F1 » Surtees: We need to support talent, not bow to pay-driver pressure


Former F1 and motorcycling world champion John Surtees expresses his sadness at the 'pay-driver' element in the top flight - and his desire for more support to be available to talented but underfunded young drivers

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Yirmin Snipe - Unregistered

March 15, 2011 4:03 PM

F1 has always had pay drivers and always will... would Surtees begrudge someone like Dan Gurney who was what I call the ultimate pay driver since he built his car and raced it? Come on, pay drivers aren't ruining the sport the FIA and its continued move toward spec racing is what is ruining the sport.

AJ - Unregistered

March 15, 2011 4:39 PM

I support Surtees comments but sadly todays pinnacle of motorsport is sadly mainly open to those with big bucks. Jackie stewart once said "to make a small fortune from motorsport you need to start with a large one"

Senna once said in an interview about talent and money in F1 many years ago something along the lines of (cant remember exact quote) "the greatest driver is probably sat in the grandstand watching"

From personal experience in the grass roots of motorsport (karting) the same applies. I own a karting circuit and I have two customers in mind.

One is a very down to earth, pleasant kid who has a humble background and grafts for every penny. He is the most naturally gifted driver I have ever seen. He makes it look effortless. Due to lack of funds. He hasnt been able to get into the right channels to get picked up. The second lad is now in the top six in the UK, raced at the monaco races etc. Best of everything at every race. His "Daddy" owns a telecomunications firm. Money is t

AJ - Unregistered

March 15, 2011 4:41 PM

CONTINUED..... Money is thrown at it. He still visits us regular to catch up and we pop out and have a race around. I admit he is at a competant level but every one of my staff wipe him off the face of the track. Its a shame that so many gifted drivers miss out and dont get the breaks. I often wonder "what if some of them got through" what would F1 be like. DAM GOOD I WOULD SAY!!

Rob01 - Unregistered

March 15, 2011 4:48 PM

The formula for getting a ride in F1 is VERY clear. It baffles me that some of these so called up and coming great drivers do not understand. For many years the formula has NOT changed yet we still hear that so and so should have a ride. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. What do they think? That they are going to have money rain down on top of them because they show signs of being good? If they are that good they should be able to drum up the support and not wait until it's too late and complain about pay drivers.

Adie - Unregistered

March 15, 2011 4:59 PM

Although I agree with the sentiment of Surtees comments,the history books show that in his time as a constructor his cars invariably had pay drivers filling at least one of the seats!

Dangerous Dave - Unregistered

March 15, 2011 8:28 PM

Well said AJ - I know exactly where your coming from - I also think Stirling Moss once made the comment about the best driver in the world is probably some young guy from a sink estate - but -hey ho, we will never know. Karting, once you study it, is fast losing credibility, due to the inequality of equipment. Anyone who has too much time and money can thrash around and go quicker - it ain't rocket science! All we need is a good honest level playing field, but those in charge ain't interested!

jose - Unregistered

March 15, 2011 10:20 PM

Surtees, Bernie, Moss and anyone willing to take a closer look can see the fans are Not getting to watch the best drivers. The team owners want and in some cases really need some very big dollars to stay in the game.
The bottom line is F1 has just too crazy expensive. The cost raises every year..I believe a KERS system runs something like $75m, unneeded expense, why..ask the FIA
Idea, maybe the top four teams will be allowed to run 3 cars. one piloted by a rookie, or someone with limited or no experience. I bet would spice up the action, I think..something has to be changed or F1 will expire, its that simple.
Remember greed can kill the golden goose!

Badman, Jose

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