The Love of Motorsport

“Racing, competing, is in my blood. It’s part of me, it’s part of my life; I’ve been doing it all my life. And it stands up before anything else.”

These are the words of the late Ayrton Senna during an interview before the 1989 Australian Grand Prix. This quote from the three-time Formula One World Champion illustrates why racing drivers risk their lives time and time again –it’s in their nature.

There are countless stories of racers who never give up. Just watch a MotoGP race and you’ll see riders who crash at high speed get straight to their feet to check if their bike can keep going. In other motorsports drivers such as Mika Häkkinen in 1995, Alex Zanardi in 2001, and Chris van der Drift in 2010 had near fatal accidents but recovered from their injuries to race again.

I have tried to start a blog for a long time now, but could never decide where to start. I love talking about Formula One, but seldom have the chance in everyday life. I’ve watched F1 more than any other motorsport, but recently all I can talk about are the negatives –pay drivers, ugly cars, pay tv, etc.

I’ve wondered, what is it that keeps me watching this sport that I speak so negatively of? No matter how many negatives I talk about, I still watch all the races, I still sit on the edge of my seat when I see the five red lights go out, I still get chills down my spine every time I see cars pass within inches of the Monaco barrier. It’s something that I can never get away from, it’s who I am, it’s part of me.

I am still thankful for my Formula One doubts. In recent years I have delved deeper into other forms of motorsport –Rallying, NASCAR, junior formulas, MotoGP, DTM, endurance racing, pretty much anything I could get my hands on. It has opened my mind up to a whole world beyond the Formula One paddock.

The more I explored, the more Ayrton Senna’s words made sense to me. Why should I complain about pay drivers (Drivers who bring big sponsorship deals to a team to secure a race seat)? It is a shame that highly talented racers can’t compete due to finances, but does that mean a pay driver is any less of a racer? No -they have still dedicated their whole lives to get to the top. They’ll still drive the car with three wheels or pick their bike up after a crash because they love racing.

The truth is, right now the sport needs pay drivers. Without them there might not be a sport. The cost of running an F1 team each year is massive and sponsorship deals are used to cover the cost. Teams like Marussia, Lotus, and Sauber who are struggling for results might not be competing if it weren’t for the money brought by their drivers. I shouldn’t be complaining -I should be thankful that the sport has found a way to keep going with people who love racing.

Now I should mention that this determination is not limited to motorsport –the same is true for a number of sports. From footballers getting horrible leg breaks and playing again the following season, to rugby players trying to play on after heavy tackles –they all do it for the same reason. Their love is for playing their sport.

My love is for motorsport, it’s something that I am passionate about and it makes sense that my first post is about why I am this way.

The pit wall is where the most important people in the team sit during a race. I don’t claim to be an expert. I’m not involved in any team, I hope the name doesn’t fool people. But a pit wall is something unique to motorsport. When people sit at the pit wall they look at monitors and over the wall to the track.

This blog is my view as a fan; as someone who is looking over the wall to watch the racing. This is Pit Wall View.

-SC

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