An Obsession with Formula 1

Lights Out @ Mugello Lights Out @ Mugello

Lights Out

I started watching F1 religiously at the beginning of the 2020 season. You could say I’ve always been interested in F1, but I’ve never fully committed, gotten hooked, etc.

It feels like the combination of quarantine, content hunger, and my brother’s obsession with it (he’s been all-in since we watched a screener of Rush together in 2013) created a perfect storm that led to my addiction. Most of all though, this is just an incredible thing to watch.

“F1 is like if NASA was a sport” -@brianastas

From the driver’s personalities, the team history - the cars, the technology, the testing and upgrades - the rules and regulations, the nuances of each track — this is a complex and interesting thing. I never thought tyre strategy would be something I would be into, but wow does that matter.

When I went in, I went in hard, binging 2 seasons of Formula 1: Drive to Survive in just a few days - this helped me get to know the drivers along with the recent history and underlying drama. I always knew Senna was a legend (mostly thanks to Senna (2010)), but I was still hungry and Ferrari: Race to Immortality (2017) and McLaren (2016) helped me get my head around the deep history, original legends, and why safety is so important.

Moving through this season, my excitement from Friday to Sunday has yet to decline, but I have noticed the low-level fatigue that sets in from seeing different combinations (but usually this exact combination) of Hamilton, Bottas, and Verstappen at both the front of the grid and standing on the podiums.

What got me fully and completely hooked though, were the last two weekends at Monza and Mugello in Italy.

Italian Grand Prix @ Monza

”..absolutely anything can happen in F1” -@LewisHamilton

I always love an underdog story (I celebrated with my 82-year-old grandfather when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 — a first in both of our lifetimes); and after watching Pierre Gasly’s struggles w/ Red Bull, I was screaming like this Canal+ announcer when he won at Monza last weekend.

Canal+ Announcer as Pierre Gasly Wins

Tuscan Grand Prix @ Mugello

This past weekend at Mugello saw 2 red flags and 8 DNF’s (did not finish) - neither common occurrences - leaving just 12 drivers out of 20 racing to the finish.

Mugello First Crash Oh no!

There was a multi-car crash in the first turn of lap one that triggered a safety car.

Mugello Second Crash OHH NOO!!

As soon as the safety car left the track, a massive crash followed as the drivers got mixed signals and went full-throttle while some others were still stuck behind the slower leaders.

After confirming everyone is ok, both safety cars and restarts add a new dimension to the race; strategies are adjusted, opportunistic teams can pit in much less time, and with the pack condensed, overtake battles are ensured.

Mugello Alex Albon Podium Alex Albon's first F1 podium

The very best part of Mugello was seeing Alex Albon on his first F1 podium — this was well-deserved and should have happened a long time ago if not for a few conflicts and some overall bad luck.

I’m not a sports guy, but I love F1

I’ve made attempts in the past, but I’m really not a sports guy. Growing up in Boston would have been a lot easier if I was, but I finally feel like I found something I can get behind.

F1 has a great YouTube channel and there are awesome fan pages like WTF1 and F1Fun4u. The teams even post deep-dive content breaking down the technology behind the cars (ex: How Do F1 Power Units ACTUALLY Work?).

If you end up getting hooked like me, a subscription to F1 TV Pro is only $9.99/month — with 24 feeds available every race, f1viewer really helps you keep organized.

f1viewer f1viewer