Having listened to a number of opinions on this matter here’s a thought or two.
Is Vettel’s cussin’ and swearin’ the worst thing an F1 driver has ever done and still received no ban? Probably not, but then again it could be the most lengthy aggressive vehement public outburst by an F1 driver yet heard – so trying to defend Sebastian from the charge of ‘bringing F1 into disrepute’ might be like trying to become president of the USA with a name that means fart.
As a racing spectacle, Formula One leaves a lot to be desired. And let’s be clear, this is nothing new. One team dominating the sport and hardly any proper racing on track has been an F1 issue for more than a decade. And the worst thing about F1 tedium, is that it takes hours to consume. A dull soccer or football game is done in 90 minutes with just enough time to grab a beer after the first half, but F1 takes all weekend – on and off – and for what? Nico/Lewis first or second and a ‘Buller’ in third – maybe a Ferrari here and there.
The result? F1 fans have for decades resorted to sub-plot intrigue for the majority of their F1 fix.
Back in the day, we had FIA President Jean-Marie (why all the men with girl’s names?) Balestre vs Senna; Prost v Senna, in fact the rest of the world v Senna was how it felt at times during the career of the Brazilian triple World Champion.
Once the Frenchie was dispatched from the Place de Concorde we had Bernie v Max and Max v Bernie who kept us entertained whilst at the same time Mosely ‘beasted’ the whinging F1 teams with his cost cutting innovations such as parc ferme.
Up came the ‘millenium’ and ‘cheating Ba>@%rds’ Ferrari and Michael Schumcher’s domination of F1 intrigued us for a while as we pondered how an Italian auto company with a reputation for building crappy unreliable cars could dominate our beloved sport for so long.
Then the answer became clear, when the smart Englishman left the Italian team, the Scuderia quickly fell into decline and so it behoved Big Ron Dennis and Fernando Alonso to entertain the public – hammer and tongues they were at it – FIA observers were even sent in to ensure fair play. The result = a $100m dollar fine for McLaren for spying on the Red Team and stealing their world beating technology (PMSL) and ideas. Bernie mischievously suggested at the time that $5m of the fine was for cheating and $95m was because Ron was in general – a ‘twat’.
Compelling stuff indeed – meanwhile there was the usual on track ‘racing’ in the background but the sport quickly needed a new fix. Up stepped the flamboyant, big haired, fake sun tanned businessman (no his name didn’t mean fart) – Senior Briatore. This Italian Stallion created a crash in Singapore to favour the newly ‘released’ Alonso from McLaren. This turn of events bizarrely resulted in Lewis Hamilton stealing his first world championship from a worthy Brazilian named Felipe Massa.
4 years of Red Bull/Seb Vettel dominance was soon to follow. This was then superseded by at least 3 years of Mercedes dominance… yawn… yawn – and apart from some mad ideas from Charlie Whiting eg New Qualifying format’s, Virtual Safety Cars, Standing Restarts following a safety car, Wet Race standing starts etc etc etc……. F1 has again begun to lose its mass appeal. Attendances are mostly down, TV audiences are collapsing and F1’s money launderers CVC are finally heading for the hills.
Hence…… when a driver like Sir Vettel presents in an apoplectic state and/or we see Lewis doing his bi-polar paranoia type rants quickly followed by #Blessed #Peace #Love…. these gentlemen are throwing themselves in front of the PR bus just to take us beyond the mundane. Ban them? Shouldn’t they be applauded?
However, in the soap opera of F1-land this does not mean drivers should be indulged. Allowing cussin’ at their masters and ‘betters’ will only lead to revolt. Like the gladiators of old, we cheer them for their heroics in the amphiteatre of their sport and then whimsically dismiss them to from whence they came. The heavy thump of the gavel must come down hard to enforce law, order and an impression of gentlemanly civility.
Sadly, for this reason Sebastian Vettel must be banned from racing for telling F1’s white haired gin swilling old doddery referee to ‘eff off’.
Some say, this measure must be enforced – even if only as revenge for the years of 1 finger salutes we were all forced to endure.