My first year watching Formula 1: how did it go and will I continue in 2023?
2022 was my first year watching the sport. It hasn’t been a stress-free season but a ruddy enjoyable one.
There you have it. The final race of the 2022 Formula One season has just come to a close and what a year it’s been. Not just because we’re waving goodbye to some incredible drivers who won’t be appearing on the grid next year, but also because 2022 was my first ever season watching the sport.
It’s almost unheard of these days to be a ‘petrolhead’ and not watch F1. It’s a bit like being obsessed with football but not actually watching any matches, at least to some people.
F1 is just something that never really grabbed my attention before. Whether it’s because I couldn’t be bothered to learn it or simply due to the financial barrier to actually consume it – I’m not sure, but I do now know that it’ll be hard for me to ever miss a race going forward.
Why did I decide to watch the sport?
Well, you can blame a man called Jesse who co-runs the Undercut Podcast – a pod that dedicates itself to the sport. I was invited on as a guest at the beginning of 2022 as someone who knew diddly squat about F1 or how it worked. I was a sort of an experiment if you like to see how much a non-F1 supporter knows about the sport.
I was so naive to it that I recall saying Sebastian Vettel was going to win every single race of the year… apparently, that was never going to happen, but in many people’s eyes, didn’t he win?
The obvious barrier to getting started with F1 is watching the sport. It’s not like football where you can switch on the TV and it’s there. Oh no. You need to pay Sky Sports an ungodly sum of money each month in order to be allowed into the inner circle. But alas, I wanted to get stuck in so paid the ferryman and laid back for the first race in Bahrain.
Did I enjoy the season?
Looking back to the first race of the year, I had absolutely no idea what was going on. Of course, I’d watched Netflix’s Drive to Survive for 2021, and I knew who Lewis Hamilton was, but apart from that? Nil.
But like all things, I started to pick it up and by Monaco, I was into the swing of things, and even considering a merch purchase. Before you ask, I am a Mercedes fanboy because I don’t like any other teams that much… not just because the GOAT drives for them.
Right up until the fireworks at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, I was hooked. I didn’t miss a single race and was on the edge of my seat during every single race start, every “through goes Hamilton” and every finish.
I’d like to say I am a proper F1 fan now, but I think I first need to attend a race to give myself that label.
Will I watch Formula 1 in 2023?
Hell yeah, I will. This season has been one of the best and most interesting learning experiences of my life as a car enthusiast and I am in too deep to not watch next year.
The plan is to attend at least one race in 2023 so I can finally and proudly buy and wear some merchandise… even if I do have to take out a mortgage for an official Mercedes cap.