Partisan support in F1


Staff Member
This thread came about due to the discussion on the Chinese GP thread.

It's fair to say that some drivers (and teams) are liked more than others on this forum.
But I can absolutely guarantee there is exactly the same situation on other forums in Germany, Spain, Italy, etc.
The only difference in each case is the driver and team.

So is it wrong to support drivers from your own country and to want them to do better than others?
More pertinently, is it surprising?

F1 is the closest thing there is to a motorsport world cup so it's not that much different to supporting your national team really.
Would anyone question an Englishman supporting England in the football world cup and wanting Germany, Spain or Italy to lose?
No. So why do so when it comes to F1?

What is it about F1 that gets some people so hot and bothered when fans support drivers and teams from their own countries and don't want others to do well? Is it different to other sports in that respect? I don't think so.

Put it this way, can you imagine many Italian F1 fans not supporting Ferrari?
Or many Spanish fans not supporting Alonso?
And would you blame them for it?
Formula One has been nationalistic from the very beginning. The teams colours represented the country. British Racing Green, Italian Red etc etc. With the advent of sponsorship that has faded somewhat but it still lasts with drivers. Many British fans here tend to be Hamilton/Button/Di Resta fans, or fans of Mclaren/(lotus?)/(Red Bull?). Also I don't think you could be an Italian F1 fan and not support Ferrari.
I've never been into the whole "patriotism" thing around F1 as the cars and drivers don't represent their country. Have the same problem with any individual sport - tennis, snooker etc, etc. I've also liked "foreign" drivers and disliked British drivers (Nigel Mansell still makes my skin crawl - miserable, moaning git) . The thing that bugs me most is the hype surrounding drivers by the national press, especially the red tops here in the UK.

As Samuel Johnson said "Patriotism, the last refuge of the scoundrel"
TBH there's nothing wrong with supporting a certain driver/team more because you're the same nationaly as them. I'm English (British if you want to get all PC) and I Support McLaren and Hamilton primarily but not because they're British, I just do... I also support other drivers after Hamilton, with Kobayashi, Kovalainen and Heidfeld. And there are drivers/teams that I dislike, namely Fernando Alonso and Ferrari, but not because they are Spanish and Italian respectively, but because they are generally arrogant weasels. Back on topic... I wouldn't begrudge a Spanish fan supporting Alonso (but I would give them some stick for it) but I would if they disliked any driver or team just because they were/weren't a certain nationality.
The thing that bugs me most is the hype surrounding drivers by the national press, especially the red tops here in the UK.
You should try reading the Italian and Spanish press.
I can say without fear of contradiction it's just as bad.
I've never been into the whole "patriotism" thing around F1 as the cars and drivers don't represent their country.

I would disagree, look at 1950. Alfa Romeo had Italian drivers, Ferrari had Italian drivers, ERA had English drivers, Talbot had French drivers
I could never say why I support certain drivers, I just do. Hamilton is my favourite and I'm British, but Button's British too and I've never really had much time for the guy. Kobayashi on the other hand I'm crazy for.

I feel like I'm forgetting someone though, you know the feller, little feller...bearded. He did OK in Sepang, you know the feller, what's his name again? I rarely mention him really...
Hmm out of curiosity... can anyone on here who doesn't have a compatriot in F1 tell us who they support/or don't support and why?
I suppose I don't as I'm Welsh :D

Of the current batch, drivers I generally like to do well, for different reasons, are: Hamilton, Rosberg, di Resta, Kobayashi, Kovalainen.

Drivers I don't have a lot of time for, again for different reasons are: Alonso, Barrichello.

Vettel is an unknown quantity to me at the moment.
Yes he can drive a good car fast, but he was almost beaten across the line by his team-mate last year so he's not that much better than Webber.
His race-craft when surrounded by others is also questionable, as are his reactions to incidents.

But I don't want to turn this into a Vettel thread so that's a discussion for another time.
Kind of surprising, you don't here many people with a bad word to say of Rubens.

Hmm I'm not his biggest fan either, he seems like a nice guy... but that's just it isn't it? He let himself be walked on at Ferrari and in the process lost a lot of people's respect that he will never get back.
Spot on.
He was happy to take the number 2 seat at Ferrari for years and then bitched about it years later.

I don't dislike him.
He's just making up the numbers as far as I'm concerned.
You should try reading the Italian and Spanish press.
I can say without fear of contradiction it's just as bad.


Sorry but I think that's the wrong way to look at it. It's not a competition to see which is the most horrid. If the spanish or italian tabloids are bad, that's their own problem. I don't think we in the UK should justify our detestable tabloids by arguing "other countries' press is even worse".
The minute we start comparing our own rubbish with others' we're just as bad.

Let's stick to our own principles and if others are making a mess of theirs, no point in dragging ourselves to their own levels. (and I'm certainly not talking from a nationality point of view here, I ain't even british meself)
I wasn't suggesting it was a competition.
If you want to read news, don't read a red top.


Yeah no I wasn't saying you did, althouh I've quoted you.
i was just saying, we see a lot of the time, when people point out the idiocy of tabloid-related stuff they very often get a reply along the lines of "it's just as bad in Spain/Italy/Germany" whatever.
I just think things on a broader scale are destined not to improve when we start using it as a mitigating factor.
I was a McLaren fan when I was 8 because I liked their red and white colour scheme before I knew what partisanship meant (might explain why I'm became an Arsenal fan at the same time tho)

So have always been a McLaren fan, I, unlike some ;) did also like :moustache: when he was driving a Williams but still wanted the McLarens to beat him purely because they were "my team" at the time.

But most of all, I think I appreciate driver skill above all, currently yes I'll admit I'm a Lewis Hamilton fan because IMHO I can see that spark of genius/balls out racer of yore (senna,prost, G Villeneuve, James Hunt etc etc) that separates the good from the great (he's not yet great btw but he's getting there) I also like Jenson as he has a different skill set and has always tried his best - we often forget he started in F1 when he was 19 - Also on the current grid, I have to admit I do also like Kamui, yet another racer.

Vettel (yes I know this is for a seperate thread) all I'll say is that he has yet to prove to me he's a racer rather than another German technician. As some would say a "pilot" rather than a driver.

So, if that was too long to read, yes I can understand partisanship, some people want "their" team/ "their" driver to do the best (look at the TV coverage in Spain when Alonso won his first crown) and sometime I'm guilty of bias (mainly against Alonso - purely because of his behaviour at McLaren) but for me I'm a fan of formula one racing, if a driver is from Lithuania driving an HRT and comes scything through the field from 9th to first I'll be the first to give them a big hand and I'll be a fan of them.
Firstly, I'd like to apologise for my generalisations on the earlier forum. I think it was pointed rather clumsily at the esteemed members of this forum, when an anti-German sentiment is present more in the national press, often in the black tops as well.

Would anyone question an Englishman supporting England in the football world cup[?]

Well I'm as guilty of this as anyone; the England football team is, in general, made up of 11 men who I would cross the street to avoid, including three of the top four most obnoxious people in sport. But, having said that, I find myself hoping they don't qualify for a tournament more and more frequently, for the sake of enjoying a serious tournament without the media bullcrap factory starting. Euro 2008 was great...!

Back where we were, I do like Hamilton and Button, but not because they're British. I suppose it is because they are not the Red Menace. Mostly I support anyone who happens not to be any of the following:
  • Ferrari #1 driver
  • Michael Schumacher
  • Employed by Flavio Briatore
As for Christian Horner, I don't know what is expected of the guy. He's asked the same loaded questions every week about his car's front wing. He's not an engineer, and he can't say his own car is illegal. He can only give one answer.

There are a few examples of British sportsmen who I cannot abide. For some reason, Andy Murray irritates me, possibly due to his impression of Edvard Munch's The Scream every time he wins a point. I cannot stand Wayne Rooney for obvious reasons. I suppose it is living in Stoke that means even the local media is always going on about Phil "The Pillock" Taylor.

I understand partisan support, but I feel it is a weakness that I strive to get away from. I think if you stand at a partisan viewpoint, you look like a complete idiot when you're trying to have a conversation with someone who is not. I suppose this is a consequence of the emotion, but I don't like being in an argument when I'm the raving nutcase.
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