Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Racing Dominance

by Tammy

Was it boring when Michael Schumacher was winning? Because I have to tell you, I'm finding Formula 1 so boring these days I can't even be bothered to DVR the races—I used to always DVR them and watch if the reports were of a good race, but "the exciting battle for 5th" doesn't count.

Partly, I assume, it's a matter of whether I like the driver or not. Take Jimmie Johnson. I tend to like him, so I'm glad to see him winning ... then again, it was less liking than awe and respect when he was steamrolling the competition to five consecutive championships. The last one and this year have been different, more clutch performances. Down to the wire.

But I just can't get excited about Vettel. Is it that he's cold, aloof, reserved? Is it that he's kind of a brat? I figure he's outgrown that by now, but I'm still not warming to him.

I think my problem is the combination of open-wheel cars, fragile cars, no refueling strategy, and then the dominance of one specific driver that means I just don't engage. If I'd been a lifelong viewer perhaps—then again, a friend of mine who's a lifelong viewer isn't watching the end of this season anyway.

I caught a tweet today where someone blamed Jimmie's dominance for NASCAR's viewer woes. But I don't think it's entirely on his shoulders. After all, he's not dominating this season, and someone else won last year. Plus, plenty of other racing series (hello, IndyCar) have seen declining viewership and attendance numbers, so I'd be more inclined to blame the economy and strange broadcast channels (who else misses SPEED?).

But I want to know what you think? Is it boring when a driver or team dominates a particular series? Or just when it's a driver you don't like?

And do you think Jimmie will take it this year?

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