Motorsports on TV: Formula 1 and Indycar

The global reach of television has given motorsports enthusiasts the opportunity to see both traditional European-based Formula 1 competition and the long-popular Indy series in the US. They have been developed on tracks that include most of the characteristics of ordinary roads, especially sharp turns and moderate slopes, while Indy racing was for many years confined to special tracks formed in an oval with steep corners at each end. However, since 2005, Indy racing has increasingly included some events on road and street circuits, and these have come to dominate with only about a third of the races now taking place on oval tracks. In this regard, the two motorsports appear to have become more alike, but the contrast between Formula One and Indy racing on the oval track remains.

From a European perspective, sport in the US in general seems to tend towards the fast and spectacular, while Europeans, especially the British, are more interested in longer and slower competitions with intermittent action. The contrast is perhaps most stark when baseball is compared to cricket. So it seems to be with motorsports, with the oval track in the US allowing almost full continuous speed, and the hairpin turns and chicanes of Formula 1 make cars almost stop, as, for example, in the Monaco Grand Prix. Event that takes place annually through the narrow streets of the principality.

Indy racing on the oval track certainly puts on a unique spectacle. The wide track allows multiple cars to race side by side and there are plenty of opportunities to overtake. With drivers maintaining near absolute speed, the race is essentially dependent on engine power. It all seems very dangerous, and this is undoubtedly the essence of its appeal. Crashes, when they do occur, often involve multiple vehicles and are sometimes horrendous. Fortunately, with modern safety features, fatalities and serious injuries have been greatly reduced and this is an advance shared by Formula One.

Formula One is less visible to the viewer and the viewer. Only at the start of the race can all the cars be seen together. For the remainder of the race, the cars move in and out of sight in groups of two, three, and four. Without constant commentary, it is impossible to tell who is winning as it is soon discovered that passing cars are on different laps of the race. And while on the oval track the race leader is almost always in sight, in Formula One the television cameras seem to ignore the leading car and focus on close fights for fourth or ninth place in hopes of registering an overtaking. rare. Formula One presents a tougher challenge for television, a challenge shared by Indy street racing. For those who want a shear show on television, there is nothing that compares to the oval track.

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