F1 » Your views: Why no American in F1?


A feature written by Crash.net viewer Tom Boyers. Do you agree? Have your say, simply click on the 'Post your comments' link below...

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NutBallRacer

January 19, 2012 5:46 PM

No, EssexRedneck, I respectfully disagree. The world is small. The travel is not so onerous anymore, and travel is not a killer expense of money and time in comparison to all else involved. It isn't about US people being not as dedicated, talented, sponsored, intelligent, etc. It is simply that F1 is a European phenomenon, and Europeans just flat do not want US driver participation, and make it difficult for US drivers. That more Aussies participate proves the bias. Sure, F1 wants access to the US as a market, but they are not at all interested in US drivers. Now if a US team wants to pony up and buy a slot, that's OK with F1. As said before, with other more convenient options, it just isn't worth it for US drivers to fight to get into an environment that discriminates against their nationality and doesn't showcase their talent.

NutBallRacer

January 19, 2012 6:00 PM

Remember Eddie and Ross Cheever? They did what it took to make F1 (I think Ross didn't quite make it). But they were children of a long-time expatriate, being effectively raised as Europeans, so they were able to shed their US image enough to make the scene over there. That's one way to do it.

A contrast to F1 is in motorcyle GP's -- Americans are well-embraced there. Participation is good, though accomplishments have decreased in over the last decade or so after the 15 year domination starting in 1978. One difference was there was no greater alternative in the US. After US riders arrived in proper sponsorship, the talent showed through. People should know better than to ever say that US people don't make good riders/drivers on the international scene. It's a money and exposure from youth thing, and there's plenty of that in the US.

Essexredneck

January 19, 2012 6:12 PM

@nutball racer- I have to take issue with your assertion that Europeans "just flat do not want US driver participation". If there was a US driver who had colossal ability, funding etc and came to a European series and cleaned up, the F1 teams would be falling over each other to acquire his services, irrespective of nationality, but in his case, BECAUSE of nationality, which team would not like to bring a US multinational on board to sponsor an American hotshoe (and the team)? Its the same with women drivers- the only reason why there are no women F1 drivers is because there aren't any, anywhere, who are quick enough- nearest we've had recently was Danica Patrick, and she was light years away, ability wise. And that more Aussies participate does not prove any bias, it proves an absence of bias, because in recent years, in bikes especially, the aussies have come up with some all time greats. In the 80's it all went America's way, Spencer, Schwantz, Rainey Lawson etc all won multiple cham

richard

January 19, 2012 6:32 PM

essex and nutball. the simple fact is that the teams will look for the best driver (apart from pay drivers) and if he happens to be american, good. if he is not american, hard cheese.
remember when michael andretti was with mclaren? he seemed to believe that he could commute from usa, rather than stay close to the team, train and keep a presence in the team hqs. a driver has to be 100% committed, otherwise no one wll consider them. maybe some have long memories?

NutBallRacer

January 19, 2012 6:43 PM
Last Edited 904 days ago

EssexR -- I did not mean to imply the bike GP situation is similar in any way to F1 for US contestants. It represents a contrast in attitude of those who run MotoGP vs F1. I mentioned the success of US riders as evidence of competence demonstrated in the face of competence questioned before they arrived - Euros said the same things then about US bike riders as they are now about US drivers. I suggest (and evidence shows) assertions of US lack of competence (dedication, etc) suitable for F1 are invalid. I also argue against your assertions of travel burden (successfully, IMHO after doing decades of frequent cross ocean travel -- the Atlantic is a quick trip!) We are talking about F1 here, and the fact that there is an Aussie in F1 and not a US driver is testimony to possible nationality discrimination.

NutBallRacer

January 19, 2012 6:52 PM

No Richard, you don't get it. The teams are NOT looking for US drivers!! Here's why, if you haven't picked up on it:

a) They and/or their sponsors don't want them for nationality reasons, and
b) They can't pay them enough to get them out of their current domestic series, and further
c) They can't convince them of fair treatment that showcases their talent

Item "c" is not all their fault directly, as F1 is a series where the vehicle is showcased over the driver, and they also run two car teams where one guy is likely designated #2 and will be ordered to act like it or get fired.

JeffS86

January 19, 2012 6:54 PM

Being from the states I'd have to say that exposure to F1 here is certainly part of the issue. NASCAR certainly gets more of the spotlight. For younger kids starting out the karting scene is far less developed (I imagine) that what is available in Europe. They've got the option to run dirt ovals here with midget cars, legends and sprint cars and there's a more developed NASCAR feeder series in the States (K&N, ARCA, Trucks, and Nationwide). For open wheel feeder series here the only things that come to mind are the STAR Mazda series. I'm not terribly familiar with how well developed the formula ford scene is here though, i think the skip barber championship is somewhat similar. For any US driver with a desire to race in F1 the reality is at some point there will likely need to be a move to Europe to get noticed and have a chance to compete in the European F1 feeder series. This would require a move while the driver is fairly young and thus would mean a massive commitment from the famil

JB218 - Unregistered

January 19, 2012 7:01 PM

"The US lacks intelligence"......realy Nutballracer? You should divuldge in some history lessons. Europe wouldn't be in it's present position of freedom and prosperity had it not been for US grit and determination to prevent "fruit loop" societies. It's lonely at the top...hence lack of friends.

I was born and raised in NASCAR country. It doesn't impress me either but it is the semingly pompous attitude of such self proclaimed legends of their own mind such as your display that diminishes our interests of involvement with such humans.

JeffS86

January 19, 2012 7:01 PM

As far as fans go, I think it's difficult for a lot of people in the States to get interested in F1. My first exposure to motor racing was of course NASCAR, and although I'm sure I'll take a fair amount of flack for it here, I admit that I still watch some of the races and follow a driver or two. However, as I've gotten older the technology and capabilities of F1 cars have drawn more and more of my attention. Being a fan of F1 in the US either requires a DVR or a commitment to get up early in the morning. For example, I live in Arizona and for the majority of the grands prix or qualifying i need to get up at 3:30 or 4:30 in the morning to tune in. SPEED channel is a cable channel, and in recent years they've run all the races with the exception of the 1 or 2 that a free-to-air station picks up and broadcasts on tape-delay. I get up and watch Quali and the race because its something I love. For someone with a casual interest, that seems less likely to me - I know I wouldn't get up at 3

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