Hey! Welcome to the inaugural F1winnable! My own little slice of Formula 1-dom within Unwinnable.
Who am I? I’m David, editor in chief of Unwinnable and F1 dork. What are my F1 qualifications? I’m just a fan, fam. I like cars doing zoomies, I like the drama, and the science and engineering, and the personalities and my secret power is to make basically any sporting event digestible and interesting.
I’ve written before about how the real juice with sports is the storytelling. If you’re just watching games to see points go up, play an RPG. Sports are at their best when they’re the culmination of all sorts of little storylines and F1 is amazing because it’s quite literally where the rubber meets the road for little engineering marvels driven by some of the most egotistical jerks going in circles covered in logos for billionaire vanity projects.
F1winnable is a glorified fan/culture blog hidden amongst the grander culture vision of Unwinnable. Because motorsport is culture too and it’s not just Drive to Survive. It’s the brands, the celebrities, the locations, the way that the engineering gets tied up into consumer products, international politics and climate change. F1 is a beautiful microcosm for the peaks and valleys of human existence. And I’m here to tell you about it!
So, here we are, and I’m going to set the table for you for the first race this weekend! Maybe I’ll even aside a little bit to help folks who are new to F1 and are really trusting me to make it watchable for them, hi mom!
If you’re newer to Formula 1, you may not know that the rules were changed before last year and this is a new generation of rules about aerodynamics. The cars are swoopier, flowier and stuff like the design of the floor really matter. Last year, we honestly didn’t really have a clue who would be good or shit and people thought there might be a big shake up in the pecking order because of these new rules. Turns out…kind of not!
Well financed powerhouses like Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari rose to the top and basically stayed there all season long. Mercedes got this a little wrong but they have a super strong driver line up and eventually did figure out how to get the most out of the car. Red Bull, on the other hand, got it right, and ran away with both titles (there are two awards in F1, driver with the most points and team with the most points, the World Drivers’ Championship and the World Constructors’ Championship, respectively). Was this a seismic shift? No totally not. Mercedes did pretty easily win EIGHT consecutive team awards but since 2007 only one team not called Ferrari, Red Bull, or Mercedes won the team award.
So Red Bull ran the table, what else happened?
Well, Ferrari (sometimes referred to as Maranello based on the location of their headquarters or as the Scuderia because of their formal name Scuderia Ferrari) had a bunch of reliability and strategy issues. So it’s not just that Red Bull got the new design right, it’s that their two major rivals had trouble with their cars. But they were still good and only one guy not driving for those teams (teams have two cars/drivers) even got on the podium.
I’ll get into the midfield another time, because its awesome and you should watch midfield battles!
But let’s look forward now at this weekend. This weekend they’re racing in Bahrain, at the same facility they just tested at. So likely, the testing results will be a solid predictor of who is going to be decent. You can look that up on your own time (hint, I’ve mentioned those teams before!). But here’s a quick tip on how to invest in the race. Pick a top tier driver and root for them! I won’t color your perceptions so I’m going to put them in their 2022 final standings order. So just randomly decide to root for Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez, George Russell or Lewis Hamilton. Go on their Wikipedia pages and just pick one, it really doesn’t matter. They’ll all break your heart and take you to some super high highs.
Next, pick midfield guy. Literally just like anyone. If you want some suggestions, Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso, and Valtteri Bottas are all pretty fun. Root for them because a lot of the best passes happen in the midfield.
Next, pick a team. There’s 10 and I don’t know, go off the color. Again, we’re all just fans here and your reasons for your support are your own and don’t matter and don’t take anything away from anyone. Just pick!
Okay this last one is hard, wake up super early (depending on where you live) to watch the race on Sunday! And then we’ll reconvene next week or maybe later this week to talk more about F1.
Also, if you want to play Fantasy F1 with me and some others, join our Grid Rival! You pick some drivers and teams and stuff and spend fantasy points.
Have a really great week everyone!