I do my best to be kind and share the love amongst my fellow writers, but there are just some times where I have to ask what the hell someone was thinking. So today, we’re going to run through some truly questionable articles about Formula One that have made their rounds on Twitter lately. If you’re thinking about doing the whole writing thing… maybe opt for a slightly different route than these folks.
This is a slightly older article from 2012, but it makes its rounds every so often as a gentle reminder that we aren’t particularly far removed from some incredibly racist notions about Lewis Hamilton. In this article, Autosport editor Mark Hughes imagines what it would be like if Hamilton were to “talk like he tweets,” where he proceeds to draft up a ridiculous freestyle rap-like dialogue between Hamilton and his race engineer.
The article is intended to be funny, I imagine, and probably also a little disparaging toward Hamilton’s use of Black vernacular on social media. Personally, I think Hughes unintentionally made Hamilton sound like a badass in the sense that this driver is just out here coming up with rhymes while also handily driving an F1 car. But you most definitely cannot ignore the fact that Hughes is picking fun at Hamilton for, essentially, being Black. Never a good call.
Part of me wishes this BusinessF1 story were a joke, because then it might be kind of funny. But I don’t actually think it is. I think this is a legitimate story intended to serve some sort of legitimate purpose. I just can’t imagine what that purpose is.
It starts off with an intro noting that there were no women featured in F1's Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive. The solution? Why, just show off all the lovely wives and girlfriends in the paddock and have a chat about the drivers’ sex lives, of course!
This spread spans 16 whole entire pages, during which time it refers to Sergio Perez as a “swordsman,” analyzes teenage girlfriends, hints that several drivers are actually gay, and posits that Finnish drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas are divorced because they drink a lot.
But don’t be offended, snowflakes: this story comes with a health warning that reads, “The editor wishes to apologize in advance for this article which some readers may find incompatible with their view of the 21st century.” Thank you for the clarification.
That isn’t the only gem BusinessF1 has posted recently. At the start of the year, the publication went out of its way to exonerate Nikita Mazepin for his faults, which mainly get chalked up to an overreaction by cancel culture for a bit of harmless fun.
Basically, the premise here is that Haas F1 overreacted to a video of Mazepin allegedly assaulting a woman in the back of the car by calling that action “abhorrent” but also doing nothing else. The pull-out quote is one of this article’s gems, as it reads, “It was funny, harmless fun, no more no less and the girl thought nothing of posting it on Nikita’s social media sites.” The structure of the sentence somehow implicates the woman in the situation, who didn’t actually have anything to do with whether or not Mazepin posted the video.
The author also notes that Guenther Steiner’s response should have quite literally been “boys will be boys.”