F1 Drivers paid or pay
Date published : 27 Feb 2013 - 16:45:00
I was sat recently with a good friend of mine and we were discussing with excitement the up and coming formula 1 season, we were discussing the cars the drivers and who we think was going to win the championship this year, again we had different answers as we regularly do when we have these in depth discussions.
We then got talking about the state of the drivers in the sport and the only thing we did agree on was the fact that pay for seat drivers really didn’t improve the image of formula 1 as these guys who drive these rockets 2 mm from the floor and not a lot of protection should be the best and not there because they have the greatest backing from sponsors.
I for one was sad to Heiki leave Caterham only to be replaced by 2 paying drivers, now for me this isn’t right within a sport that is so driven by the image it perceives to the fans. Can we honestly say that these are the best, can we say that the bottom end of the grid deserves to be there, or are they there for their money.
I was watching the F1 show the other day and Martin Brundle said “it has been in the sport for ages” well it may have been but was it as rife as it is now. By my estimate there are at least 6 pay drivers in this year’s formula 1 season. Now that leaves 16 drivers who are there on merit and what they can do in a car.
I’m really asking do they deserve it or should it be all drivers there on merit, surely the reported £45 million Pastor Maldonado bought to Williams last year did they really need it that bad, as a team that has been in formula 1 for decades and has won everything in the sport I thought this was a bit hard to swallow, don’t get me wrong Pastor is a good driver a bit erratic at times but still well worth the ticket price to see. Did Williams really need the money? I know there have been a few articles on the plight of some of the teams and the financial issues some are having, just look at HRT they went bust and are not in this year’s championship. Is it really that bad that they have to bring pay drivers in their team? Are we going to be looking at a dying breed of drivers who are their through merit and is it going to get to the point that say 50% of the grid are pay drivers, I’m not saying it is going to be next year or the year after but will it be within the next decade I don’t know.
I feel for a sport that has been one of the highest grossing sports consistently and has recently signed a mega bucks deal with sky do they really need the tail enders there do they really need the pay drivers in the sport? Surely the money from the deal gets shared out amongst the teams, or is there the higher parties in the sport swallowing it for themselves, or is just not being distributed equally amongst the teams, I know they get more the higher up the table they get in the constructers but surely even the bigger teams need to say enough is enough lets split it equally and make this sport great as it was when I was growing up when I watched Senna, Mansell, Prost and the introduction of a Mr Schumacher, going wheel to wheel in the 80’s 90’s and right up to the early 2000’s. I know every driver has to prove themselves in the lower classes of the sport but are we really missing the drivers who have talent, if this is the case then I fear for the future of formula 1 or will there always be drivers willing to pay their way in a sport where they are supposed to be the best in the world.