Finally, the 2023 Formula 1 season is over. Max Verstappen won the season finale in Abu Dhabi for his 19th win of the year, and Pit Straight co-hosts Jack Swansey and Alex Gintz are completely sick of talking about him.
Instead, for the season finale of Frontstretch‘s open-wheel racing podcast, the duo are breaking out a topic they’ve wanted to discuss for months (for different reasons): the history of F1 in the Communist world.
Beginning in 1958 with rebels kidnapping the defending World Champion just 90 miles away from the continental United States, continuing through Bernie Ecclestone’s push to get a fully-fledged World Championship race behind the Iron Curtain in the early 1980s and into the present and future of F1 in China and beyond, Gintz and Swansey discuss how a political and economic system diametrically opposed to big business and consumer culture (at least on its face) nevertheless made room for the glitz and glamor of the pinnacle of motorsport.
Setting aside their own ideological differences (at great effort, mind you) Swansey and Gintz finally discuss the politics of F1.
The Pit Straight is Frontstretch‘s open-wheel racing podcast, available during the racing season weekly on Tuesdays on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and right here on the web.
Special thanks to Trey Lyle, Podcast Manager for Frontstretch.
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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