What is a Racing Purist Anyway?


The definition of the word purist reads as follows:

a person who insists on absolute adherence to traditional rules or structures, especially in language or style.

According to Helmut Marko, advisor to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing in Formula One, he and Red Bull Racing are “racing purists.” This kind of comment coming in an article on motorsports.com written by Alex Kalinauckas about why Red Bull hasn’t invested in Formula E, despite having multiple former Red Bull junior drivers competing in the series currently. It does seem like a logical place to put talented drivers who are looking to break through that tough F1 ceiling.

I can understand the stance of Red Bull not investing in Formula E from a branding standpoint. It isn’t as quick, as loud, or as “in-your-face” when compared to Formula One or Red Bull’s other ventures into Rally and Motocross. If it truly is a branding issue, I wouldn’t have any problem with Marko’s claims. It does make some sense, and I do believe that was the real intent behind Marko’s comments.

But we, as a motorsports community, need to break away from this “purist” thinking. Electronic racing is going to be here as long as there is a market for electric-powered cars and news flash, the market, and interest for these cars are growing. We should be celebrating that a racing series is finding success instead of undermining it at every turn.

At times, this seems quite literal toward Formula E.

I believe that “racing purists” would, in fact, race. They would adhere to the traditional rule of going fast no matter the machine they find themselves in. They’d conform to the structure of being first and never last. Racing purists would make the absolute best out of any racing opportunity.

We all have our favorite series and cars that make our hearts flutter but deep down inside; we are all motorsports enthusiasts. We should want to see a series flourish because it means more racing, more opportunities for greatness, and more chances for racers to try to make a name for themselves.

We need to stop thinking that racing should be one way because there isn’t a traditional way to race; not one superior style.

Racing is racing, Marko. Embrace it.

Scott Masom

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