It’s awkward when the freshly crowned world champion isn’t on the podium, it happened in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012 so it’s a problem that needs addressing - and, full disclosure, I had the idea for this state of F1 before liberty media slightly addressed it. But as ever, could do better.
The F1 season is made up of 22 races and each is as important to the championship, except when they’re not. Each race is its own little entity and 1st, 2nd and 3rd matters - even more so when it’s someone unexpected or new on the podium
But, on one race each year the cumulative effect kicks in and it’s about maths and possibilities - this weekend Lewis had to finish fifth to guarantee the championship, 9th ended up doing but 1st, 2nd or 3rd would have made for less weird telly.
So what did liberty get right? First - the 4th spot in the winners enclosure for the new world champion - brilliant idea. Also - big interview with him whilst he ran around. This was less brilliant.
Then a revolving DJ on a subdued podium, fucking weird
So what’s missing from this equation? What possibly could be added to make it seem more, I don’t know, ceremonial?
The clue was on the grid with the big fucking world championship spiral trophy. WHERE THE FUCK WAS IT AT THE END?
Think about wimbledon, the second the championship point is played they roll out a big carpet and line up all the officials and ball boys and girls and then wheel out Sue Barker to give out the - what is it they give out? A handshake, a well done? NO - IT’S A BIG FUCKING TROPHY. LEWIS HAMILTON JUST WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP - GIVE HIM THE FUCKING TROPHY
But no, what F1 have always done is wait until December then give it out in a closed door ceremony in Paris. Really great for the fans.
Don't worry, I have a solution
I actually thought they were going to get it right when the podium started spinning round like an episode of Bullseye. I thought that liberty had masterminded everything and had a special one step podium that Lewis Hamilton would appear on with the trophy in hand, and hopefully Sue Barker. Then you could have a slightly more formal interview after he’d calmed down a bit and then you’ve a smashing photo opp etc as new world champion holds the thing he just won.
There needs to be more visual rewards in F1 full stop, a way of keeping each race a separate entity, give each podium ceremony its own flavour, yes even if that is a revolving DJ.
But also, what about separate championships? Get the calendar more geographically sensible and then have the main championship split into a European Season, a US season etc. Maybe in the future we can even have teams that come in for part of a season - an American indy team coming in for four races just to beat Haas? What about drivers championships split into categories as defined by me? Old Farts, whiny dicks, sexy ones - Pascal Five times world champ!
Liberty have done a lot - there’s so much more to do.