A colleague emails. He has details of another set of races that are more exciting than Formula 1, he says. It’s quick to watch, unpredictable and close, and there’s lots of overtaking. You should give it a look, he says, so I do, and realise he’s got a point.
The protagonists are easy to identify. The lead changes many, many times. It’s fast, it’s action packed and it’s over quickly. As high-octane thrills go, it’s right up there.This magical, mythical racing series? Google ‘beach marble race video’ and you’ll get the idea.
So, no, although there’s more overtaking in five minutes of racing between small balls rolled down a channel dug into some sand on a family holiday than there is in a typical two-hour, pinnacle-of-motorsport, multi-tens-of-million-quid Sunday afternoon romp, marble runs are unlikely to have CVC Capital Partners too concerned that they’re going to be undermined by a phone video of a lazy Thursday in Marbella.
My colleague knows this, too; he knows F1 can afford to be complacent even in the face of the deadly threat of marbles being rolled down a beach – and, more seriously, other genuinely brilliant motorsport, of which there’s lots – because we’ve all invested so much of ourselves in F1 over the years.