Essentially, unlike other sports, where your performance is judged by how your body operates, F1 is a function of technology: How the car handles, uses tires, the engine, etc.. What that does, is free up the drivers to pretty much mind-game each other in a fun, little soap opera of wealthy, entitled assholes who, every week, look outside of themselves as a response to their failures. The physicality of F1 is implicit, whereas the physicality of cycling or football is explicit.
I’m not going to pretend like what these guys do isn’t hard and require dedication, intelligence and training. However, every day/week, they toss out these platitudes, the text and sub-text of which are attempts to excuse themselves from agency in failure. They ride this wonderful line between being the complete center of a team when things are going swimmingly and, when things go to shit, just a cog in the team. They are cartoons who think they’re not cartoons: self-portraits drawn in ham-fisted crayon.
As I once told my friends, early in my F1 education: I don’t even know why these guys race cars. You could get them all in a room, set ’em up with Monopoly boards and watch the same psychosis play out.
I completely appreciate this sport for its intensity, its attention to the macro and the micro, its sense of history and passion for the most present of moments. Having said all that, I’m new enough to this sport that it’s obvious that the level of bullshit is dangerously high. While part of the fun is actually listening to the guys adhere to some fucked up European expectation of etiquette, the outbursts of my five and seven year-old sons has taught me that no fucking bullshit, ever, is to be tolerated.
Thus, the invaluable service we provide: F1 Translation.
Translations appear in bold with the F1, three-letter abbreviation of the driver’s name appearing before the translation.
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