What if an F1 driver was caught with his trousers down?
23rd December 2011, 3:27 at 3:27 am #187733
It depends on the driver from my personal perspective. If someone I’m not a real follower of did it then I’d probably think they were a bit of a tosser and leave it at that but should someone like Jenson Button be caught doing something like this is would dramatically change my view on him.
I am a fan of JB as much for his driving as my perception of him as a decent chap. Mark Webber I think of in much the same way. He’s a genuinely nice bloke who loves his partner, his dogs and he’s a fine racing driver. Specifically with JB as stupid as this may be, I love to see him with Jessica at races and their twitter feeds give an extra little insight into them as people. Maybe this is how my mum used to feel when watching Neighbours and one character ends up cheating on another.
You look at how happy JB, JM and the big pink dinosaur are when Jenson has a win like Canada and they look like a family, they’re real people and if that was ruined by Jenson cheating I’d be a little annoyed.
That was all a little effeminate I think I need to go saw some wood or something.23rd December 2011, 14:16 at 2:16 pm #187734
Shane Warne would probably fit the bill – and I’d reckon right now he’d still be able to text on his mobile at a million miles an hour while rolling out one of his trademark flippers or wrong-uns. But it doesn’t make me think any less of him. In fact, for me, he’s score more browny points for bagg’n Liz Hurley more recently.
Come to think of it, David Beckham has also been embroiled in an extra-martial affair as well. Greg Norman was the same.
I guess it’s hard to judge when we’re not in their shoes. Perhaps the relationship with his wife was falling apart and for the sake of the kids he kept the marriage in place. I have had friends in the same position – and at first I did think less of them but having understood the situation more I can understand their dilemma.23rd December 2011, 15:55 at 3:55 pm #187735
It’s difficult to answer a hypothetical question, but with Giggs I dont feel any differently towards him, he’s still one of the best english league players ever and he does seem to be a relatively nice guy (relative to other footballers).
Whether I would have the same feeling towards an F1 driver is difficult to say though, cheating and being a douche is kind of expected of footballers which is why it doesn’t really come as a surprise when I hear ‘footballer caught cheating on wife’.
On the other hand I do still like to think of F1 drivers like the playboys of the 60s and 70s, obviously a lot of things have changed since then but I think I would still let them off on those grounds.23rd December 2011, 16:02 at 4:02 pm #187736
For me, I must say, I think its pretty tastless, the way tabloids hunt down these kind of stories, sometimes adding “juicy bits”, or even making most of the story up. I am not interested in reading these kind of things. On the other hand, I do not think we should put most of the blame on the tabloids, after all, there’s millions of people buying and reading them (compare it to prostatution, is the prostitute to blame, or rather the people paying them for it?).
But surely my view of a person changes when I find out they have been doing something like this and lied about it all that time to people close to them.
Its not as easy though, to say if its bad. Just look at Tiger Woods. Yes, he let everything get out of hand. But his wife is still with him, isn’t she? And he works on getting out of it, so that does make me respect him for doing so. Life is not easy, things happen, personal relations are never black and white. For me, its more important how someone goes about getting on with it and making up for mistakes than the fact they make the mistake in the first place.
So back to F1. In principle a sportsman earns respect for their efforts on track. But they gain respect and character by what they do in the world around them as well (just as anyone else). Saying one thing and doing something else shows they are incincere in what they do. But it does not mean they cannot be great drivers even when they are really unpleasant people (Nelson Piquet Sr, anyone?)23rd December 2011, 16:28 at 4:28 pm #187737
@bascb Actually, Tiger Woods and his wife divorced last year, but I understand what you’re saying.
I think your point about the media and the public is an important one. For some media groups, what’s in the ‘public interest’ is simply anything that the public is interested in – i.e; celebrity ‘sex-posés’. They wouldn’t be looking to publish details about the relationships and private lives of sports people if they didn’t think people were interested in reading about it in the first place.23rd December 2011, 21:10 at 9:10 pm #187738
Ah @magnificent-geoffrey, so they did get the divorce (see how little i follow these things ;-) ), but I do think she later said something about not being angry at him anymore, just not willing to live with him again.
Exactly, the media would stop reporting these things if people did not want to read them. Its not an excuse for it (there are lots of media outlets who report different things with great success, just look at F1Fanatic), but it is the reason why they continue doing so.23rd December 2011, 22:09 at 10:09 pm #187740
A couple of points I don’t think have been mentioned.
The sponsors of a drive caught with his pants around his ankles wouldn’t be impressed and for some drivers that would mean the end of their career and if that happened I would just think “you bloddy idiot”.
Secondly, imagine the number of temptations you would have! Oh yer! I respect these guys for not getting sucked in.
The other thing is, you just don’t know the full story. The guy’s wife might hate him. She might have done it to him or maybe the guy really is orrible. So I would lose respect for him and probably not be cheering for him as much but it’s marginal.
My opinion of a driver’s character does matter to me. I would be happy to see Alguersuari do well, partly because I saw an interview with him and liked his personality. Maldonado, don’t like the guy. I like to see him lose. Because of him trying to ram Hamilton at Spa during qualifying, out of spite.
These things mean more to me than a gossip column.23rd December 2011, 22:38 at 10:38 pm #187741
There is already a top driver who (when less famous) was involved in some bad stuff – definitely worse than Giggs. His team used the courts to keep it out of the media, and unlike in Giggs’ case, the media actually respected that.
The result is that most people don’t know, so the sponsors don’t care, and he’s still racing.
Sometimes cover-ups work…24th December 2011, 1:52 at 1:52 am #187742
Alianora La CantaParticipant
In the beginning it would probably depend on who caught the driver in question. The specialist press are ultra-cautious when reporting off-track negative stuff, partly because they tend to respect the people involved in F1 more than the general press, partly because they are used to morality not exactly being the highest priority in F1 and partly because bad publicity for a driver tends to mean bad publicity in F1. Unless the driver did something which was flat impossible to hide from the public, the cheated party was a F1 paddock member with an independent communication mechanism and the job security/confidence to use it or the driver makes a public statement on the subject, an incident of cheating not seen by the general press or one of their sources would almost certainly not get reported at all. It might make the gossip circuit within the F1 media centre but no further than that (people who can’t keep a secret don’t get to stay in the media centre gossip circuit long).
If one of the tabloids got hold of the story, my first thought would be to wait for clarification. I’ve seen so many stories from tabloids that were either false or seriously misinterpreted key information that it would be foolish to change my opinion of a driver on what could be journalistic or editorial licence. Wouldn’t be the first time a bodyguard has been mistaken for a friend…
Assuming that there was subsequent, reasonably reliable confirmation that a F1 driver had cheated on their spouse might make a difference in my opinion of them depending on how much I knew about them beforehand. I’d certainly feel sympathetic towards the driver’s spouse because it’s always unpleasant to be cheated upon, but not every incident of cheating is created equal. Often in such a relationship (at least in the world at large) the cheating partner meant to make the relationship with their spouse work but either didn’t grasp the true meaning of fidelity (not everyone agrees on what constitutes “cheating”) or is cheating as a symptom of other problems with the relationship (frequently as simple as the couple not communicating well enough about day-to-day problems). Granted that cheating is always a bad thing to do, but a mistake made in ignorance or incompetence in maintaining the relationship isn’t as bad as the same mistake wilfully made for greed or with deliberate intent to hurt. Some people are better at creating and maintaining monogamous relationships than others, and while you’d hope the ones that are bad at maintaining monogamous relationships avoid getting married, it doesn’t always happen – in the world at large or among those who are in the limelight. F1 drivers might have to be pretty intelligent to get into the series but nothing in the entry requirements obliges them to have high interpersonal wisdom.
Bearing this in mind, I find it difficult to get upset at a driver who’s cheated on their partner unless that driver had previously led me to expect they wouldn’t. It’s particularly difficult to get upset when, for the most part, I don’t know anything about F1 driver spouses beyond their names (and I’m not confident I could even name all the current ones). With that little information, there’s only really what the driver has said on the subject, plus anything reasonably reputable sources have observed, to make a judgement.
That said, there are maybe five F1 drivers who would seriously surprise me if they were caught cheating from the information I’ve heard about them and I’d be pretty upset if they cheated. That said, I’d be more interested in what they did in response to being caught cheating than the act itself. If they tried to make amends (either by repairing that relationship or refraining from cheating again) then I wouldn’t be upset with them for long, for character development is an important part of being human and something I find makes drivers more likeable. If they kept repeating the error of cheating on their partners (I don’t mean by becoming a playboy, since they tend to be open about their intentions and thus aren’t cheating), on the other hand, my patience would be tested. For that matter, I would also start wondering if it would have an effect on their driving. It’s not just a question of the emotional turmoil but the inability to learn how to maintain one (romantic) relationship could point to difficulty maintaining the (colleague/friend) relationships needed to get the maximum out of a racing team. In that sense, the way a driver lives their personal life could give clues as to how they do their job – though this does not justify the senseless and immoral things many tabloids do to get lowest-common-denominator stories…24th December 2011, 15:49 at 3:49 pm #187743
I’ve never seen anything about my favourite sporting stars cheat on their partners or anything similar, so it’s hard to say how I’d feel about them if they were to do such a thing. When I’ve seen news about other sports stars who have cheated on their partner, I have generally shown little or no interest. However I don’t like to see sports stars private lives cross with their professional lives. I remember being against John Terry losing the captain’s armband when he had an affair with Wayne Bridge’s partner.
I guess if one of my favourite drivers had an affair, I like to think that I would show the same amount of interest in their story, as I do with sports stars I don’t care for. I will always feel bad for the partner who has been cheated on, but I would hope for the couple that they could put the episode behind them if the cheater truly regrets their actions.29th December 2011, 1:41 at 1:41 am #187744
@magnificent-geoffrey might have been slightly prophetic here. Just before Christmas, Fernando Alonso divorced his wife, Raquel del Rosario. But the Italians, the Spanish, the Germans and the Swiss have already spotted him Switzerland’s most-elegible bachelorette, Russian-born Xenia Tchoumitcheva (who, in the finest tradition of Russian tennis players, has a name that is virtually unpronouncable) – less than a week after the divorce was announced …29th December 2011, 21:02 at 9:02 pm #187745
They could just be friends and who knows how long he and his wife were separated…30th December 2011, 20:06 at 8:06 pm #187746
Well said Steph, or completely untrue. I don’t read tabloids for that reason and I’m sure if there’s anything vital I’ll find out in more reliable media.
Yes the morals of my favourite drivers does influence my support but mostly I don’t think their private lives are any of our business.31st December 2011, 0:07 at 12:07 am #187747
Like people say, their private lives shouldn’t be any of our business. Unfortunately, part of being famous now means accepting that people will pry into your private lives, and it is reasonable that any details that emerge will then be held up as an example. The prying is unfortunate, unless you put yourself out there (Jordan etc.). I have respect for people whose relationships aren’t massively scrutinised due to them intentionally keeping it lower profile, but unfortunately part of celebrity must be the acceptance that if something from your personal life escapes into the media, it will be talked about. Would I myself stop supporting somebody? It’s hard to say, but supporting somebody you consider to be morally reprehensible would be tough. Hamilton I like because he is exciting on track- his personality doesn’t even interest me particularly. Button on the other hand, I like him more than I would because he seems a nice, genuine guy. So in my eyes I can imagine my view of Button being damaged more than Hamilton if one were caught, but it’s hard to say until it happens.3rd January 2012, 12:46 at 12:46 pm #187748
It’s called private life for a reason. Because it’s private. I don’t think that just because someone is famous and therefore the public has an apetite for knowing about his private life, that itself gives anyone justification for that, for devassing ones private live. In the same way that many people (probably most) wants to know about its neighbour (especially if it’s a small comunity) and that by itself, that curiosity, doesn’t give anyone the right to peep on the neighbour’s windows or listen to his walls. The “tabloids” and its “journalists” are exactly that: a peeper or a listener of other people affairs and should have as much respect as them (that is, none).
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