Saturday, November 13, 2010

The 2010 Season

In about 12 hours the 2010 Formula 1 season will be over and it's likely that it will be remembered as one of the most exciting ever. While the Constructors' Championship was decided at the penultimate round in Brazil the Drivers' Championship will go down to the wire with four men in contention, two of which are former champions. It is also important to note the the Constructors' Title went to the Red Bull Racing team. Against the might of Ferrari and McLaren that is no small feat. Is it a victory for new rules or simply a new victory for Adrian Newey? I suppose only time will tell.

While it's difficult to say if the actual wheel to wheel racing is any more exciting that it was two years ago it is definitely more interesting to see three teams and 6 drivers regularly fighting for wins. The three major teams have each fielded cars that all have completely different characters and it's refreshing because so many people believe that all F1 cars are the same. The Red Bull has been as phenomenal through the twisty bits as the McLaren has been on the high speed sections. The Ferrari hasn't been as stellar on any particular type of road but has been good everywhere. In the hands of the ever capable Fernando Alonso the Ferrari has made a great deal out of what could have been a very lack-luster season.

Will this continue in the future? I certainly hope so, since I believe that it is vital for that kind of competition to exist if Formula 1 wants to succeed here in America. NASCAR may not be the most thrilling sport to watch but it is possible for a fair number of drivers to win any given race. In the past few years F1 has felt more like a battle between 2 men or, just a few years further back, a tedious procession behind Michael Schumacher. This phenomenon could be partly to blame for the lack of success F1 had in returning to America when it so desperately needed to make new fans. Instead of exciting racing they got parades, then a farce and then nothing.

So as the 2010 season comes to a close we can only hope that American viewers, buoyed by news of a race in our country, began watching races and following the sport. Hopefully old viewers who had given up on the sport began watching again and fans who never left the sport became more vocal in their support, for it will not succeed here in America without new fans and serious dedication from the old ones.