On the Mona Lisa and other copies

Casting his eye over Formula 1 at the moment, the Horse Whisperer has spotted a growing anomaly. This is sport involving drivers and teams, the latter having to enter, in theory, their own cars, the fruit of the ingenuity of their design and production people, with the exception of a few clearly defined components.

That’s the theory of it, but something seems to be changing on this front. In fact, there are in circulation some examples of what appear to be carbon copies, but even more striking is the fact this is viewed by its perpetrators as something of which to be proud. It’s one thing to draw inspiration from the ideas of others, which has been and always will be the case, but it’s quite another to simply slap a coat of paint onto someone else’s idea.

It all reminds the Horse Whisperer of the days of sitting on the school bench when you had to ask your schoolmates for help, when the correct Latin translation did not spring to mind. One was not proud of doing it, nor was the mate in question always willing to hand over the homework: in fact, even at school there was a certain level of competition.

However, everyone in this instance seemed happy enough and even delighted to copy and be copied, almost as if it’s a joke. Even those running the show got a bit carried away with themselves, praising those who did the copying. So why not just play with your cards face up and say that you can sell whole cars to other teams? Well, when someone suggested it, recently, not to mention a decade ago, people got up in arms about defending Formula 1’s so-called DNA, claiming that was it a right, a duty even, to compete in this sport as fully fledged constructors, rather than just putting up a façade. If this is meant to be the pinnacle of motorsport, it should be a competition won by the greatest minds, not those who just make a copy pulled out of the ether and then act all self-righteous about it…

Formula 1 should be for original cars and not their copies. After all, if you want to see the Mona Lisa, you go to the Louvre in Paris, not the Prado in Madrid, where one can see a copy. We know the former was painted by Leonardo da Vinci, but no one is too sure about the origins of the latter.

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