#F1 Features: Voice of the Fans – Defending Formula 1 from Friends and Trolls

Editor’s note: TJ13 began with a desire to offer a ‘fans’ perspective’ of this glorious sport of ours; warts and all. There are no agenda’s behind the articles and certainly no censorship from corporate interests. As a growing community, many articles are written by passionate fans and we’d like to encourage more debate and more doodles and muses from you all.

A new feature being introduced is “Voice of the Fans” and will feature anyone who chooses to share their views. For anybody who has something to say, please send your words through the usual ‘Contact Us’ and we will put them into our new feature – The first entry was published in the Daily News and Comments on the 23rd April 2014 and was offered by a regular TJ13 contributer – Mike Cloud. His article can be found here.

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor SpannersReady

A few years ago a friend of mine once suggested a simple way to save time on Grand Prix day. He said that I should simply place a few different coloured beans at one end of a string, lift up the end of that string and watch the beads fall in order to the other end of the string.

This was sometime after the era of Formula 1 where Murray Walker over-used the catchphrase, “In Formula One catching is one thing, but passing is quite another”. Murray was of course correct. When I first fell in love with F1 the race was often decided after turn 1. Not just the winner but most of the field. The thing that frustrated me was that my friend was using his beads analogy at a time when Lewis and Fernando were delivering a great inter-team battle which was ushering in what I believe is a golden era.

In decades to come I think these last years will be viewed very fondly. The debate about Vettel’s position among motorsport’s greats alone is a fascinating and complicated tale. I also love DRS. Having grown up in an era where a great charge up the field was often impossible, I now like that a faster car can move through to the position where it is in a genuine race. (Perhaps it could be disabled once the cars are level?)

Did DRS ruin Rosberg’s battle with Hamilton in Bahrain? I don’t think so. The battle is still decided by the better driver-car combination on the day. It also seems to have put life back into some of the classic tracks where traditionally qualifying decided the race. Now Qualifying is important but tactics and racing can make up a deficit as well. DRS and chocolate tyres may not be perfect but I’m happy that things are being tried. There is no magic Formula 1 standard. It evolves as it always has.

Whether you agree with me or not is largely irrelevant. If you’re reading this page then you are passionate about racing. Your opinion has come from being emotionally invested in ‘our’ sport and so I respect your opinion. What hurts me is defending the sport from casual observers at work and internet trolls. I confess I scroll through the comments sections of Facebook pages (sky sports f1) and the festering pit that is Yahoo sport’s comments sections.

It’s my guilty pleasure. I can’t help but try to counter the half arsed criticism that gets posted. Mainly it’s because as F1 fans we can tell when a commenter is writing without having watched the race or is commenting despite having stopped watching for many years. But the problem is that a lot of readers wouldn’t know the difference between the troll’s comments and the comments of an informed, emotionally invested fan. That’s not to say that a genuine fan can’t have a negative opinion. I have many but I hope that when I complain about it, I do so constructively and my complaint comes from a foundation of love, good will and a genuine desire to see improvements.

It’s heart-breaking to think of some young potential fan being put off by reading these things so I feel compelled to counter their points and try to tip the balance. It only takes a few minutes out of my day and mostly it’s fairly easy to counter the weak attacks offered. All I want is for people to be given the same chance to fall in love with the sport like I did without being bombarded with a wave of negativity after every news item. I wish there were more people doing it so that the trolls were completely diluted.

It would be nice to think that the ‘masses’ were not influenced by comments sections but I think that in reality they do have an effect. I urge you chip in and slam down the odd troll, for the children. Please won’t you think about the children? If people turn away from F1, F1 dies. In particular the Facebook page of Sky Sports F1 and Yahoo news require attention, but be sure to direct them back to TheJudge13 at the same time.

22 responses to “#F1 Features: Voice of the Fans – Defending Formula 1 from Friends and Trolls

  1. Sorry, but I’ve found all too often that people who are labelled trolls are only giving a different opinion to those who object to their posts. There are, of course, idiots and you can read there rubbish in all of the F1 sites. The Autosport forums are full to the brim with nobs, who believe their posts are being read by all the top F1 teams. You can spot them when they discuss their favourite team, and refer to them as ‘we’.

    Don’t worry about the children. They’ve better things to do than read forums. Those that do have their own opinions and if they’re driven away from F1, it’ll be down to Bernie’s greed and the FIA’s constantly changing rules.

    I’ve actually been told by another well known F1 writer, that this site is rubbish. Is he a troll ?

    I read several F1 sites and I’m amusted when I read the ‘battles’ between Pitpass and Joe Saward. I wonder if they call each other trolls ?

    • Dude. Come on. Are you saying that there are no such things as trolls. Come on?

    • I’m with you on this.

      If Bernard and the other lads and lassies don’t invest either time or money into tackling the problem then I don’t see why I should. You just have to read the stories here to see how little they care. If it doesnt make money for them its not considered.

      I’m still on this site because the levels of idiotic comments are quite low. I disagree with some, agree with some, but don’t think these differing viewpoints makes anyone a troll.

      I’ve only seen one true idiot that you could call a troll and Danilo dealt with them very well. They still contributed afterwards, for a while, in a far less annoying way then quietly dropped off the face of the earth.

      Some people are not worth the effort though….

    • I abandoned all other f1 sites since I come here. First off all i think the articles are great. And second of all, the input of the readers here is of a high level. Here you have much less of those my guy is beter than your guy fights. Most people here just want to talk about f1. Discuss it. Show their passion and share their love.

    • I think there is a difference between a troll and giving opinion. What I like about this crowd is they argue their point but don’t go off into a huff if not everyone agrees with them.

      For me a troll is name calling and swearing, rude etc. almost impossible to have a debate with them!!

      • Now look here Quixote, I’m Italian and if I want to go off in a huff it’s is my birth-right. Explains why Ferrari could only happen in Italy!! 😉

      • Trolls can only see their own point of view and flatly refuse to accept that there can be any other perspective except for the one they hold.
        Its this bloody-minded refusal to see the bigger picture that makes them impossible to discuss things with,and a waste of time for everyone concerned.

  2. Nice section

    I’m not sure how anyone can like DRS. It’s an artificial gimmick that actually enhances the advantage of having a faster car at a given time of the race. More often than not it allows overtaking to be effortless and deinies drivers being attacked the possibility of using effective defensive driving.

    Honestly, there is no strong reason for this Pirelli+DRS era to be more fondly remembered than any other. At least the new engines are technological marvels.

    Trolls… meh. Too much trouble for too little. I just skip their posts when I can’t block them.

    • DRS has made drivers lazy with overtaking but then, the cars are so aerodynamic it’s really impossible to overtake without a little boost.

      The new generation of tracks don’t help either. Having slow corners leading onto long straights… How many drivers make a mistake in a slow corner? Have a 180mph corner onto a long straight or design circuits so that there is more lines through a corner (and stop Pirelli shedding marbles) and racing is on again.

      I watched footage the other day of Montoya on Schumi’s gearbox, lap after lap trying to get past and eventually he did. Great racing that!

      • Stop letting Hermann Tilke design every new track going….. Or is he handing a padded brown envelope under the table to Mr E😉😉

        The guy who designed the track for the motogp race in Argentina didn’t seem to do a bad job of it

        • Jarno Zaffelli’s the bloke.

          Brilliant track 😀

          I’m looking forward to the interview with him TJ promised.

          Here’s a link – including the Moto GP circuit Termas on YouTube –

          http://www.studiodromo.it/

        • Fully agree but the brown padded envelope has strange ways.. that said, the master of the brown envelope may find them in short supply soon..

        • I read somewhere that Tilke is the only approved architect who doesn’t have to put his designs in front of the FIA? Something to do with Bernie as usual no doubt.

          When he tumbles, there will be wholesale changes throughout F1, I don’t mean at the top level either. Look at the people like Herbie Blash, Charlie Whiting and co, all ex Brabham staff who are part of the fabric and protected by Bernie.

          • Carlo – as far as I know – the Termas circuit is FIA approved.

            Maybe the usual F1 lies / deceit / misrepresentation of the facts ?

          • @ Judge

            It hosted the 2013 Argentinian round of the WTCC.

            And is due to host the 2014 round in August.

            I thought all WTCC tracks had to be FIA approved ?

            My understanding from watching both WTCC & MotoGP is that it is FIA approved.

            It just hasn’t got an F1 licence yet. As you reported a couple of weeks ago.

      • It’s made some drivers lazy, but have you noticed it’s added a sense of strategy too, they won’t overtake before eau rouge etc, kimi on MSC in 2013. I have also noticed that sometimes drivers won’t wait for the drs zone because they know the other car has saved energy or will be driving defensive into that area – so they pass wherever they feel can.

  3. I watch every race with my son and daughter. They’re 2 and 4.
    I think everyone on this site should do the same. If you haven’t got kids, ask your neighbours for theirs. 🙂

    And you know what they say about trolls – you’re not supposed to feed them.

  4. Great read and I wholeheartedly share the views, especially the about half assed comments cobbled together by those with little or no true love for F1. When I have a negative view I express it, but not in way to offend others and I’m happy to consider and occasionally accept the other side of my argument.

    As I said at the top great little piece and a good topic for a non-race weekend.

  5. Hi ‘SpannersReady’ – welcome.
    Very nice introductory piece – hope you’ll find time to pen some more.

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