As I type, Mercedes Replacement Watch is in full swing. Nico Rosberg’s departure left a gaping hole in Mercedes’ Formula One line-up well after most top teams chose their drivers for 2017. While the latest rumors involve poaching Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, I think there’s another driver who needs the attention more.
Meet poor, attention-starved IMSA racer Jordan Taylor. Once the bearer of the most amazing mullet in modern motorsports, the frequent prankster is used to being at the forefront of everyone’s eyeballs. One of the biggest stories of the upcoming 24 Hours of Daytona is about his team, but shockingly, isn’t directly about him.
Beloved NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon will drive alongside Taylor on the Wayne Taylor Racing team for Daytona, and all of the coverage has been mobbing Jeff, not Jordan. Jordan, a man used to making rad videos with burnouts and bathroom humor to make us laugh and satisfy his extremely thirsty nature, has been left all alone during this week’s tests while reporters mob Gordon.
That being said, Taylor’s a good driver, too, having won the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Corvette. I don’t know if Taylor actually wants to drive in Formula One, as let’s be honest, the sports car world is a whole lot more laid back and fun, but someone like him is exactly what Formula One needs.
F1 is the sport where may too many people crapped their pants over Lewis Hamilton’s relatively tame use of Snapchat, and the most insufferable nearly had an aneurysm when Sebastian Vettel said a few naughty words over his team radio that F1 chose to broadcast (bleeped!) on the world feed.
Can you imagine the sheer mass of e-ink in #badtweet form that would blanket the internet over the addition of someone with a real, honest-to-goodness personality to F1? Holy crap, it would be glorious.
That Guy is probably typing something up about respect, language, or how it’s a shame that racers can’t take the inherently fun activity known as racing seriously at the mere thought. Some of Those Guys might even rage-quit F1 for good! That would be nice.
While part of F1's appeal is its prestige as the highest level of open-wheel racing, the downside of that is the oppressive stuffiness that sometimes pervades the sport. There are jabronis who whine about racers wearing headphones during the drivers’ parade when they’re just sitting in a car, for Pete’s sake. That’s the kind of self-important dumbassery that needs to be exorcised with toilet humor—the likes of which Taylor is pretty comfortable talking about.
Please, Mercedes. Do what’s right, and help a poor, lonely racer get back in the spotlight. Can’t you tell he has nowhere else to go, except to a comfortable home with a rad dog and the too-adoring confines of sports car Twitter? Fonzie the Goldendoodle is one of JT’s few sources of attention at the moment, and that’s just sad.
At least do Jordan a solid and drop him in a rumor somewhere to bring a few lost reporters over to his side of the garage for a chat. Mercedes’ newest driver is the hot rumor of the moment, so it’s perfect. I’m sure there’s a thirsty F1 writer who’s up for a half-baked wire story built on Williams’ latest posturing that they won’t let Bottas go.