In the last United States Grand Prix there was another chapter of the contradiction between the messages that are preached in sport and what is actually then put into practice.
That the atmosphere in Formula 1 has been politicized lately in an extraordinary way is obvious. Without entering into the right of drivers and teams to express their non-sporting concerns and how beneficial or counterproductive this may result, in Austin Situations were experienced that exemplify certain schizophrenia when situations opposed to the values that Formula 1 wants to transmit are experienced.
The incident that went viral globally revolved around the vexatious attitude of the rapper’s bodyguards Meghan Thee Stallion with former pilot and current British television commentator Martin Brundle. A humiliating treatment to one of the most respected figures in Formula 1 and who does not deserve who was doing his job, as could be seen on television cameras.
A well-known former pilot who lived closely with the incident but who prefers to remain anonymous commented to El Confidencial quite indignant about the treatment given to one of his own: “It is good to bring people like Shaquille O’Neal, or even outside of sports like Will SmithThey are people with stories of overcoming behind, but bringing people under the sole criteria of fame ends up bringing these consequences. You allow certain idiots to step on the starting grid, because you think that more people are going to meet you, but you don’t think that those people they are supposed to bring will also be idiots ”.
Meghan Thee Stallion should be reminded that Heads of State, royal families, great stars of the entertainment world have passed through the starting grids of Formula 1 throughout its history without perceiving the presence of the bodyguards (if the there was). Precisely what most shocked a bewildered Martin Brundle, who reflected this on his Twitter account: “I have felt under pressure more times before on the starting grid, but it was from people called Senna, Prost, Schumacher, Mansell or Piquet. I have no problems due to the presence of bodyguards visiting a grill for the first time, in the end everyone has a job to do, but at least they could learn certain manners and respect our territory ”.
Beyond the unacceptable treatment given to Brundle by the rapper’s environment, there is once again the alarming lack of criteria of Formula 1 with its sporting or protocol decisions, as in this case. Tearing one’s clothes on the values to be transmitted to youth, but taking a walk around the grill to a rapper whose songs contain a content totally different from those.
The need for a sieve
The credibility of Formula 1 is called into question when, for example, the ‘Grid-Girls’ are removed from the starting grid under alleged denigration or objectification of women and then allow a rapper with an indescribable dress that converted the attire of the women. hostesses in something almost close to nun’s habits. Both by public image and by his nature as a singer, his site is not a Formula 1 race if consistency is sought. See, for example, the stark contrast in Shaquille O’Neal’s kind and collaborative demeanor to Serena Williams’ reluctant and haughty. Both are legends of the sport, but when it comes to processing invitations or making a selection of celebrities, it is clear that a screening is necessary.
The list of celebrities present in Austin was enormous and it was obvious the effort that Liberty Media had made as promoter of the championship, to raise the profile of Formula 1 in the US However, situations such as that experienced by Martin Brundle or Max Verstappen’s refusal to continue participating in the Netflix series, ‘Drive to Survive’, should serve as serious warnings to understand that they are getting out of hand in their eagerness to enhance the ‘showbusiness’ side of sport.
Reinvent the wheel? No thanks
It is common to contrast the supposed immobility of Bernie Ecclestone in the promotional section against the dynamism and courage of Liberty Media to promote this sport. For example, more than two decades ago Ecclestone invested a fortune in a digital television production system that technically today remains unsurpassed as well as other aspects that existed in Formula 1 long before the American group acquired the competition.
Ecclestone, had his reasons for being very cautious when opening his hand to new communication models due to the failure of the broadcast on pay-per-view. The British came out chastened by those ‘gurus’ who know everything, but disappear when their ‘obvious’ future prophecies fail. And on the other hand, the post-Bernie world has radically changed at the communicative level.
One of the most notable changes in the new management model is that Politics and activism have made their way into Formula 1, but all of this requires consistency. There is nothing worse than mixing churras with merino or in other words, mixing propaganda (Meghan Thee Stallion), with attitude (Shaquille O’Neal).