June column – Young and old generation, career in motorsport.
I was reading an article “Mansell – Hamilton is ‘manufactured’”(1) where the ex-F1 champion Nigel Mansell commented that F1 driver nowadays are ‘manufactured’. If we look at the field of F1 drivers now, he is right in the term that a lot of them were signed by big team at very early stage of their racing career. Although it made life easier for the top drivers to hit the top, but I don’t think it’s as easy as a job for them.
If you want a good talent, and then maximize the potential. I think it takes a lot of early effort until one yields results, the earlier one can collaborate the efforts, the better the team results follow. You can call it business management, science, or just being logical.It’s all good to hear that people take desperate measures, like selling personal belongings and taking pay cuts just to help yield success in the racing field, but also this is a double edged sword.
Relating back to our local or more domestic region, racing has been neglected as a sport in general. Much of the funding are now coming in from the private sector, and the lack of commercial value in motorsport is a joke. If there was a racing team who actually hired intern or trainee as a racing driver, I think there will be a number who will apply for it, but in all seriousness, with its insecure nature of the job, not many will take the job as a career.
I was also talking to a dear friend, we were discussing about racing driver as a career, if you win races you get sponsored, but comparing to other sport, you have no fall back if you fail to make it yourself. In other sport like badminton or table tennis, you can be a trainer and still make a living out of it. Seemingly wrong is the lack of appreciation in racing drivers teaching amature drivers in racing. Amatures seems don’t understand the difference between the 1 second gap, the training, then touching the limit of your car and yourself safely. This lack of appreciation, has made lessons and training difficult to survive.
The article goes on to say that some of the safety equipment has made this sport boring. Yep crashes and big accidents makes big newspaper article, magazine features and TV broadcasting. It makes it all the more exciting, but seriously did everyone remember how distress we all were when Massa crashed in 09′, and in all seriousness do we really need another crash like Ayrton Senna to make it exciting…