It’s a new year with new American owners, with former boss Bernie Ecclestone getting the boot in the off-season. It will also have more of a Canuck flavour than in the past. Racing for the Williams Martini Racing team will be Lance Stroll, who is 18 years old and already a phenom in Formula 4. He will be the first Canadian competing in Formula 1 since Jacques Villeneuve 11 years ago.
It will take a lot of effort to keep up with the Lewis Hamiltons of the world in the early going, though. Mainly, it will take a good car. I find that in this sport, the driver is only as good as the vehicle, and if the car is a piece of junk, the driver is sunk. We’ll see.
The first race of the season goes this weekend in Australia, and you can bet I will be staying up late this Saturday night/early Sunday morning to tune in.
As an aside — this is my annual rant about how bad it is to be a F1 fan in North America. Just look at the schedule! The only time I really get to be a fan of this sport is early in the season, when I usually have the stamina to watch the races late at night from Australia or Asia, or later in the season when I can watch the races on Sunday afternoons from Canada, the USA, Mexico and Brazil! For these other races from European venues, I’d have to wake up at 6 am or 7 am CST in the morning on Sundays, a day that I normally devote to catching up on my sleep!
So with this schedule, I’m sleeping through half the F1 season, every year. Forget it!!
I hope the new owners are serious about trying to go after a North American audience; then maybe they could schedule some more races in North America that are on at a reasonable time in our time zones. Then, more fans around here might be interested. That’s that about that!
Update: It turns out this is a big weekend for sports in Australia. In addition to the F1 race, this also is the start of the Australian Rules Football season.