Ugly Face of Motorsports

Helio Castroneves stopped at corner 10 on his victory lap after winning the 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to pay respects to the sign honoring the late Dan Wheldon.

They say, “Money makes the world go round.” And it’s especially true in Motorsports. It’s no denying that there’s a lot of money and politics in motorsports. In fact, money is one of main reason why some of the brilliant drivers are sitting at home (**cough Heikki Kovalainen cough**), while lessers drivers (**cough Pastor Maldonado cough**) are getting to drive simply beacuse they’ve managed to get sponsors (read, pay drive) for relative small teams who’re in need of investors and financial backing. But we often forget that in all this, at the end of the day, ugliest thing in motorsports is not politics or money but human lives that are being lost.

Right now, while I’m writing this post, it’s second death anniversary of Indycar racer Dan Wheldon. And next week, on 23rd October, it’ll be second death anniversary of the talented MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli. Losing two talented racer in a span of one week was too much to handle for the world. And that fateful week is still afresh in everyone’s memory.

But the history has a way of repeating itself. The dark week came back to haunt motorsports once again.

Last week saw two racers – Maria de Villota (33) & Sean Edwards (26) succumbing to deaths, once again proving what a dangerous thing Motosport can be. While Maria was found dead in her hotel room but doctors are attributing her death to the injuries she sustained during her crash last year, Sean Edwards (who was in the movie Rush) died on the track while giving a coaching lesson to young drivers. And that’s not the biggest irony!

Sean Edwards was leading this year’s Porsche Supercup championship before he died. Even that is not the biggest irony!

The biggest irony is the fact that Sean’s father Guy Edward was one of the four drivers who pulled Niki Lauda out of his burning car after the horrific crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix. Without him Niki Lauda might not have been alive, and without him, the famous Niki Lauda – James Hunt rivalry would never have taken place.

Talk about Karma and Fate goofing things up.

This very uncertainty and dangerous nature of the sport is what makes these racers achieve larger-than-life, demi-god status!