Opinion

"Formula 1 is back, but is Ken Block the future of motorsport?"

Check out Ken Block's online videos if the F1 gets boring, says editor-in-chief Steve Fowler

Ken Block opinion

Ever seen Ken Block on video? Check out the video below and enjoy him hooning (he drives for Hoonigan Racing!) around Ford’s Cologne factory in a prototype Ford Focus RS. His videos are compelling viewing, with one boasting over 22 million views. No wonder Ford is happy for him to throw its cars around on screen.

But what does Ken Block have to do with the new season of Formula 1? At last week’s Geneva Motor Show, I met up with Ford folk and chatted to Raj Nair, the company’s chief technical officer and the man in charge of product development.

I asked him why, in a year when Ford is being noisy on the fast car front (Ford GT, Focus RS, Mustang...), it’s so quiet on the motorsport front?

“Motorsport is still important to us,” he told me. “Our heritage is founded on a race Henry Ford won. We look for an engagement where we can see a return. Ken Block is an example of a motorsport spectacle – he’s given us tremendous exposure. But some series become more about the driver than the maker. In F1 it’s more about Lewis [Hamilton] vs Nico [Rosberg], than Mercedes vs Ferrari.”

Ford still plays a decent part in motorsport, from Formula Ford to the increasingly popular Block-style Rallycross. And here’s hoping we see a return to Le Mans for Ford with the GT.

I’m also hoping for a blockbuster Formula 1 season, although I’m going to play it safe this year after tipping Jenson Button to win last year.

I can’t look past Lewis Hamilton and a third world title, although I hope the Williams team gets to the top step at least once, and I’d love to see a Jenson win by the end of the year. Most of all, I hope this year’s racing is entertaining – although if I get a bit bored mid-race, there’s always YouTube and a quick fix of Ken Block.

Who are you rooting for this year? Let us know below...

Recommended

Ford Halewood factory to become electric car power unit plant in £230m transformation
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford

Ford Halewood factory to become electric car power unit plant in £230m transformation

The Halewood transmission factory on Merseyside will become Ford’s first european EV component production facility
18 Oct 2021
Ford CEO Jim Farley on remaking the Blue Oval, EVs, autonomous cars and racing GT40s
Jim Farley Q&A - header
Ford

Ford CEO Jim Farley on remaking the Blue Oval, EVs, autonomous cars and racing GT40s

Exclusive - Ford CEO Jim Farley talks about his racing, Ford’s future and why Henry Ford wouldn’t want to be working with Volkswagen
29 Sep 2021
Ford Bronco being considered for Europe, says Ford boss
ford bronco
Ford

Ford Bronco being considered for Europe, says Ford boss

Ford CEO Jim Farley has hinted that the new Bronco SUV could be on its way to Europe
20 Sep 2021
High-performance Hennessey VelociRaptor Ford Bronco revealed with 405bhp
Hennessey Bronco
Ford

High-performance Hennessey VelociRaptor Ford Bronco revealed with 405bhp

New Hennessey VelociRaptor 400 Bronco unveiled with more power and off-road upgrades
19 Jul 2021

Most Popular

New 2022 Range Rover leaks: first look at new Land Rover flagship SUV
Range Rover leak - front
Land Rover Range Rover

New 2022 Range Rover leaks: first look at new Land Rover flagship SUV

Images of what could be the next Range Rover have appeared on social media ahead of next week’s reveal
20 Oct 2021
New Kia EV6 2021 review
Kia EV6 front tracking
Kia EV6

New Kia EV6 2021 review

With a sporty drive, 300-plus miles of range and plenty of tech - could the new Kia EV6 be one of the best electric cars on sale?
19 Oct 2021
Friends reunited: buying back a Porsche 911
Porsche 911
Porsche 911 Coupe

Friends reunited: buying back a Porsche 911

How perfect timing led a Porsche 911 fanatic to buy back his old car
14 Oct 2021