Sunday, 18 March 2012

F1 is back with a whimper

This afternoon - for those of us not rich enough/with mums stubborn enough to keep the forces of Sky Sports at bay - saw the real return of Formula One. And I'm a little underwhelmed.

I usually await the new season with a mixture of excitement/tension, as my weeping/crying/excessive sweating over the football season is slightly diluted by the sight of twenty-odd cars going around some track on the other side of the world. Such is Bernie Eccelstone's desire for more money, - regardless of the utter shitness of the venue - races take place all over the world, which means very early starts. Thus, often hungover, always cranky, I would pad downstairs and follow the live action.


The first part of this blog won't really be analytical, but then neither will the second, third and fourth parts...or any of my blogs. It will essentially be a well-worded attack on everything that the BBC has done wrong.

So, without further ado:

The commentary team. 
Who the hell is Ben Edwards? Bring back Jonathan Legard for goodness sake, at least he had a voice which was unforgettable in its inadequacy. He would make mistakes, shout too loud and interrupt, but he knew what he was talking about...ish.

Did you know I want to be a sports commentator? The employment of Edwards tells me that firstly, the BBC do not do an audition process for commentating and I shouldn't even bother but secondly, that if that guy can get the job, then who knows. This new guy is as well-qualified as Terry Connor and half as popular. David Coulthard, informative and giving of many shits, must be thinking "I quit F1 so that I didn't have to be dictated to by idiots", and he gets Ben Edwards. No passion, no knowledge, no style, other than that he's a passable replacement for...

Martin Brundle.
Come back Martin! He was an amazing commentator who took to the role so well after years as a pundit. But that doesn't stop him being a greedy tit. Sky - as they often do - came in with more money than the next highest bidder, and Brundle pissed off. It's ridiculous that we get one season of Brundle after two years of Legard and now an eternity of Ben Edward's voice in my head.

Jake Humphrey.
Is he really that good? He has the authority of an eight year old told to the look after the class while the teacher takes a piss. He's just so irritating, but then maybe he's just a way of getting us desperate for the race to start. He's also always walking (don't make a typo) every time I see him on screen and you just want to yell "STAY STILL YOU MUG!” He's actually managed to make Eddie Jordan MORE annoying, impressive.

OK, now for the race.

Jenson Button, starting second made a really good start and overtook team-mate Lewis Hamilton going into the first corner. And that was about it. I waited six hours, desperately avoiding all sport information to watch a race which was pretty dull. In the midfield, it was a decent race, but who gives a dam about the middle of the pack? Fernando Alonso wrestled a dreadful car to fifth; Felipe Massa didn't as, contrary to a previous blog, he is a terrible, terrible driver. From seventh to thirteenth places was a constant change of position, a bit like the Premier League, but faster and more boring. Kimi Raikkonen returned to action, but even the usually unpredictable Finn was becalmed as lap by lap, the race ticked away.

I haven't really paid Jenson his due for his victory; he drove a great race and always looked like winning. I don't know when he got good, but it's really working for him, he is almost unrecognisable from the driver in the middle of his first season at McLaren, where he kept finishing fourth, but strutted around like he owned the place...I don't know what "the place is" but he thought he owned it, but he didn't. Bernie owns the place. Not you. But now he is in the form of his life, and if anyone looks like wrestling the World Title from Sebastian Vettel's sweaty, efficient German grasp, with his irritating long fingers wrapped around the handle, it will be Jenson.

That's because Button's team-mate, Hamilton, just never looked up to it. The usually wild and aggressive Hamilton was desperately flat, and he never got close to winning the race after surrendering the lead with alarming ease off the start. As for Vettel - or Das Finger - he went from sixth on the grid to second without passing anyone. See? Efficient. He really is a jammy sod, but that's what makes champions, so good luck to him...but not too much luck.

So the F1 bandwagon rolls onto Malaysia next, where I will have to wait around all day again, not checking my usual websites of BBC Sport, BBC Sport, and BBC Sport. History says it will rain, which should make for a good race, which is all I can hope for. F1 2012 has barely got under way and I'm losing my usual, irritating enthusiasm.

Let's hope it improves or, like Jake, I'm walking.

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