It was better back in the day. A cheap shot argument often thrown around in pretty much any sport you care to think of, not least in Formula One. However if you dig a little deeper - by looking at F1’s incredible evolution of speed and responsibility - and especially the example set by current reigning champion Lewis Hamilton - then you will quickly understand that progress trumps nostalgia, every-time.
Cars are faster, more powerful, but crucially safer. The incredible technology that F1 teams develop on the race track now is paving the way for better, cleaner, and more sophisticated road cars in the future. What’s more from a fans perspective the trepidation and risks of tuning-in to a Grand Prix on a Sunday and witnessing your favourite driver’s career - and life - ended by a racing accident are mercifully low. Speed, performance, safety, technology and surprisingly health are all top priorities.
Better still, the drivers who are the public faces of F1’s travelling show, are more aware than ever before that their responsibilities extend way beyond just turning the steering wheel at the weekend. It’s a two way conversation too. While the antics of golden era drivers in the 60’s and 70’s might have made for entertaining newspaper headlines, modern F1 drivers are now connected to, and interacting with, their fans in previously unimaginable ways.
“I see so many people around the world that follow me, and I feel hugely grateful,” explains Hamilton. “I’ve posted something on social media - and I’ve had people say ‘oh my god I was having such a bad day - that really helped me get through my day’. That dialogue helped me realise that we all need to help each other.