In recent times, the sporting spectacle has been referred to as ‘the show’. The motorsport circus that travels around the world with two purposes: crowning a champion and making Liberty Media lots of money.
This second objective has been done very successfully in recent years with the advent of Drive to Survive attracting the all-important younger audiences and turning the drivers from athletes to celebrities has also helped with the popularity.
The shift from show to sport hasn’t been more apparent since the opening ceremony of the Miami Grand Prix, an event which seems to be an opportunity to showcase how much of the Liberty Media budget can be blown on pyrotechnics rather than anything else.
Bizarre is probably the word I would use to describe the event, the first thing they did was get all the W Series drivers on, interview one of the 18 and then send them all back again. Then came the Formula One drivers, who were also traipsed on, in reverse 2021 constructors’ championship order, to say under twenty words about their teams and the race.
Some teams, Alpine, didn’t even send two drivers out, they sent a marketing man to accompany Ocon and Szafnauer which tells you everything you need to know about the event.
From then on, it got worse. They had a speed painter who didn’t set the world alight and then brought out a no-mark DJ in Kygo who played a mixture of songs from the nineties and then the most tone-deaf singers in the world made an appearance. If this is the best Liberty Media can do then Formula One should be worried.
As for whether they are a show or a sport, at the moment I think they are treading the fine line but any more performances like this then Formula One will become a show.
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