Most people consider all kinds of sports extreme. To some extent, hockey, rugby and even football can be considered extreme, especially when the matches are particularly unsportsmanlike. But, these sports are at their heart just sports. Extreme sports like parkour, snowboarding, mountain climbing or parachuting, are particularly interesting. Practicing any of them means risking your life and that is a fact, no matter the equipment you are using.
What about Formula 1? Is it an extreme sport, or is it simply racing? Well, the answer would be a very detailed yes.
What is an Extreme Sport?
An extreme sport would be a sport which has lots of risk. The risk can be anything from height, like climbing, speed, like snowboarding or downhill mountain biking, physical exertion, like parkour (although, parkour also exposes you to lots of height, and given the circumstances, lots of speed as well). Extreme sports also often require specialized gear. While for practicing parkour, you do not need much other than a great grip on your footwear, you do need excellent coordination and overall fitness level. But, the rest of the sports do have highly specialized gear. All of this leads us to the conclusion that Formula 1 is indeed an extreme sport.
Formula 1 Driving – Fast and Deadly
There have been multiple changes to the Formula 1 open-wheel car, to make it safer. There have also been multiple changes to the racetracks, to make everything, once more, safer. But, regardless of what safety measures and precautions people might go through to make everything safer, people still make mistakes, or unlucky events take place and someone dies. In Formula 1, it is very easy for someone to make a mistake, given that the racers often go above 200 km/h. At those speeds, a single bad turn, bad gear shift or even a bad break application, could mean a racer, or two, if they collide, dying.
Racing Versus Extreme Sports
While the drivers themselves do not have to be as fit as a traceur (parkour practitioner) or daring as a base-jumper, they do have to have a level of fitness which is often very high. The errors in piloting a Formula 1 car means that someone will get injured or die.
However, some people do not consider Formula 1 to be an extreme sport due to it simply being a racing sport. In other words, even though you might get seriously injured while performing/driving, it is not essentially a sport because you do not have any physical exertion. If that were true, esports also couldn’t be called sports. The classifications of sports have an unstable foundation, especially if you dwell into the regions of the extreme.
Extreme sports or not, Formula 1 is highly dangerous, very fast and very entertaining. Racing at high speeds is always dangerous, and even more so in a car which has the driver quite exposed. For beginners, go-karting is recommended, prior to any actual race will most likely be really dangerous.