Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

When we walked in fields of gold // Could Formula One be a part of the Olympics?

Published by Christine

There's plenty of talk going round at the moment about the possibility of a London Grand Prix in 2012 to be included in the Olympics. I've been watching some of the Olympic coverage, alright, a lot of it, and there are a few incidents I've seen that show good reason for this not to happen.

Running for no reason

In the gymnastics hall, a Russian girl was taking part in the vault. She ran up, did her stuff and executed a perfect landing. She jogged to her trainer and waited for the result. The wait was interminable, and the judges were clearly arguing about something. In the end, it turns out that she ran when the judges weren't ready and she was awarded a zero score. When the competition works on an average of your scores, a zero is pretty devastating.

What would happen if this occurred during a race? Perhaps there'd be complaints that a car jumped the start, and Charlie Whiting would have to say - "Sorry guys, I wasn't looking? Let's award him no points anyway."

A different kind of pole position

In the pole vault competition, a Brazilian entrant had to pass one of her attempts because she couldn't find her pole. The long bendy sticks are gathered together by officials and kept under lock and key, to be brought out only in time for the competition. Now, all the stories I have read on this fail to tell me what happened in the end, so I'm assuming the pole was found and life carried on normally. I'd imagine there would have been more of a fuss, otherwise.

This is a pretty serious error, though, on the part of organisers. Imagine if the drivers turned up on the morning of the London Grand Prix, only for Piquet to peek into the parc fermé garage and go "Where's my car?"

Age ain't nothing but a number

Back at the gym, the women's uneven bar contest saw a very young Chinese girl take the win, beating out the slightly older USA competitor. They finished with the same score, but China got the gold based on a tie-break scoring situation. Now it turns out there is controversy about this girl's age. At several events, and in newspapers previously, she has been credited as being 13, which would make her 14 at the time of the games. However, her passport reads 16 - the age required to take part. Although this has been investigated, and no further action is being taken, it still remains suspicious.

Imagine, a controversy about who the actual winner is, and who the moral winner is, in F1 this would just... Actually, that sounds about right.

All in all, in my view, it's clear that the Olympics and Formula 1 are very different, and any Grand Prix that occurs specifically for the 2012 event would have to be treated as such. What do you think? Is racing for a gold medal a good idea?