Is F1 still the pinnacle of motorsport? Was it ever?

Do you currently consider F1 to be the pinnacle of motorsport?

  • Yes

    Votes: 41 58.6%
  • No

    Votes: 19 27.1%
  • Undecided

    Votes: 2 2.9%
  • Never was

    Votes: 8 11.4%

  • Total voters
    70
195
United States
New York
Blue-Shifted-
Just a quick poll since it seems that the majority of F1 fans (sample size of 2) I come across believe that it is the pinnacle of motorsport with better drivers, cars, racing, engineering, etc.

I personally believe F1 is just the series at the top of the Formula ladder and nothing else. In my eyes, it is impossible to directly compare F1 to another series like WRC/X, MotoGP or LMH/DPi. Maybe more of a Pinnacle of "X" thing for each series and checking to see which ticks the most boxes.
 

Northstar

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Yes, yes it is. Also, no, it’s not even close.

Motorsport is such a broad all encompassing term with different skill sets required to be successful in the varying disciplines (which makes it all the more impressive when someone is successful in multiple disciplines). F1 is the pinnacle of open wheel road course racing, but not the pinnacle of racing overall.

I feel like the only people who care about this are people upset with F1 being more popular than their own favorite niche series.
I would say the F1 fans on the “super snobby elitist” end of the spectrum also care. Fans on either end can and probably should be ignored.
 
23,757
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
In terms of money earned/spent, viewership, performance, prestige, global recognition, yes. There is nowhere higher to go. You can take side steps, but there is nowhere to go above F1 where you'll go faster around a track and earn more money with more people watching.

So yes it's the pinnacle, that's really all the word means.
 
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Grand Prix

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Sometimes it was, sometimes it wasn't. It doesn't need to be the pinnacle.

At what points in its history was it not the "pinnacle"? 1952-53 (F2 regulations), 1961-1965 (1.5L naturally aspirated engines), late 1960s and early 1970s (Can-Am and sportscar racing were both more spectacular than F1 at around this time, and it is no coincidence that Le Mans was filmed in 1970), to name a few time periods. F1 survived these eras well enough.

Despite being a "low point" in the eyes of some, IMO, the 1.5L NA era produced some of the most fascinating and iconic cars in the history of the sport.





Even in the years of 1950 and 1951, the sport was dominated by the Alfa 158, a relic from a time when Mercedes and Auto Union were supreme. Further refined, and without the German competition, it had its chance to shine, until Alfa pulled out before the 1952 season.
 
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Liquid

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It's the pinnacle of single seaters but it's arguable where it shapes overall.

Most reputable? Undoubtedly. Pinnalce? Depends what you like.
 

Dotini

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Before WWII, before Formula 1, unquestionably the pinnacle of motorsport was generally European Grand Prix racing. It started in 1906 and was financed by all the manufacturers and automobile clubs. However, there was a period - the Golden Age of American racing - when Millers and Duesenbergs were better engineered, faster, and better built than contemporary European racing cars. They raced at Indianapolis and other asphalt, dirt and wooden(!) ovals to very large audiences. One was taken to Europe and won the French Grand Prix. It stayed in Europe and its advanced engine design informed all subsequent European designs.
 
4,478
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I don't think there has ever been one pinnacle of motorsports. Different people and cultures prefer different things, and I'm not going to say who is most right, although it is hard to beat Barbie Jeep racing down a steep dirt hill.
 
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Veinz

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I’ve always seen it as the pinnacle, that has not changed even with the Mercedes domination.
 
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GroupB

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Some people would argue that once they nerfed the cars for 1994, some of that pinnacle stuff went away for good.
 
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It’s literally only because F1 has the fastest machines around a track on the planet. That’s what makes it better then every other race category or type imo. If I’m going to watch a race, I’m going with the fastest possible vehicles. I have almost no interest in other racing categories. Slower lap times, slower machines, not as cool.

I dream of something like “X1”, F1 but with no rules and only the human body as a limit. Would it be dangerous? Yes. But that’s life. People jump out of planes for fun. There should be less rules and more innovation, the cars should be faster. But since F1 is it, it’s the best for now. Also the budget cap should be raised to at least 250$ million.
 

TheCracker

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Anyone who aspires to be 'the best' racing driver aspires to be the F1 World Champion. No one would settle for WEC Champion or Australian Supercars champion, Indy Cars Champion, Japanese Super Formula Champion or Formula E Champion if they had a realistic shot at the F1 title. If the highest possible point, the pinnacle, of being a racing driver is being F1 World Champ, then that series is the pinnacle, no matter if other top-flight series are going through a strong period. From a driver's point of view anything else is just a potential stepping stone.
 
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Liquid

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Anyone who aspires to be 'the best' racing driver aspires to be the F1 World Champion. No one would settle for WEC Champion or Australian Supercars champion, Indy Cars Champion, Japanese Super Formula Champion or Formula E Champion if they had a realistic shot at the F1 title. If the highest possible point, the pinnacle, of being a racing driver is being F1 World Champ, then that series is the pinnacle, no matter if other top-flight series are going through a strong period. From a driver's point of view anything else is just a potential stepping stone.

Where does rallying come into this? Is 'the best' rally driver in with a shout of being 'the best' driver?
 
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In Europe? sure - at least I don't think there is another motorsport category you could make a case for ranking above it.
In the US? I don't think so - I'd give the nod to NASCAR sadly
 

TheCracker

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Where does rallying come into this? Is 'the best' rally driver in with a shout of being 'the best' driver?

I suppose my argument is perhaps too narrowly focused on circuit racing, and four wheeled at that.

Although there are many cases of drivers/riders of one form of motorsport crossing over to other forms, successfully too, but they are such different genres within 'motorsport' that the question could easily be "Is football still the pinnacle of ball-sports..." and include any sport played with a ball, including tennis and snooker, 'motorsport' is that wide a label.

There are rally drivers who have swopped over to circuit racing and been very competitive and circuit drivers who've done the same in rallying. But would a top drag racer do well in single seaters? Or a motocross rider in hillclimbing? Its impossible to say.
 
23,757
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
People seem to be misunderstanding what the word means. It's nothing to do with personal preference.

pinnacle​

noun

  1. [usually singular] pinnacle of something | the most important or successful part of something
    • the pinnacle of her career
    • He spent more than twenty years at the pinnacle of his profession.
    • Formula One is the pinnacle of motor racing.
    • She is at the pinnacle of her profession.

Production based racing is not the pinnacle of motorsport, factually.
 

Liquid

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The word motorsport is comparable with sport. It's sport with cars. Or bikes.

Is the FIFA World Cup the pinnacle of sport?
Is the World Series the pinnacle of sport?
Are the Ashes the pinnacle of sport?
Is the All-Ireland the pinnacle of sport?
Is the Crucible World Championship the pinnacle of sport?

No.

They are, arguably, the pinnacle of that sport; football, baseball, cricket, gaelic football and snooker. Forgive me if I didn't get basbeall and cricket quite right. I think motorsport ultimately has to be treated the same way:

Formula One is the pinnacle of that motorsport. Open-wheel racing.
The Le Mans 24 Hours is the pinnacle of that motorsport. Sportscar racing.
The WRC is the pinnacle of that motorsport. Rallying.

Sport is not singular and neither is motorsport. Keeping the same comparison, association football is more reputable than gaelic football and the FIFA World Cup is more reputable than the All-Ireland but the All-Ireland is still the pinnacle of that sport. The WRC, LM24 and F1 might have different levels of prestige with one the most prestigious but they are all pinnacles of their respective motorsports.
 
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Dotini

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The Le Mans 24 Hours is the pinnacle of that motorsport. Sportscar racing.
It may well be so today. However, in the 'sixties there was a unique period of years when top F1 drivers would compete in the US west coast sports car fall pro series in which the cars were faster than F1 and the prize money was far higher. The series took place after the F1 season ended.
 

Northstar

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So where do you go above F1?
@Liquid already answered this.

The word motorsport is comparable with sport. It's sport with cars. Or bikes.

Is the FIFA World Cup the pinnacle of sport?
Is the World Series the pinnacle of sport?
Are the Ashes the pinnacle of sport?
Is the All-Ireland the pinnacle of sport?
Is the Crucible World Championship the pinnacle of sport?

No.

They are, arguably, the pinnacle of that sport; football, baseball, cricket, gaelic football and snooker. Forgive me if I didn't get basbeall and cricket quite right. I think motorsport ultimately has to be treated the same way:

Formula One is the pinnacle of that motorsport. Open-wheel racing.
The Le Mans 24 Hours is the pinnacle of that motorsport. Sportscar racing.
The WRC is the pinnacle of that motorsport. Rallying.

Sport is not singular and neither is motorsport. Keeping the same comparison, association football is more reputable than gaelic football and the FIFA World Cup is more reputable than the All-Ireland but the All-Ireland is still the pinnacle of that sport. The WRC, LM24 and F1 might have different levels of prestige with one the most prestigious but they are all pinnacles of their respective motorsports.
F1 isn't the center of the motorsport universe just because it's the most high profile form of it.
 
2,684
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So where do you go above F1?
WEC, F1 is its main feeder series :lol:.

But, seriously, F1 is more and more an artificial show, I mean the title decider last year was a pretty good example of manufactured drama for the audience. I'd say nowadays you have multiple motorsport disciplines at the pinnacle, F1 is just one of them, but far from being the only one.
 
23,757
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
@Liquid already answered this.


F1 isn't the center of the motorsport universe just because it's the most high profile form of it.
That is literally what pinnacle means though.
WEC, F1 is its main feeder series :lol:.

But, seriously, F1 is more and more an artificial show, I mean the title decider last year was a pretty good example of manufactured drama for the audience. I'd say nowadays you have multiple motorsport disciplines at the pinnacle, F1 is just one of them, but far from being the only one.
None of that is really relevant. The top tier of something can still be a bit rubbish.
 

Grand Prix

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If you see the discipline with the fastest cars around a track as being the pinnacle, then there were several points in its history where F1 was not the pinnacle, as posted before. Motorsport is different from ball and stick sports in that the sporting implements (cars) from different disciplines can be directly compared, using power and weight figures, top speed, average speed around a track, and so on. A WRC car, WEC car, Indy car or stock car can theoretically drive around the same piece of tarmac as a Formula 1 car.

Dragsters are a bit of an exception here. Watercraft and aircraft should probably be excluded as well, but that hasn't stopped comparisons from happening anyway; Tazio Nuvolari once raced against a Caproni biplane in his Alfa Romeo 8C around a track in 1931. :lol:

n7-200707-p1.jpg
 
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2,684
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That is literally what pinnacle means though.

None of that is really relevant. The top tier of something can still be a bit rubbish.
How come the fact that F1 is giving up on being a sport to become a show not relevant?

What is relevant then?
 
1,330
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How come the fact that F1 is giving up on being a sport to become a show not relevant?

What is relevant then?
For starters, that's not a real fact, that's just you being upset that your favourite driver didn't win the championship last year. That would mean that F1 is only the pinnacle of motorsports on a year to year basis, completely based on whether you like the outcome of the championship.
 
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23,757
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How come the fact that F1 is giving up on being a sport to become a show not relevant?

What is relevant then?
What I posted above with the dictionary definition. Again, people seem to be confusing "pinnacle" with "best". They're not synonyms. Nobody said F1 was the best motorsport, but it's just a fact that it's the highest you can go in terms of prestige, overall money involved, attraction, importance etc.

Plenty of people with no interest in F1 can name a few drivers. I think they'd struggle with WEC or WRC. F1 is higher on the chain, even if in pure motorsport terms to a fan they're obviously different paths.