Not entirely, perhaps…with the ICC working overtime, life cannot really be without sports. (I am strictly talking about television here, any suggestion of active sport is out.) Debates are on about the timing of Anil Kumble’s declaration and the poor fellow will now be persecuted. But with action on the motorsport circuit, in my view, having long ended for the season, the weekends are pretty dreary. There is no hint of scarlet to brighten my Sunday evenings, no fluorescent ’46’ borne to the top step of the podium by ‘The Doctor’ to drive away the pre-Monday morning blues.
Why can’t the F1 season be longer? What makes the FIA limit the calendar to eighteen or nineteen races? The winter break is necessary, of course, but it surely can be shortened, given that most of the testing begins well in advance. The teams are adept at multitasking, and should definitely be able to carry out testing within the season without much trouble. Think of the poor fans for a change! Posters and newspaper articles of a few measly lines don’t quite make up for the absence of live action. This is one complaint I have with our newspapers- very little space is given to motorsport, especially F1 and the MotoGP. I don’t know what has happened to Heikki Kovalainen and why Nelson Piquet Jr. has been brought in to replace him. There is absolutely no news of Valentino Rossi. If we’re looking to make India a hub for motorsport, the print media will definitely have to play a bigger role. Sure I have the Internet at my disposal, but it’s not quite the same thing as fresh newsprint with the feel and the smell, first thing in the morning.
Coming back to action on TV, I don’t think the A1 GP is a patch on F1. It might be great training for future F1 drivers and be touted as the World Cup of Motorsport, and the similarity of the cars, which supposedly stands for equality, might be harped upon. However, to me, the similarity is a monotonous sameness. Some kind of disparity is good- not to the extent that exists between the top teams and the minnows in F1, of course, but just a little bit. It goes a long way in bringing the scene alive and making the arena competitive. A1 seems to boil down to the quality of the drivers, who are obviously stronger when they come from countries with a tradition in motorsport. So is A1 really fair and equal? We’ll have to look deep into the training systems of the countries to figure that out.
Meanwhile, I shall continue to bemoan about the lack of noisy (as in engine sounds) excitement on television. My suggestion of a longer system is glaringly impracticable and extremely insensible. I shall continue to hope, though- maybe someone is listening.