March 08, 2006

Scott Speed: An American returns to Formula One: For the first time in 13 years, the U.S. has an entry in motor racing's premier event. A column by sportsfilter member Mark Gero.

posted by justgary to auto racing at 05:36 PM - 12 comments

Unless he is in a top line car, he'll never win. F1 isn't competitive at all. If you are in the best car, you win. If you're not, you just run laps and hope you can get lucky now and then. F1 is just a step above Indy Car, which is losing the US market to Nascar. Very few people in the US will care of even know an American is running in F1 unless he wins. Paul Tracy is already working his way to Nascar and so is Dan Wheldon. He went to Chip Ganassi because Chip will let him try his hand at Nascar. The money and competition is with Nascar. You will see more and more Indy/IRL drivers make their way to Nascar in the next few years.

posted by dbt302 at 06:20 PM on March 08

Welcome aboard Mark. Thanks for the info.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:46 PM on March 08

F1 is a step above Indycar? Maybe in your dingy little country, but in the rest of the world, very few people give a crap about Indycar, NASCAR etc... F1 is the king on the rest of the planet. (Except Australia where Aussie V8's probably beat it. And justifiably so, as it's awesome.) You're right though. Speed is in an uncompetitive car. The last driver to win a race he shouldn't have was Fisichella in the Jordan, at the 2003 Brazilian GP. Prior to that, Damon Hill almost won in 1997 Hungarian GP. Then before that, Olivier Panis won the Monaco GP in a crappy Ligier. (Only 3 cars finished that race.) NASCAR is stupid. (And I say that as a former fan.) In F1, there is actual skill involved. In NASCAR, you can bugger around in the midfield not really trying all day, than 30 laps from the end, go to the front and win. There is absolutely no need to watch anything but the last 10 laps of any NASCAR race.

posted by Drood at 07:09 PM on March 08

Oh yeah, Paul Tracy is an asshole. If he was doing well in a series, he'd be enough to make me NOT watch. Now if you were talking about DECENT Canadian drivers...

posted by Drood at 07:16 PM on March 08

I think it's great we have an American back in F1, and it really doesn't matter at this point whether he's going to win races or not. Even in NASCAR, there aren't too many rookies that make the front line teams right off the bat, and in F1 there are only 4 or 5 teams right now that have a realistic chance of winning a race. Most F1 drivers end up in the competitive seats by showing ability both on the track and in helping an engineer to properly set up the car to its maximum potential. They do not have to win races to impress the top flight teams, and there are any number of top drivers right now that prove that point. F1 might not be competitive the way NASCAR is, but if you've ever been to an F1 race (last year excepted!!!) you'll never forget it. Hearing a a bunch of V10's screaming at 19,000 rpm will do that to you. Good luck Scott, the rest of the world is watching.

posted by eccsport78 at 07:19 PM on March 08

Sorry Drood, I know F1 is huge overseas. Those people are fanatics. It is cool to see people who are so into their favorite drivers and cars. As far as your shot at Nascar, you must have been watching restrictor plate racing. You can hang out all day in the middle of the pack and get to the front at the end. That doesn't happen at any of the other races. I'm not going to argue the skill factor with you. The drivers in both series have to have great skill to drive the cars they do. The only part about F1 that bothers me is that the drivers can change so much about the car while driving it. Nascar doesn't have that option. When they have an ill handling car, they have to adjust their driving style to get the car around the track. Both series have their good and bad points.

posted by dbt302 at 09:41 PM on March 08

F1 is for NASCAR drivers who can also turn right.

posted by JJ at 11:13 AM on March 09

I get up at 5 or 6 AM on F1 Sundays to watch the races and I'm from the Midwest, hardly a hotbed of open wheel racing (although there are three of them in my shop). Any attention F1 gets in the States is good. Mr. Gero needs to do a little homework though, as Mario won his World Championship 15 years before Mike raced in F1, not 5. Mike's outing in F1 was a bad deal. He went in with an unknown engine package, which was not on par, plus he rationalized that he could live in the States and just bop back and forth on the SST. His fault on that one. He did make one of the few on track passes for position in his last race to finish on the podium. One look at his face and you knew he wasn't coming back. Hopefully Scott will do well. I remember a kid who raised a few eyebrows when he drove for Toleman, one Ayrton Senna de Silva!

posted by FSCCA6 at 12:18 PM on March 09

Yes, driving a poor car doesn't mean that Speed will always drive a poor car. Alonso began his career with Minardi too. He'll need to be very impressive to move on, though. 3rd place in GP2 is good, and it's a European series, so he's getting used to the right lifestyle, as opposed to what Michael Andretti did in the days. But Kovaleinen and Rosberg are both highly touted and under contract with top teams, so he's already a step back from his fellow GP2 drivers. Let's hope he can pull through.

posted by qbert72 at 12:54 PM on March 09

Come on JJ. Nascar drivers turn right. They are called road courses. Watkins Glen, Sonoma, Mexico City, the old Riverside Raceway in California.

posted by dbt302 at 01:06 PM on March 09

Yeah, and how many NASCAR regulars give up their seats at those road courses.

posted by FSCCA6 at 10:23 AM on March 10

Yeah, and how many NASCAR regulars give up their seats at those road courses. Well, since you brought it up, why don't you tell us? Or, could it be that you don't have any facts to back up that statement? Nah, you'd never do that, right? Right?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:14 PM on March 10

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