26 Mar 2012


I was not going to comment on last Sunday week's Australian Grand Prix as I thought I stood the risk of sounding like a broken record but a few friends have chided me so I have to say that it was just boring .Very boring .Jason Button was on pole and lead from start to finish.The TV commentators tried to make it all sound exciting -that's what thay are paid to do after all - but even their frantic babbling could not hide the fact that nothing much happened .To be fair I watched the first 20 mins and returned for the last 20 mins (I had more interesting things to do) but nothing had changed during my absence.
There was story in the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday saying that it was boring and a quote from Ferrari driver Alonso that F1 is a technical sport and is not intended to be exciting ! Silly old me to have got it wrong for all those years- maybe I should have been watching synchronised swimming if I'd wanted excitement .

There was also a story in the Australian Financial Review on the Friday before the race where the chief executive of the AGP was raving about the lavish new corporate hospitality area and the many hatted chefs turning out amazing gourmet fare for the corporates .No mention of any racing for the fans .

I can't offer any prescription on how to "fix" F1 .Above all else I reckon that the problem is cultural .At the end of the day people are trying ( and suceeding) in making a lot of money out of F1 and they really don't care a fig whether we think it is exciting or not .It is just a very big,ugly business and a lot of people have hitched their wagons to Bernie's money train -- including the big team owners-- and they are not going to rock the boat .

Since writing the above I watched some of the Malaysian GP last night and it was more exciting but only because the procession of the usual suspects was interrupted by heavy rain which stopped the race and forced a delay and a restart when the usual suspects got jumped by a few others ."Technical" driver Alonso won it in a Ferrari .I did notice that Malaysians are not enthusiastic about the grand prix as the stands were very empty and many of the public enclosures were almost totally empty.I wonder how long the Malaysian govt will go on paying Bernie a small fortune to stage a race which has so little local support?

Anyway a photo from a different time ( when I went to the races and I could get into the pits ) -- the then mighty Williams team on the pit lane at during saturday's practice for the Italian GP at Monza in 1981 with Alan Jones just climbing into his car .Frank Williams is in the centre left of the picture giving directions .Picture by me on my Olympus OM2 with a 28mm lens on Ektachrome film .I just cropped this into a square picture for a change .


  1. Lovely atmostpheric shot John. Those were the days! Ypu'd have been chased off by a minder if it were 2012!

  2. A lovely atmostpheric shot John. Those were the days. You'd have been chased off by a minder if it were 2012!