Jenson Button still does a great job (and ironically, might still become a programme-saving element of the new BBC Top Gear), but listening to him putting a brave face on finishing 12th - again - has become a sad part of Sunday afternoon, not entertainment or enjoyment.
Worst of all are the worries most of us lifelong devotees harbour about the direction of the sport itself. The racing isn’t a pure contest. The noise still isn’t right. Efforts to control costs have worked in reverse, which makes it a particular disaster that many sponsors are in reverse. F1’s unintelligible collection of rules, penalties and general bureaucracy would do credit to the civil service of a banana republic. And it’s not even a given that the best drivers find their way to the F1 grid, because as far as teams are concerned, money is a much more of a winning element than skill.
Will future drivers be heroes just for having wealthy sponsors? Sounds like it.
Do you know what’s worst of all? It’s the fact that the sport is governed and run by men of great age, with vested interests every bit as old as they are. People only leave when they die. F1 may have a reputation for immaculate organisation, but it hasn’t seen a new broom in decades. And it needs one every bit as badly as FIFA.
All of which brands poor old Bernie Ecclestone’s lame observation that “the world of Formula One have moved on” as he announced that Channel 4 would henceforth carry the BBC’s ragbag of direct telecasts and highlights shows, as one of his most ironic utterances ever.
There is some hope for the future, however. Sebastian Vettel has put a rocket up Maranello, and how ironic that most of us are praying that the man who dominated the sport for four seasons will come good and save us from another Mercedes whitewash in 2016.
Also, the performances of teenage sensation Max Verstappen are proof that raw talent can occasionally rise to the top.
But Formula One’s core problem is that it hasn’t moved on. Any fool, barring those involved in its governance, can see that it should.