Race Weekend Central

The Pit Straight: Does the Danger of Open-Wheel Racing Add to Its Mystique?

Formula 1’s Canadian Grand Prix reminded viewers of the impressive driving talent of world champions Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton even if it did not provide much scintillating action for the lead. However, The Pit Straight co-hosts Jack Swansey and Alex Gintz recognized the opportunity to dissect an element of racing that is always present but only rarely mentioned: the ubiquitous sense of danger in even an ordinary race.

The F1 field took to the grid on Sunday (June 18) at a track named for Gilles Villeneuve, a gifted driver and Canadian national hero who lost his life in a practice crash in 1982 at Circuit Zolder the site of the Belgian Grand Prix. Villeneuve’s legacy continues to capture the imaginations of fans and drivers alike, much like Alberto Ascari and Jim Clark before him and Ayrton Senna and Jules Bianchi after.

Risk is an inherent part of the sport of auto racing no matter how much the governing body implements measures like the Halo and HANS devices. Gintz and Swansey prepare for some introspection as they explore the power that danger holds over competitors and spectators.

The Pit Straight is Frontstretch‘s F1 podcast, available weekly on Tuesdays on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and right here on the web.

About the author

Jack Swansey primarily covers open-wheel racing for Frontstretch and co-hosts The Pit Straight Podcast, but you can also catch him writing about NASCAR, sports cars, and anything else with four wheels and a motor. Originally from North Carolina and now residing in Los Angeles, he joined the site as Sunday news writer midway through 2022 and is an avid collector (some would say hoarder) of die-cast cars.

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