"but it's still the pinnacle of racing. The speeds achieved are INSANE and only the LeMans LMP1 class comes close, even the slightest error can mean these guys miss a brake point, clip the inside curb on the apex then lose the back end on the exit ending up in the gravel or the wall"
Yes, but that doesn't mean it's particularly interesting to watch, that's the thing. All those things are perfectly true, but watching it happen still winds up being dull as hell 95% of the time. This is not at all unusual, is it? 99% of people wouldn't want to watch the 'pinnacle' of software engineering played out in real time for two hours. Or tax accounting. Or sewer maintenance (actually that'd probably make a pretty good History Channel show...)
All of the following things can be true at the same time:
* Building a fast F1 car is insanely difficult and expensive and technically advanced
* Driving one fast is extremely difficult, dangerous and skilled work
* Watching it happen is boring
Weirdly enough for me one of the bigger blows recently was the removal of pit stop refuelling. All the arguments for it make perfect sense - remove a non-actually-driving-a-fast-car-fast factor from being able to influence race results, avoid people having to handle large volumes of highly flammable fuel at ridiculously high speeds in close proximity to extremely hot race cars, etc. etc. - but at least when we had refuelling strategies and more potential for pit stop mess-ups it gave the commentators something to talk about for the 15 laps at a time when absolutely nothing else of interest was happening and added a bit more unpredictability to keep you watching after lap 2...