Starting in February of 2022, the Pitstop podcast hosted by Jake Boys and Fabio Bocca, now known as the Pitstop boys, has risen to high levels of success. The Pitstop boys had no interest in the sport of Formula 1 until they watched Netflix’s hit docudrama Drive to Survive. In the first episode of the podcast “Lights out and away we go,” they discuss how they thought Drive to Survive was hilarious and watching Haas team principal Gunther Steiner ask for more funding turned them into fans of both the show and the sport.
What originally started as a harmless podcast following two new F1 fans in their journey to learn more about the sport quickly started to highlight the double standards for men and women in motorsport spaces.
In only their fifth episode, the Pitstop boys had F1TV presenter and journalist Will Buxton on the podcast and only got more high-profile guests from there, including Sky Sports F1 presenter David Croft, F2 2022 Champion Felipe Drugovich, Aston Martin mechanic Mikey Brown, former F1 world champion and current F1 presenter Jenson Button, Alfa Romeo F1 team drivers Guanyu Zhou and Valtteri Bottas, and so many more.
While many enjoyed the podcast – at one time, it held a 4.8-star rating on Spotify – others thought their lack of racing knowledge didn’t warrant the opportunities they were receiving. In a special episode dedicated to the legacy of Sebastian Vettel in the sport, guest Lissie Mackintosh, an F1 content creator, asked them how many teams Vettel raced for, and they only named Ferrari and Aston Martin after Mackintosh gave them hints about other possible teams. This clip circulated F1 Twitter as it was surprising to fans that they didn’t undertake at least basic research on Vettel for their tribute episode.
Still, the Pitstop boys were quite popular among F1 fans until they were featured as guests on Marcus Armstrong’s podcast Screaming Meals in April of 2023.
The episode generated much controversy online after they made comments about their lack of interest in the actual sport and proceeded to talk about the opportunities they received in the motorsport world.
“We mainly wanted to do YouTube first, like video, and not necessarily talking about racing. The bigger picture is we just want to travel and see everything, and we love the sport, so it fits hand in hand. Don’t take it too seriously, but you get to travel around the world and have a laugh with your mates,” said Boys at the top of the episode.
Many people showed frustration and disbelief at this statement, believing that it highlighted the Pitstop boys’ lack of care for motorsport and their true interest in just getting opportunities to travel the world. When Juan Manuel Correa joined the podcast around halfway through, they started to have an in-depth discussion of the race that took place the previous week, until Bocca interrupted, saying, “Honestly, from a fan perspective…what people would want to know is what you boys do outside of the racing. When you think about reality TV and Drive to Survive, no one gives a fuck ’bout your racing, let’s be honest. No one cares where you finish in the championship.”
Armstrong then agreed with Bocca, adding, “I don’t even think the majority of our fans watch the races, they just like the idea that we are racing.” He then backed up that statement with interactions he’s had with people in his building. Fans of the Screaming Meals podcast and many female motorsport fans and journalists were quick to share their discontent on Twitter.
Journalist Ellie Jane tweeted, “I completely understand what’s the pit stop boys podcast is meant to be. But to sit there in front of Juan Manuel Correa and say no one cares about the racing, it’s all about the reality side. Is unbelievably disrespectful. It’s wild to me that they get picked over so many better creators, but hey ho…For me I’ve never been a fan of their podcast. I feel if it was a girl saying half this stuff their (sic) would be more flack given to them. They’ve also taken away opportunities for other and better creators, when they don’t even seem to like the sport that much”
Many others echoed that sentiment saying that women in motorsport spaces get attacked every day for not knowing everything about the sport and rarely get opportunities like the Pitstop boys. Others talked about how disrespectful it was to say that no one cares about racing in front of Juan Manuel Correa, who nearly lost his life to the sport in 2019 at Spa, following a fatal collision that resulted in the devastating loss of Anthoine Hubert. Manuel Correa fought incredibly hard to get back to F2 this year.
Clips from the Screaming Meals episode went viral on F1Twitter, and nearly 10 thousand people left one-star reviews on the Pitstop podcast over 24 hours to take their rating down from 4.8 to 2.3 as of April 16, and still dropping. Their success again highlighted the double standard of female and male motorsport fans, but it also showed the power of female fans. The majority of the Screaming Meals audience is female. They came together on Twitter to voice their concerns over the Pitstop boys and get the likes of Alex Brundle and Jimmy Broadbent to comment on the situation.
Both the Pitstop boys and the Screaming Meals hosts have yet to comment on the situation and many expect no statements to be put forward.
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