Canadian Grand Prix Weekend

The 2019 Formula 1 World Championship started with so much promise and anticipation. There was this snazzy behind the scenes documentary released on Netflix. There was talk of Ferrari having the best car at winter testing. There were new drivers in new places. There was so much excitement.

Then, race by race, the air started coming out of the balloon, to the point where we’ve just come out of the tunnel in Monaco and are at the seventh stop of the season in Montreal, and I’m not even sure there is a balloon anymore – never mind worrying about how much air is left in it.

The balloon that carried so much hope is gone.

Balloon go pop.

That’s my new catchphrase, by the way. It’ll be stuck in your head by the end of this post.

This season has not been good. That pains me to say because I love Formula 1, but someone tell me there is an alternative truth. Tell me I’m wrong.

Where is the competition? Mercedes has won every race. All but one of them have been a 1-2 finish. As a viewer, where is the fun in that?

Ferrari has been tripping over themselves since Melbourne. The “prancing horse” doesn’t even trot anymore. You are Ferrari. Come on! Giddy up!

Ferrari has more 5th place finishes (5), than podiums (4). Why is this a thing?

Balloon go pop.

If I dressed like a rich person every time the F1 social media accounts posed the question, “Does Ferrari have the advantage going into this weekend?”, I could trade in all of my clothes and start my own F1 team.

I know, that was a weird way of wording it, but I still have images in my head of rich people in Monaco wearing tan pants and white-collared shirts, with the sleeves rolled up so they can show off their Rolex watches and bracelets with their name engraved on them.

Oddly specific – just go with it.

I don’t know what Red Bull is doing. Every year, I wish they can jump back into a legitimate fight with the top two teams, but they don’t.

Balloon go pop.

And then there’s everyone else. One of the biggest illusions in this sport is the discourse directing our attention at the riveting “mid-field battle”. For a few years, I fell for it.

Looking at it now, why should I care who comes in 7th? Why should I care that McLaren is currently outperforming Renault? Why should I care that Kimi Raikkonen always seems to slip his Sauber into the top 10?

I should be caring about who finishes first, second, and third, but by Lap 20, those cars are so far apart the camera doesn’t even bother following them anymore.

Question: Why is this prestigious sport trying to create a cult following for second tier teams?

Answer: The top teams aren’t really battling each other, so we have to look somewhere else to get our on-track “action”.

It’s just frustrating. It feels like the races are decided by the cars, rather than the drivers.

The cars have gotten so long, and so wide, it’s as if they’re racing limousines around the track. Passing is impossible because there is no space.

We rely on long straight aways and DRS to give the cars an advantage, so they can be late on the braking going into the corner, and pass the car ahead of them. Because other than that, how are the overtakes happening?

I miss the chaos that the first corner of a Grand Prix used to provide. It was just so beautiful. Six cars trying to make the same turn because they all thought they had space.

Now, the drivers know they don’t have any space, so it’s like navigating a shopping cart through the check-out.

Balloon go pop.

I understand the whole purpose of auto racing is to put a car together that is faster than everyone else’s. I get it. Mercedes is doing nothing wrong by winning every race.

However, I want to be entertained. In 2019, sports are about the viewer at home. You need to hold their attention because not everyone is like me and will sit through a race where no one passes anyone for an hour and a half.

You need to create rules and regulations that perpetuate excitement. I know they know this. And I know they know they have to change it.

Fans should be tuning in to each race and asking themselves, “I wonder what will happen this time and how it’ll affect the world championship.”

Currently, there’s none of that. There’s no drama.

There aren’t as many crashes. There are very few overtakes. There is never any rain.

God, I just want a classic rain race where anyone can spin off at any time and we have a McLaren in first place for about three laps because of the mayhem that happened in front of them.


We get weather forecasts like, “We’re expecting rain around Lap 42, but it’ll only affect Turn 13, and even then it’ll only be tiny droplets, but if those tiny droplets build up, boy oh boy, we may see some teams take a gamble and change tires! STAY TUNED, PLEASE.”

You know it’s bad when the only reason to continue watching a race after Lap 10 is because there’s a slight chance of rain before the end.

I just want the excitement back. I want real rivalries. I want something to talk about after the race.

But hey, Lance Stroll is coming into his home Grand Prix this weekend and predicting it will be a turning point for him, so maybe I just need to look in a mirror and live my life with the same level of blind optimism.

Maybe this season will turn around. Maybe Ferrari will prance again. Maybe Red Bull will have a surge of energy. Maybe Daniel Ricciardo will make us understand why he chose to sign with a second tier team. Maybe Williams won’t qualify last. Maybe Mercedes won’t win every race. Maybe Kimi Raikkonen will smile.

What a lovely sight all that would be.

The possibilities are endless, but for now they just seem impossible.

Balloon go pop.

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11 Responses to Canadian Grand Prix Weekend

  1. It seems like you are having so many races and games and championship series lately! I hope you enjoy the race 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cd says:

    ‘Currently, there’s none of that. There’s no drama. There aren’t as many crashes. There are very few overtakes. There is never any rain.’ – Couldn’t have been more accurate. Like no drama. Barely any crashes. No Rain. Always Mercedes on top. This season is boring. ….

    Our favourite Lance is on home turf, I really hope he just starts to give us all a reason to believe he ‘is in F1 for the right reasons’ one day.

    But it’s finally another race weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Wouldn’t it be nice if Mercedes just sat out a few weekends and let everyone else stumble their way to the top?

      Ohhh Lance haha if he makes it out of the first qualifying session I’ll be impressed. The audience might shed a tear.

      Looking forward to this weekend, but of course it finally stops raining in Canada and F1 shows up…

      Liked by 2 people

      • cd says:

        Imagine, if they just had some problems all of a sudden, that would be great.

        I think everyone would be impressed, noone would be able to believe that if it happened. I feel like I should for once give him the benefit of the doubt for once.

        right! This weather is amazing finally. Only F1 weekends…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. great post!!! as an F1 and Ferrari fan this year is very disappointing to say the least… absolutely no competition on the track. always the same boring race… we had gone to Montreal for the past 2 years for the race but not going this year, at lest last year Ferrari was competitive and won in Montreal , not sure this year 🤞🏻they can turn around the season but not betting on it

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Thank you! I don’t blame you for not going this year, the outcome already looks like it’ll be Mercedes 1-2 again. There’s still a long way to go so many Ferrari will figure it out and make it interesting for us. Enjoy the race!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Vettel Should’ve Won | The Captain's Speech

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