With the first race of the 2014 season just a few days away, I came across this Youtube video (events may or may not be related) talking about why people enjoy watching sports. I thought it’d be interesting for my fellow F1 fanatics.
I’d imagine it’s because the viewers are connected with the sport in some way, i.e. football fans having grown up playing the sport. I’m sure most racing fans enjoy driving or enjoy cars to a much greater extent than the rest of the general public.
I regret the fact that I never sat down as a kid and tried to watch Formula 1; my dad was always up on Sunday mornings watching that, but I always wanted to watch my cartoons (no regrets there, weekend morning cartoons were awesome). That said, I didn’t really develop an interest in cars until I was grade 7 or 8 or so, only because my dad had bought an auto guide for the year listing all the different models available from each manufacturer for that model year. From there it grew and grew, and racing I didn’t watch until I was in university, because I saw Lewis Hamilton on Top Gear, and the idea of a rookie coming close to a championship in his first season sounded really amazing (and it would be in any sport, really). From there, I became an F1 fan.
So, my obesession with F1 (and it’s definitely safe to call it that now) stems from years of loving cars and learning about them. I love cars, and F1 is one of the most extreme examples of engineering, so I think my obsession simply stems from a tremendous interest and love of the subject.
I think it’s because people want to see excellence. In most sports we watch, be it football, rugby, Formula 1, tennis, or the Olympics, we are watching people push the boundaries of what is possible, and I think that’s something special. The sport itself will obviously depend on the individual. I, for one, love the engineering excellence of Formula 1, with teams pushing to see what it possible in both development and speed. The fact that we get exciting racing at the end of that only further enhances my obsession.
I would say that that is the underlying fact within why people obsess over sports. There are of course exceptions to the rule, where some people will be so obsessed with the sport that it won’t matter if it’s the top level of the sport, it will be the pure enjoyment of watching competitive action.