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OPINION: Feeder Series Are More Entertaining Than Formula One

Written by Ellie Nicholls, Edited by Meghana Sree

Image Credits: Formula 3, Round 9: Spa-Francorchamps

Almost every young driver across every feeder series in the world shares the same ambition: to reach Formula One. After all, it is known as the pinnacle of motorsport for a reason– boasting the very best of the best drivers, the most advanced technology, and the endless glory.

However, this season so far has proven that Formula One is no longer the pinnacle of motorsports when it comes to entertainment.

Red Bull, having won every race this season so far, currently have over double the points of second-place Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship. And Max Verstappen, currently on a win streak that extends all the way back to the Miami Grand Prix at the start of May, has earned enough points to be leading the Constructors’ Championship all by himself– a clear indication of just how dominant Red Bull is.

An impressive and record-breaking season though it may be, it is far from the thrilling title fight that many F1 fans had been hoping for.

Meanwhile, in Formula Two, just six drivers are yet to claim a podium this season, and exactly half of the current grid have stood on the top step at either a sprint or feature race this year.

As far as competition goes, the fight for both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships are far from over; with the lead in the Drivers’ Championship having swapped six times between four different drivers, each representing four different teams. With Jack Doohan’s successive feature race victories in Hungary and Belgium, the title is still anyone’s for the taking.

Image credits: Formula 2, Round 10: Budapest

It is a similar story in Formula 3, where there have been nine different race winners and 16 drivers earning podium finishes. And, although current championship-leader Gabriel Bortoleto has built quite a large gap between himself and the rest of the field, there are just 19 points between Paul Aron in second place (with 106 points) and Gabriele Mini in seventh place (with 87 points) going into the last race of the 2023 season.

The races at Spa-Francorchamps in particular highlighted how much more entertaining these feeder series are compared to Formula One. While changing weather conditions and a difficult track resulted in close battles, on-track drama, and even the thrill of a first win, the same cannot be said for Formula One.

Once again, we saw Verstappen win the race by a considerable margin despite starting in sixth due to a five-place grid penalty. His teammate Sergio Perez finished in second place comfortably ahead of Charles Leclerc in third. Although the fight for the last of the points positions did provide some action later on in the race, the only real dramatic moment was the racing incident between Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz on lap one.

It’s safe to say that the Formula One Grand Prix at Spa failed to meet the same level of excitement inspired by the Formula Two and Formula Three races earlier on in the day. Despite the sprint race providing slightly more drama due to the rain, the F1 weekend was still underwhelming.

Image Credits: Formula 3, Round 9: Spa-Francorchamps

The simple truth is that, with a far more even field, there is a much greater level of competition between the drivers in the lower Formula series, which makes it so much more exciting to watch. Each race is made far more interesting as the drivers tend to take more risks, pushing to prove themselves worthy of the points, the win, the title, and eventually a spot at F1.

And yes, this does mean that the drivers sometimes make mistakes, but they often do so by taking chances and pushing the car to the limits, knowing that there is something to be gained even if it does not always work out exactly as intended.

If what you are looking for is all-time greats, refined driving styles and top-tier talents, Formula One can certainly provide all of that. But if you’re looking for title fights, on-track battles and edge-of-your-seat action at every race weekend, F2 and F3 do it better.


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