F1: Ways of Seeing

What two people—an avid fan and a semi-ignorant reluctant follower—experience when they are part of the same audience watching the same race.

The sensory enjoyment of this sport, seen live, is absolute—colour, smell, sound, straights, curves, et al. But I have to head into the lounge and to a TV set to make complete sense of what’s happened. Vettel took pole, didn’t he? What was his time? Oh, and was that Massa who crashed out on his second timed lap? The volume of sound means that one can’t hear the commentary on the loudspeakers around the track, and the information on the big screens isn’t always legible, given that it’s actually meant for TV. Perhaps adding dedicated electronic ‘scoreboards’ would help.

But as we crawled back, squeezed between Jaguars and Audi R8s as part of a jam on the swanky Yamuna Expressway, I had a happy heart. My mother’s final comments on the race had eaten away my cynicism. She looked content as she said, “At 52, I, who hasn’t even ever watched a live cricket match, got to watch an F1 race. Now isn’t that something?” It surely is.

Read both reports here.

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