Bob McMurray: Driver's glaring ommisions
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So many Honours are given to people doing what they are paid to do, and in my view deserve nothing more than any other working person.
The majority of ‘ordinary’ people selflessly go out of their way, often unpaid, to achieve great things.
Officially, according to the 1995 Prime Minister’s Honours Advisory Committee, the honours system is a way for “New Zealand to say thanks and well done to those who have served and those who have achieved”.
As I said, there’s nothing about rewarding a person doing the thing they are paid to do.
I am a bit of a royalist, at least while Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is on the throne, and I am in full agreement that some form of recognition is due to those who deserve it. But some of those bestowed honours seem to be politicians who have done nothing more than their job.
There was nothing in the New Years’ Honours list for anyone in motorsport, even though 2017 was a good year with some great achievements by Kiwis.
What greater achievement can there be for a sportsman than to win a world title?
Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley achieved that last year and for Hartley it was his second world title.
Shane van Gisbergen trounced Australian drivers to become champion of his particular discipline in 2016. Perhaps those in power think they are too young to be considered for an honour.
While there are others in the motorsport world who deserve some recognition, there are many other young sportspeople who are known for their hard work, talent and dedication. We all bask in their reflected glory.
Sadly the flaws in the Honours’ system, at least regarding motorsport, are not unique to New Zealand with some glaring examples, a notable example comes to mind out of the UK.
John Surtees MBE was awarded an OBE in 2008 and subsequently a CBE in 2016 after a stunning and matchless career full of achievements of the highest order, but never — despite continued lobbying by many in the UK — was he granted a knighthood.
Surtees was the only man to have won seven world titles on two wheels and then a Formula 1 world Championship title on four. It’s a feat that is unlikely to be repeated.
It is interesting to note that tennis player Andy Murray, singer Barry Gibb and drummer Ringo Starr were among those to receive knighthoods in the 2018 UK New Years’ Honours list.
Perhaps things may change next year.
Time for action
Things have to change in the world of Formula 1 2018 with the ‘honeymoon’ period for the sport’s new owners long having ended. It is time to get things going.
The sport has bumbled along, perhaps even gone backwards to some extent, so it is time for some radical deeds, rather than placating words.
The Formula 1 season (and Brendon Hartley’s new career campaign) gets under way in Melbourne in March and there is much to look forward to.
In New Zealand we have the future Formula 1 stars opening their five week campaigns in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series beginning at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, Christchurch this weekend.