it would be like the Charity Shield football match as opposed to a victory in a quarter-final.
Of course, the problem may well just be that many people support one or more drivers to the detriment of others and only celebrate when that driver has won. After all, every neutral is just as excited at the result of one race as the next (allowing for if it had been an exciting race, of course!). And like you say, the mechanics and teams are still over the moon at the victory, not the points.
But I do think the season has something to do with it – we remember that Raikkonen almost won the 2003 championship but tend to forget Schumacher won 6 races to his 1. When Jackie Stewart scored broke Jim Clark’s record of wins, it was considered more important than him becoming champion for the third time; though the two stats are usually trotted out together, people quote Schumacher’s 7 championships as the higher achievement than his 91 wins, even though both were flattered for the same reasons.30th May 2011, 12:09 at 12:09 pm #169486
That’s an interesting question. Of course, whether or not it’s a bad thing, it’s hear to stay. I suppose race wins are devalued a bit- I have to make a concious effort to think, wow, Vettel’s won a lot of races now. Also, I think it doesn’t help that there have no new race winners for almost 3 years now, as there’s nothing like a debutant victor to remind you why race wins are so special.
An interesting hypothetical sitaution would be to award championship points for qualifying positions, and leave the race to be effectively a ‘friendly’. It’ll never happen, obviously, but it’s interesting to wonder how that might affect the attitudes of drivers and fans to races. Would we still care who won?
A more realistic example would be the ‘dead rubber’ races after a season has been decided. Obviously, we don’t get many these days because Ecclestone has historically looked to rig the championships a bit (yes, I’m a tin hat wearer), but we’re almost certainly going to get one or two come autumn, so it’ll be interesting to see how we react to them. I remember the Abu Dhabi 2009 weekend as being one of the most boring events I have ever witnessed… but on the flip side, there have been some good dead rubber races- Suzuka 2005 being the most obvious one.30th May 2011, 12:53 at 12:53 pm #169487
I quite enjoyed Abby Dabby ’09, I think I tend to just take the driver’s advice and enjoy one race at a time though.
As far as race wins vs championships are concerned, I think it’s (unconscious) personal preference, I dont tend to think about the championship until someone is capable of winning it in the current race.30th May 2011, 13:30 at 1:30 pm #169488
I think that having several smaller championships within a season would be a good idea.
It’s possible to have a World Championship still, with some races losing their status. On the other hand, they will become part of a 4-6 race cup focused on scoring the most points in races divided along the lines of geography or culture.
It would prevent the World Championship from becoming too congested, but would give some rounds like Abu Dhabi something that will attract the teams. Even if the Championship looks set to be dominated by one particular driver, there is still a chance for other teams to grab a cup or two.
Using the 2012 calendar, I would divide them into.
European Cup (for races primarily in Western Europe)
Continental Cup (races in Eastern Europe, Middle East)
1. Turkey (subject to contract extension)
4. Abu Dhabi
4. United States30th May 2011, 14:16 at 2:16 pm #169489
I think it has something to do with the venues. The classics like Monaco, Canada, Spa, Monza, Interlagos, Silverstone I always get excited by the result and to win those races is really something that a F1 champion needs to be complete, i think as a fan. Where the standard copy paste Tilke tracks means nothing. That is just another small step on the way to the championship. And i think it is because the venues are just not special enough, they all look the same and there is no history there and we all know they will be scrapped when they can’t pay Bernie enough anymore.
I don’t think you need to change the championship in general i just think we need more unique tracks in more special places, decided partly the fans and in some great scenic locations with a track that is very demanding for the driver.
But that is just my theory. I don’t know since I weren’t around back then.30th May 2011, 15:18 at 3:18 pm #169490
The records will be looked at in the future, at the present we only care about the show. The Championship is made up of many races, that’s why a race is worth less, and the more the races, the smaller the importance of each of them, because one can afford to lose a race but not the Championship, which is more important. The number of races shouldn’t be increased.
Then there are also the cars’ performances that play a role: if a team is always winning, you already predict one of their drivers for the win before the race starts, and when he eventually does it isn’t something you did not expect.30th May 2011, 18:51 at 6:51 pm #169491
Fixy- the term “the show” is supposed to be a taboo word on F1 fan sites!
David- that’s a good idea, but the problem is that such things take time to be accepted, and if it was to be introduced now people would probably think it was just a pointless novelty. If it had’ve been something established in F1 back in the 50′s though I bet it would work brilliantly.
The 6 Nations rugby tournament is a good example of how awards within a tournament might work. England, for example, have the opportunity to win the Calcutta Cup by beating Scotland, or the Triple Crown by beating all 3 of the other British Isles countries, as well as the tournament itself.
An F1 equivilant, like you suggested, might be winning all of the season opening fly aways, or all of the street circuits, or the four ‘traditional’ events which have been on the calendar since 1950: Monaco, Silverstone, Spa and Monza. Just an idea, but it would be cool.30th May 2011, 20:59 at 8:59 pm #169492
This is a really great thread.
I don’t think less of individual race wins. I wouldn’t say I get really excited as my Ferrari bias tends to get in the way but I appreciate it when someone wins. I do get excited however when a different driver wins at an event he never has before such as when Jensen won at China, when a driver adds to an impressive tally Massa’s pole positions at Brazil or Schumacher winning at France, or when there’s some emotion behind it such as Fernando winning for the first time at Monza in a Ferrari (that meant almost as much to me than him possibly winning the title that year).
I know this is very daft but on F1 games I absolutely love it when I win at a new GP but I’m just trying to show that I appreciate each event in its own right.
I don’t really see the point of non-championship races but perhaps if they were somewhere completely different like an oval then that might be fun however, I’d always feel bad for whoever did win it but didn’t get any points for it (although maybe that’s kind of the point :P). What I’d really love to see is drivers competing for the Triple Crown again and trying out different series but with calendar clashes, the corporate world of F1 and media days that’s likely to never happen but I’d much prefer that to non-championship events.
I have a bit of a migraine too so if anything I said was a tad nonsensical please excuse me!30th May 2011, 21:49 at 9:49 pm #169493
The fact that there is one chamionship and all F1 races count towards it makes it very easy to follow for casual fans.
Imagine Jake and co saying “and welcome to the non-chamionship Pescara Grand Prix…” “Red Bull, Torro Rosso, McLaren and Mercedes will not be contesting this Race because they are focusing on races that count towards the chamionship.”
Although to be honest I don’t even think the BBC would bother to cover it when there are already 20 or so races to cover in the championship.
I’d hate to miss the start of a race as a casual fan and find out at the end that it didn’t matter in the championship.
And the cost would be too much for these days.31st May 2011, 10:52 at 10:52 am #169494
Indycar have 5 driver’s titles awared each year, or some such. Overall Winner, Rookie of the Year, Indy 500 Winner, Road Course Champion, Oval Course Champion.
WOuld be good if F1 included this as well. The rookie with the most points at the end of the year usually gets a brief mention, but there’s no trophy or anything. Perez and di Resta are currently tied on 2 points for that one.
Street Circuit Champion would tally up the points scored around Albert Mark, Monaco, Valencia, Montreal and Marina Bay and name a driver as Champion of the Streets, or something.
You could split the racing circuits into Traditional and Tilke, maybe? Tilke Champion with the most points from the Malaysia, China, Turkey, Korea, India & Abu Dhabi races?
Traditional being the highest points scorer from the Spain, Britain, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Belgium, Japan and Brazil races.
Then as David S has mentioned above, have a champion of each region too.
Gives everyone more to play for, and will leave many more ‘titles’ open till the end.
Screw it, I’m gonna find some time to work out who would have won these hypothetical awards last year.31st May 2011, 11:48 at 11:48 am #169495
Vettel - 256
Monaco Grand Prix Winner:
Grand Prix Classic Champion*:
Webber - 145
Alonso - 116
Vettel - 113
Hamilton - 77
Button - 76
Hamilton - 102
Alonso - 72
Vettel - 70
Button - 68
Webber - 45
King of the Streets***:
Vettel - 73
Button - 70
Alonso - 64
Hamilton - 61
Webber - 52
Rookie of the Year (first full season):
Kobayashi - 32
Petrov - 27
Hulkenberg - 22
Alguersuari - 5
Senna/Di Grassi - 0
* Traditional circuits: Spain, Britain, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Brazil
** Tilkedromes: Bahrain, Malaysia, China, Turkey, Korea, Abu Dhabi
*** Street circuits: Australia, Monaco, Canada, Valencia (Europe), Singapore31st May 2011, 11:59 at 11:59 am #169496
Nice work! Might have to include something like this on the main site, especially the rookies one.31st May 2011, 12:03 at 12:03 pm #169497
splitting up the chamionship would give you more prizes but you have to ask yourself, would the prizes be worth as much?
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