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Auto racing, Formula 1

Stewart’s lament

Back to Jackie Stewart. A passage in his autobiography, Winning is Not Enough, about getting easy access to drivers at Grand Prix races, rings true with me: “…it is a pity that the modern  [F1] drivers seem to have become so remote from the enthusiasts. In 1953, I was walking up to drivers asking them for their autograph, standing and watching mechanics prepare the car, seeing, feeling, smelling and hearing the power and glory of this extraordinary spectacle and…. I became hooked. Nowadays, a 14-year-old boy can only experience a Grand Prix through television coverage, through the media or through his binoculars.”

He’s right. Of course, the sport has changed immensely since Sir Jackie competed, but this passage made me think of Lewis Hamilton and his complaints that he needed to move to Switzerland to escape all the fan adulation and media attention that dogs him in England. It’s ridiculous that a professional athlete thinks so highly of himself that he feels the need to isolate himself from his fans, further depriving a young follower of a chance to experience a moment that could set him or her on a path to racing passion.

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About Paul Ferriss

Paul Ferriss is a writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He is editor of CAA Magazine (published for the Canadian Automobile Association by Totem, a custom content agency.) He's also Totem's director of creative and editorial. Previously he was executive editor at Marketing, a magazine covering advertising, media and marketing, where he also covered automotive marketing and managed an editorial team. He also works as a freelance writer and has written for a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites including The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post and Canadian Business. He's the author of Never Too Fast: The Paul Tracy Story.

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