Monza and Sochi: Why I love F1

Now, I will admit. I have been pretty vacant on here for a few weeks now. I’ve got an excuse though: I’ve been preparing to move and then actually moving to London, which has been exciting! But enough about my personal news, let’s get back to the main event. And my word what a banging couple of races we’ve been treated to. 2021 has delivered once again, with even Sochi being an incredible race. 


https://www.planetf1.com/news/f1-discuss-flexible-race-start-times/


This season we’ve literally had it all: a heated title battle, close battles between the midfield teams, unpredictable races, wet races (and a cancelled race), huge crashes and great funny moments. It’s been one of the best seasons I’ve ever watched in Formula 1 and we’ve still got 7 races to go. I thought instead of doing two race reviews (they’re a bit delayed anyway), I would do a more personal article explaining why I love Formula 1, as these two races demonstrate all the reasons why F1 is amazing.


Drama and Excitement 

These two races had so much action throughout the field, it’s tough remembering everything that happened. But we obviously had that huge accident in Monza between the two title protagonists that literally made my jaw drop. I couldn’t believe they clashed again and in that dramatic style as well; it was absolutely incredible and it’s clear that neither driver is willing to give an inch this season. Lewis has learned he can’t back out and Max won’t back out either; there’s another crash waiting to happen and it’s only going to add to the tension between the two.


Monza also had that incredible tension of a McLaren 1-2, with Bottas storming through the field who could have potentially gone on to take the win. He also had some stunning overtakes going on from the front to the back of the grid. And then we had Sochi… another nearly potential McLaren win?? Like what is going on. Sochi is normally the deadest race on the calendar, but this race we had rain all weekend and once again, an exciting and dramatic race. Lando drove his absolute heart out and got very unlucky, but in the end Lewis showed his experience to get his 100th win (an incredible feat by the way). 


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Sochi also had so many battles going on all race and had the highest number of overtakes for a race this season. The rain at the end just absolutely topped off what was already becoming a classic race and how can we forget Verstappen went from P20 to P2 on the grid. Like how did he actually do that?! It was an incredible race, that succeeded another incredible race and I still don’t even know if I’ve recovered from both of them. Oh, and we’ve got rain all weekend at Turkey again this year: I don’t think I’m ever going to recover from this season but I don’t mind.


Unpredictability

These two race weekends served up so much unpredictability. In Monza we had both McLarens looking on hot form, and I believe they would have won that race even if Max and Lewis hadn’t crashed out. And then in Sochi Lando qualified on pole, once again based off pure merit. Who would have thought that would have happened back in 2018 when Alonso and Vandoorne struggled to even get that McLaren out of Q3. 


We also had engine penalties for drivers in top teams, we had rain in Sochi which always brings up unpredictability and we had George Russell qualifying P3 in a Williams?! Like you would never place a bet on these results and it’s just amazing that the sport can bring so much unpredictability every weekend. It’s these moments in any sports that makes you realise how special your sport is.


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Take football for example: when an underdog team beats one of the big teams, it’s incredible to see and brings so much joy to their fans. It’s the same in any sport, but it has such a positive impact in Formula 1. F1 is a team sport, where many fans follow and root for their favourite teams and drivers and love it when their favourites get a good result. However, as it’s a team sport, unpredictable results like a McLaren 1-2 or a Williams qualifying 3rd brings so much joy to the people who work for these teams and it’s pretty special to see the reaction on their faces when it happens. This is why F1 is so special, because these unpredictable moments bring not only excitement, but also joy to so many people.



Emotions: Heartbreak and elation

This follows on nicely from my previous point about the joy the sport can bring to people. F1 is full of so many heart-warming moments, as one driver can have a fantastic race and it will bring so much joy to their fans and teams. These two races were full of elation and excitement, but on the other hand so much heartbreak. Lando’s reaction after the race was so sad to see and you could see that he was absolutely gutted that he lost out on that race because of the rain (for the record I think he would have won that race without the rain). 


The sport is full of such contrasting emotions and it varies from weekend to weekend. Some drivers can have an incredible weekend and be on top of the moon; others can have a horrible weekend and be at rock bottom. But then, this can all change the following weekend and the results can be completely reversed. The sport is full of so much emotion for not just the drivers, but also the employees of the teams and for the fans of the sport. It’s clear to see that so much passion runs through the entire sport, which is something that is quite incredible.


https://cdn-1.motorsport.com/images/amp/6VRELZ76/s1000/formula-1-russian-gp-2021-pole-2.jpg  (I couldn't show a sad picture of Lando here, that's too much)


F1's constant innovation

The reason why the sport is constantly evolving and improving is because the sport isn’t afraid of change. F1 constantly tries to innovate and change things, which keeps the sport fresh and exciting for fans. This season we’ve had the introduction of sprint races which has kept the format fresh and exciting. Have they worked? I’m not entirely sure yet. The sprint in Silverstone was decent, with some action throughout the field. The sprint in Monza was good for two laps, but then it fizzed out a little bit. However, this doesn’t matter as I’m pleased to see F1 trying new things just to see how it goes. 


Off the track, it’s great to see F1 constantly evolving and trying to bring new elements to the sport. We’ve got the new regulations coming in next year which could spice up the grid and improve overtaking, as well as F1 committing itself to improve its sustainability and place in the world. The sport has recently announced a new biofuel to be used in the sport for 2030 and the sport has driven the introduction of hybrid engines, ever since their introduction in 2014. Some people aren’t keen for change, but it’s what keeps the sport current, relevant and trendy.


I don’t think any other sport in the world has so much relevance in the world and contributes so much to society. You might say that F1 goes round the world polluting it and just harming the environment, but it’s very much the opposite. The sport is committing to be carbon neutral from 2030- which includes everything from the cars being transported to the race, to the energy that is used to supply the motorhomes in the paddock. And as mentioned previously, the technology used in the sport pioneers the way for our road cars and improves not only their performance, but also their sustainability. Hybrid cars would be nowhere near the standard they are now, without the technology that’s been used in F1. No other sport has this much of a positive impact in society (in my humble opinion) and it’s just another reason why the sport is so great.


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This has been a bit of a different article to what I normally write but I just thought it was time to really show my passion for the sport. The 2021 season has highlighted everything that is amazing in Formula 1, and I truly believe it has generated so much intrigue and engagement from old fans and new. There’s been so much action and unpredictability all season, and pretty much every race has been a classic. We may be having a truly special season, but F1 is, and will always remain the same at its core: a sport that brings so much joy to so many people, whilst bringing positive change and technological advances to the world. 


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