It’s lights out and away we snooze! Sadly, this is the state of Formula one races these days, or at least fans think it is. While the broadcast cameras are firmly focused on the leader driving away into the distance, teams behind are busy fighting. This isn’t a rant on F1 not covering the midfield, but an analysis on why F1.5 is miles ahead of F1.
While Lewis Hamilton is busy complaining about his tyres, there are multiple on-track battles happening simultaneously. Daniel Ricciardo could be furiously scrapping away with Kimi Raikkonen and Daniil Kvyat. Three different drivers, from completely different teams fighting over the same position. This is almost unheard of among the top 3 teams.
F1.5 is an undiscovered and unaired world of its own, which deserves far more appreciation from fans.
Actual Racing in F1(.5)
The past few races have been a pleasant change from the ordinary, but racing among the top 3 teams is an absolute bore. One driver in a far more superior car opens his DRS, breezes past and that’s the race right there. The concept of pure racecraft and wheel to wheel action is an anomaly among the top 3 teams.
On the other hand, the midfield is F1’s saving grace. Talented drivers in cars that are almost equal, battling it out. The race doesn’t end with one car passing the other, instead, there’s a proper fight lasting several laps.
Consider last year’s Singapore Grand Prix. 4 drivers from 4 different teams were fighting over 11th place on the final lap! It was one of the closest finishes in recent F1 history and a reminder of the midfield’s potential.
Unpredictability in F1(.5)
Remember the first half of 2019? When Mercedes turned up and won 5 races back to back? Good times, right?
Let’s be honest, on a good day – even the most casual F1 fan can predict which team is going to win the race. 99% of the time it’s the silver car and on other rare occasions, its either a red or purple car.
This isn’t the case with F1.5. In the midfield, there’s a different ‘winner’(7th place) at almost every race. Renault could be dominant on one weekend and McLaren could be dominant on another. Teams turn up to events not knowing what to expect. There’s a genuine mystery surrounding race results, which is missing among the top 3.
At the top, it’s a 3-horse race for the win. Even that is highly unlikely due to the aforementioned reason, but it’s the best-case scenario. The only time you’ll see a Ferrari ‘battling’ a Haas, is when the latter’s being lapped. There’s limited competition at the top to really make the leaders sweat.
Unlike the top 3, there’s an abundance of rivalry – which can be cut-throat at times. 6 teams are furiously fighting over the final four places. 12 drivers trying to outdo each other in a bid to claim nominal points on offer.
Haas could be leading the midfield at one race, but Racing Point could take over at another race. There are constant position changes between all the teams. Additionally, the ‘Championship’ actually goes down to the wire. Even though the things at the top are all wrapped up, there’s plenty to play for in F1.5.
In addition to all the above points, the midfield provides a sense of excitement that’s been missing in F1 for the past few years. The Netflix documentary Formula 1: Drive To Survive, did an excellent job putting the F1 midfield on the map. It also showcased the gambles and consequences within F1.5. The show will return with a second season on February 28.
The F1 midfield is woefully overlooked. It is by far miles ahead of F1 in all aspects and will surely deliver another exciting season for hardcore Formula one fans.
Scuderia Ferrari fan. #AlwaysBelieveInSeb