On most weekends I will wait until Sunday evening to watch that day's Formula 1 race. This requires some creativity, in that I need to keep up with automotive news for this site while remaining unplugged from social media so as not to learn the outcome of the race.
All day Sunday I looked forward to sitting back at the conclusion of the day to watch the Canadian Grand Prix. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is typically the location of great racing action with several high speed areas that encourage overtaking and late braking maneuvers. These are not the rantings of a Johnny come lately. I recall the time before DVRs and internet downloads when one had to wake up at 4:30am to watch a European race.
Alas, I was to be disappointed. Other than a few battles that were over as soon as they started, and Sebastian Vettel's charge from last place to 5th, I found myself for at least the 3rd time this season wanting to fast forward. I realized that sadly I watch out of habit, and the off chance that a great race may occur, and that I can understand how a new viewer would be totally turned off by what they see.
The total domination by Mercedes is not so much an issue. It's happened before, Ferrari, Red Bull and at one time McLaren. Those teams that get it right and win the engineering battle usually conquer the season. So the start to finish win of Hamilton, while not my favorite driver (or team for that matter), doesn’t really matter. It's not the outcome…it's how they got there. Repeatedly this season, and highlighted at Canada due to long runs on full throttle, drivers are told by teams to manage fuel and manage tires. Even on good tires both Rosberg and Hamilton are told to manage fuel and to "lift and coast" their way home. Nothing demonstrated this more than Fernando Alonso's frustrated response when he was told to save fuel:
"I don't want, I don't want," "I have really big problems now, driving with these and looking like amateurs.
"So I race and then I concentrate on the fuel"
At this point in the race he was well outside any points the only reason to save fuel would be the off chance of a retirement. Even though he had nothing to gain in points, he simply wanted to race those around him and to push. Of all the radio messages this season, Fernando's response sums up how many of us fans, both hardcore and casual.
The phrases "reduce your pace…" or "you're using too much fuel" should not exist in Formula 1. Drivers, as long as the car is healthy, should be able to push for the full race.
In the end, I suppose I'm a sucker, 'cause I'll always watch it even when it gets boring....but will I always stay awake...that's the real question?