It was hard to write this because it is hard to be snarky. I don't want to be snarky. This is not the time. There are too many serious headlines and you cannot pick all of those apart. It gets messy and nothing I say on those matters is going to help.
Despite the seriousness of the pandemic headlines, there are a few normal headlines out there. Motorsports hasn't completely shut down. There is still plenty of off-track banter going on and it allows for a small chance to be a little cheeky.
Once again, this is just for fun. In case you are new, this is my gut reaction to headlines without reading the article. Of course, the gripes I have may be answered in the article.
We are starting with Formula One.
Ferrari boss calls for F1 budget caps to vary by team
That sounds like something Ferrari would propose and I doubt the Scuderia is proposing an inverse budget caps where the top teams have stricter caps while the lower teams may spend 15% or 20% more.
Reminder, Ferrari is the only team that receives a bonus payment simply for being in Formula One ($73 million in 2019).
Reminder, the Formula One teams voted 9-1 against the halo while Red Bull was developing an aeroscreen but Ferrari designed the halo, voted for it and Sebastian Vettel got a little dizzy after one lap testing the aeroscreen and here we are with the halo today.
Reminder, Ferrari is going through its annual threat to leave Formula One.
So, yeah, we are probably going to get varied budget caps dependent on teams and Ferrari is going to get the highest cap. That is how this seems to work out.
Vettel: Happiness more important than money in next F1 deal
How much are you going to sacrifice for happiness?
Vettel is hoping to revive his career. Of all the four-time champions he is bound to be the most disappointing of them all and he is a four-time champion, third all-time in victories! He won the four titles consecutively nonetheless but oh how long it has been since the fourth crown in 2013.
The Ferrari days have been good to the German driver. He has won 14 races over five seasons but Lewis Hamilton has surpassed Vettel in terms of victories and championship during that time. The record book has shifted from Vettel following Michael Schumacher glory with a more German triumph to Hamilton leading a British charge, ironically on a German horse.
Since joining Ferrari, we have seen Vettel's career devolve. Once this strong and unshakeable driver at Red Bull, at Ferrari Vettel has become prone to outbursts. Each season has at least one or two incidents of mental fragility. Emotions take over and mistakes happen. Over the last five seasons the headlines Vettel has created have been antics of poor driving or poor sportsmanship, not for dominant victories or ruthless drives to the front. Boiling over has cost Vettel a countless number of points and cost him a chance at one championship.
Offer him a pay-cut to win races and contend for another championship and Vettel would take it but who is going make such an offer? Is Mercedes going to come calling when it is already dominant with a fraction of the attitude? Red Bull is off the table. Outside of those teams, none of the rest are going to provide what Vettel is looking for.
Ferrari would gladly pay him less because Charles Leclerc snatched the number one spot in the team last year in Leclerc's first year with the team. Taking less with Ferrari cements Vettel as the number two role and taking whatever race victories the team gives him. It also means no chance at another championship.
Podcast: Should F1 scrap Monaco or Silverstone?
This is the wasteful lockdown content we knew was coming.
It is kind of like being so bored you wonder if you should get a divorce just to change things up.
The answer is no and no and definitely no to the divorce.
No one pretends Monaco is some phenomenal race. It really is a spectacle, a clash of race cars with the glamour of a principality on the Mediterranean coast. It is damn near impossible to pass on track. The podium positions are set the first time through the casino square as long as none of the top three bounce off a barrier or botch a pit stop. We might see three or four passes all race through the 20-car field.
Monaco is purely for Formula One's identity and there is nothing wrong with that. It represents Formula One's prosperity and elegance. We all know the track does not meet FIA standards for a Formula One circuit and it receives every waiver and grandfather clause imaginable to be on the schedule but scrapping Monaco would remove one of the few remaining landmarks of the Formula One season.
Silverstone has a crowd limit for Friday! It is three-day celebration in Formula One's backyard, its birthplace if you will. What other venue replicates the display we see at Silverstone? Yes, there are traffic problems and yes, bad weather will get in the way but it doesn't stop the party. It doesn't stop the people from coming together year-after-year. And the racing is good. You cannot make cry processional over a race at Silverstone.
Much of the Formula One schedule feels sterile. It lacks pizzazz and excitement. We are down to a handful of tracks where seeing the name elicits giddiness. Monza, Spa-Francorchamps, Monaco and Silverstone are four of them.
Let's not be stupid here. No street-race in an authoritarian nation will counterbalance what Monaco and Silverstone bring to Formula One. Formula One is not hurting because it has Monaco and Silverstone. These are two of the great venues for Formula One and only make the series better. Scrapping them sheds what little life Formula One has in it, the few remaining connections to the lifeblood of the 70-year-old series. Neither should be on the chopping block.
To IndyCar and the virtual world...
Conor Daly happy to be iRacing goof: 'the Clint Boywer of virtual IndyCar'
Being the Clint Bowyer of anything is a pretty low bar.
During this period of lockdown where simulated races over a few platforms take place each series can break down its grid in the same way.
You have the drivers who take it seriously and are good at, you have the drivers you are trying but not might be the most successful and will still give it a go for sponsors, you have the drivers that are only there for the sponsors and are not having much fun and then you have the drivers who just want to be clowns.
There is nothing wrong with having fun and being relaxed through this time. Seriousness should be tempered with joy because these competitions are not for money or glory. These iRacing series are meant to keep the people at ease, provide a distraction during an uncertain time, try to make this period feel slightly normal.
But the goofball act gets old pretty quick, especially when we are doing this on a weekly basis.
We see two polar ends of the iRacing competitors, those who take it too seriously and then the goofballs. Both ends have few occupants and most competing are in the middle but dominating the airwaves are those who show rage or foolery. It gets tiresome seeing the same behavior being highlighted each week, especially when it is grown men acting childish.
How many times can we see the guys chuckling over their inability and turn it into a joke? At the same time, how many times can we see someone slamming their equipment, shutting down in anger or cursing at will?
I feel like there is a middle ground that is being ignored though it is larger than either end of the spectrum.
Back to something real and let's go to Australia.
Motorsport Australia wants more permanent circuits
I read this article and I felt it made a lot of sense.
The point of the article is Australia needs more circuits where people can compete and one issue with street courses is while they bring motorsports to city centers and allow large swaths of people to watch races from their own backyard the people cannot compete on those street courses when the series are gone. The roads return to the people, city buses carrying people to and from work, people driving to see family members and so on.
Those inspired after seeing a series competing on local streets to join motorsports need permanent circuits. Without permanent circuits, future participation will dwindle. For the last decade or so there has been a push for street courses to be the answer to decreasing interest and attendance in motorsports. Fish where the fish are is the line of thought but while that might be the answer to sell tickets, hot dogs and hats, it does not address how the young boys and girls who see a race car and then want to get behind the wheel.
Without permanent circuits, the future drivers, crew members, marshals and other key motorsports people, who competes and participates will be constricted to a select few number of people and that is not a good thing. Motorsports shouldn't be for a few fortunate people who live with the infrastructure in the area. It is going to be tougher for some to compete but we should try to lower that barrier as much as we can.
We should want people from all corners to come and be a part of motorsports. Permanent circuits make that possible. We need these places otherwise motorsports will contract even more.
That is it for April and it is fitting it is raining on this morning. We look to May and hopefully brighter days.