I recently read something in the Toronto Star complaining about how proud parents are shown during F1 broadcasts when their child wins, namely Jensen Button. Jensen’s been racing in Formula 1 for nearly ten years and, prior to this year, had only one victory to his name. This win came after the expected winners all failed out. Jensen has never (until this year) been considered a great driver. He has always been someone in the wrong car at the wrong time. So naturally, now that he’s winning, people like him. It is heartwarming to see the pride on a father’s face as his son receives the checkered flag. To say that it is demeaning or has nothing to do with the racing is absolutly NOT true. Who were the first people to believe in the drivers? Their parents. Who had to drive their kids to the tracks, establish their rides when they were still not street legal to be driving? Their parents. Who is now getting some added justification that their children have made it? Their parents. When Jensen’s father is shown hugging the crew, it is not for the rest of the world to enjoy, it is a moment for the family of the winner. As Lewis once said, “Without my family, I wouldn't be able to do anything. I owe everything to them.”
It is very hypocritical to say that they never do such a thing in NASCAR. When Jimmie Johnson wins a race, the camera goes to his wife with his crew. Well, just because Jensen (or Lewis Hamilton) isn’t married doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get the expression of pride on his family’s face. Why should a driver be criticized because doesn’t yet have a spouse? Why not show someone who’s been there his entire life? Maybe NASCAR should look back through their races and decide if the people responsible for the driver being in the car aren’t just as important as the driver’s spouses. So instead of talking about how pathetic it is to see Lewis Hamilton’s father and mentally challenged brother cheering on their favorite driver from every single track, certain people would rather see the supermodel wives holding an umbrella to keep out of the sun. Oh yeah, that’s quality TV right there.
Especially for this Father’s Day, I hope that when the winner crosses the start/finish line, the producers of the show go straight for the look of glee on the father’s face.