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With the launches of brand new Formula 1 challengers and the prospect of an exciting new season ahead, February should feel like Christmas Eve for drivers, teams and fans alike - but the harsh reality is altogether too predictable
It's not the winning, it's the taking part that counts. That Corinthian spirit has long since been abandoned by professional sport, and for good reason given that simply turning up shouldn't be enough at the very top level. But in Formula 1, it remains alive and well.
That's a good thing, right? Many pine for the days of amateur sport when winning wasn't everything, before the ruthless pursuit of success polluted the purity of the sport. That's something of an idealised past, but when it comes to the sporting side of grand prix racing, participation alone has become what matters for the majority. And that's not through any lack of ambition - it's cold, hard, financial reality.
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