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Cheever calls for American F1 driver

Eddie Cheever calls on American drivers to look at F1 in the future
Eddie Cheever says that F1 needs an American driver if the sport is to be successful when it returns to his home country next season.

The Circuit of the Americas is due to host its first F1 race in 2012 while the streets of New Jersey will also join the schedule in 2013, although there are currently no American drivers on the grid for fans to cheers on.

Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Cheever said he felt it would be difficult for the sport to be a success without American representation in the field especially given the fall out from the 2005 race at Indianapolis where just six cars started after the Michelin-shod teams withdrew on safety grounds.

"I don't think Formula 1 can be successful in America without an American driver, but there are a lot of Ferrari fans who follow the sport everywhere and there are American Formula 1 fans," he said. "There would be a lot more success with American drivers. We were doing well at Indianapolis until they dropped the ball with the tyre fiasco in 2005. The fans are very fickle and they didn't come back."

Cheever added that it would take time to encourage young American drivers to look at F1, with drivers currently more focused on either NASCAR or IndyCar instead.

"Almost all of the young drivers in America want to be in NASCAR and we need more to want to get to F1,” he said. “Just having one driver won't do it. Maybe having one in F1 would galvanize F1 in America so more young drivers wanted to get involved.

"It is a process that is going to take a long time, a five-year plan supported by a corporation or a car manufacturer to develop talent."

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gburg3 - Unregistered

December 22, 2011 12:03 PM

Yes, in order for F1 to suceed in the US there has to be an American driver. We American's are a narcisstic bunch. We don't think sport exists unless an American is participating. I never could quite understand the appeal of NASCAR, but I do see why many American's enjoy it. It's big, powerful,and very simple to understand much like the mentality of most American's-who like their cars big, powerful, and easy to understand. F1 is nimble, sophisticated, and rather complex to understand it intimately. I'm afraid that F1 might have the same fate as soccer in America. It's a nice game for boys who can't play football. Such a shame.


December 22, 2011 3:50 PM
Last Edited 122 days ago

Success in the US is not dependent on an American team or driver participating, it is dependent on F1 putting on a competitive race. No one wants to pay to watch a boring parade, with no passing on the track and where finishing positions are separated by more than ten seconds for every spot. If Bernie were able to see past his wallet, he would realize that putting on a great race is more than getting paid and showing up with a third rate product, self proclaiming how it is the pinnacle of motorsport, because it hasn't been for at least a decade. If F1 were capable of having the top 15 cars finish within a 20 second span consistently, the sport would be a success anywhere in the world. Instead he believes that he is giving the world the best when he is re-hashing old Champcar ideas a decade later, to provide artificial racing. The great racing from the 70's and 80's made F1 great, not Bernie, and it is far cry from those days now. US fans will support great racing, but F1 isn't.

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