The definition of a sport is
"an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment"
F1 involves competing both as a team and as an individual.
F1 requires skill, you need to know the track inside out in order to be able to make it around in the quickest possible time and you also need to be able to correctly set up your car for the same reason, both of these things require skill.
F1 involves physical exertion, for those of you who argue that F1 is just sitting in a car, you are wrong, F1 drivers have to regularly withstand upto 3.5g and drivers sweat around 3.5 litres of water.
In short F1 ticks all the boxes necessary to make it a sport.
F1 or NASCAR racing.
Does it take physical ability to win?
Racing: Yes. It takes a lot of stamina and strength to control these cars at that speed for long periods of time.
Golf: Not really. You just hit a ball and walk (or drive) after it.
Does it take direct competition with your opponent.
Racing: Yes. You and your opponent directly effect each others performance.
Golf: No allowed at all. Not even the crowd is allowed to interrupt play.
Is there a risk to a career ending injury?
Racing: You could even die as some have.
Some people claim that it's just driving. Have you ever driven a car at speeds over 200 mph in dense traffic on a road with several types of curves? Have you ever pushed the limits of your car so far that you wear your tires out? Have you ever charged at over 200 mph toward a solid barrier just to miss it by inches time after time without fail. Just because these drivers make it look easy, does not mean it is.
What are some arguments against accepting F1 racing as a sport? How does one counter these arguments?
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Anuj Goyal, An Indian guy who loved Formula 1 before knowing anything about cricket.
Updated Jul 27 2013
Sport: (Noun) An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others.
By that definition alone, Formula 1 is one of the greatest sports out there. While some might think, "Oh, you just sit in a car and drive." Well, if you're sitting on your couch with a bag of chips and a chilled beer, thinking "Yeah, I could do this!", I have bad news for you. You jolly well can't. As a matter of fact, at any given time, there are only about 40-50 guys on the planet who are qualified to even drive a Formula 1 car i.E possessing an FIA Super License (which may cost a few hundred thousand dollars per year). Which brings me to my next point. Besides being a sport, Formula 1 is also a business. As a business owner, would you pay some guy millions of dollars a year to just "sit in a car and drive"?
This begs the question, why are Formula 1 drivers paid so much? Well, modern Formula 1 drivers are elite athletes, commanding a salary similar to top football stars.
Although at first glance, it doesn't appear so, Formula 1, is one of the most physically and mentally demanding of all sports. This is the reason why Formula 1 drivers some of the fittest athletes in the world. The physical strains of a Formula 1 race are often considered to be the equivalent of running a marathon. Not impressed enough? Well combine that with the mental agility of an ace fighter pilot engaged in a dogfight, and you start having some resemblance to the modern Formula 1 driver.
Here's a brilliant link that talks about the physical and mental conditioning it takes to be a quality F1 driver: Formula 1: Are F1 Drivers considered Athletes?
The other most common argument against Formula 1 is that it's not considered a team sport. As for that, remember that although it may be one guy in the car and on the track, it takes a whole army of people to put him d's worth of work for everybody. (So relax, as a me, 2