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What you see as only a national event was actively pursued as a challenge for drivers, teams, and designers, internationally from its very beginning. In fact, if you were to look up the definition of the triple crown of motorsport, you will see the Indy 500 as one of the three most prestigious races in the world. Also the pride from England was overwhelming for Jimmy Clark and Graham Hill when they won the 500, so your perception is clearly blinded by something. Newsflash! F1 is not the pinnacle of motorsport and talent has less to do with having a seat there, more than in any other motorsport on the planet. Also although MotoGP and F1 have crowned world champions since their inceptions, they were wholly European Championships for years in GP and decades in F1, so don't kid yourself into believing that they represented the world.