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How to get American drivers into F1?
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Richard Thoms



Joined: 11 Aug 2009
Posts: 151
Location: United States, Alabama, Huntsville

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:43 am    Post subject: How to get American drivers into F1? Reply with quote

Nice article featuring Daly/Rossi. McClaren's Martin Whitmarsh says karting is the key...

Formula One proving to be a challenge to American drivers

"Formula One has flirted with North American for many years but Formula One hasn't been seen as the pinnacle of the sport in the eyes of youngster in North America. North America has evolved in a slightly different approach with things like NASCAR," said McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh, who heads the F1 teams' association. "North American doesn't have the karting program. Without exception, every single one of these (F1) drivers started at [age] 8 or 9 in karting and went into competitive karting. Karting became the launch pad for their careers."
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Keith Bridgeman



Joined: 24 Aug 2001
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Location: United States, Minnesota, Farmington

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree.

America is so much different though. So much bigger and harder to put on a true national series.

Way more stick and ball sports interest to pull kids away. Also way more motorsports choices and directions to go, mainly ovals.

In Europe that ladder is more clearly defined without so many choices.
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David Cole
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I commented on Daly's facebook page - he's never been to New Castle, which produced two IndyCar drivers for the Indy 500 this year. 2 out of 33 is a great number. And if you go through the entire starting grid, probably 90% started in karting.

Formula One racing is this: "It's not what you know, it's who you know"

It's the same in NASCAR and IndyCar. Motorsports is about money, otherwise, we would have a Formula One race in America every year like previous years - not because someone laid down a substantial amount of money to build and promote the COTA event or the New York race.

To me, his comment is obtuse. He has no idea what is going on in North American karting.
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Keith Bridgeman



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you know he doesn't know anything about american karting?

What he says from a Formula one perspective is true as he sees it. Not counting Nascar or Indycar which isn't the topic. Does he know much about american karting, who knows? He knows that in Europe karting is the key. Thats not how it works here.
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gregg boyce



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David,

I think what Whitmarsh is trying to say is that North America doesn't have a "true" national championship and most US karters don't compete in international events. Winning at the highest levels of international karting (and a boatload of $$) is what you have to do.

Look at the current crop of FRenault 3.5 drivers (Magnussen, Nato, Da Costa, Webb, Laine, etc) or GP3 (Vainio, Sainz, Sims, Harvey, etc). All these drivers competed (and most of them won) in big international karting events.

While winning Yamaha Sportsman Super Heavy isn't easy it just doesn't really impress people in european racing.

Also, How can you compare club racing at NCMP to the World Karting Championships???? That's just nonsense!

GB

GB
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Greg Lindahl



Joined: 13 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The USA certainly has the talent to race at the very top of F1. Statistically, with 315 million people we MUST have the gene pool.
However, we must have corporate and/or wealthy family $'s behind our drivers, just like the Europeans if we want to play on the world stage.
We are an island, with all the positive and negative attributes that entails. The negative aspect is we don't involve ourselves in many world interests. We'll get there, we'll just be late for the party.
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Walt Gifford



Joined: 19 Jul 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have perspective on this from another endeavor and basically the US has the talent, money and technology to rule F1 and other things, we just don't want to.


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Richard Thoms



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Besides the obvious European karting scene, what about all the other F1 pilots that come from South America, Australia, etc. I know they all started in karting. Do those regions have karting programs superior to US?
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Keith Bridgeman



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I want to see first is for an American driver to win the KZ race at the supernats. It hasn't happened since the best from across the pond started coming over. We haven't won in our own S1 class for two years.
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Chillon Kraus



Joined: 16 Nov 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard Thoms wrote:
Besides the obvious European karting scene, what about all the other F1 pilots that come from South America, Australia, etc. I know they all started in karting. Do those regions have karting programs superior to US?


Most of those drivers moved to europe during their karting years.
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Vince Mandarino



Joined: 25 Nov 2002
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Location: Canada, Alabama,

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a lot of talented drivers in north America, its all about how much money you are willing to invest, some very talented driver have parent that don't have that kind of cash F1 needs money look at the current new drivers line up they all bring money to the table some get to stay and for some it was just a good and very expensive experience, any one here know Peter Rossi?, just ask what is costing him to have is kid drive the f1 cars, with no assurances. that is the way it is, no different in the lower formulas here in North America or Europe, and even if you win a championship moving over to the next level cost the family more money.

Vince Mandarino.
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Joseph Johnson



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:34 pm    Post subject: F1 Reply with quote

I bet Scott Speed could shed some light on this question.
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Tim Pappas



Joined: 25 Jul 2001
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="David Cole"

To me, his comment is obtuse. He has no idea what is going on in North American karting.[/quote]

That's exactly one of the problems. It's not that we don't turn out some talent, but where would an F1 team look for the next Lewis here in the U.S.?
WKA? Winter Tour? SKUSA? Somewhere else? Some of these orgs have some great drivers that never race the great drivers from the other orgs. How do you compare that? It's much more defined in Europe. Go to any World Championship event or for that matter even the Italian winter Cup and you can see all the same drivers racing each other in one place.

The other thing is that we like to think that our "National" races are comparable to anything in the world. We have only one race here that rivals the intensity of the top Euro races and that's the Supernats. It's hard to crank out drivers to compete at that level when we really don't have races that at that level. The old Promoto Tour was the closest we got and you can still see the alumni of the Tour scattered throughout different racing series today. There is no less talent today, but racing all together in one series puts a polish on a driver that he can't get elsewhere.
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Rob Kozakowski



Joined: 05 Apr 2010
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Location: Canada, Alberta, Edmonton

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim Pappas wrote:
[quote="David Cole"

To me, his comment is obtuse. He has no idea what is going on in North American karting.


That's exactly one of the problems. It's not that we don't turn out some talent, but where would an F1 team look for the next Lewis here in the U.S.?
WKA? Winter Tour? SKUSA? Somewhere else? Some of these orgs have some great drivers that never race the great drivers from the other orgs. How do you compare that? It's much more defined in Europe. Go to any World Championship event or for that matter even the Italian winter Cup and you can see all the same drivers racing each other in one place.

The other thing is that we like to think that our "National" races are comparable to anything in the world. We have only one race here that rivals the intensity of the top Euro races and that's the Supernats. It's hard to crank out drivers to compete at that level when we really don't have races that at that level. The old Promoto Tour was the closest we got and you can still see the alumni of the Tour scattered throughout different racing series today. There is no less talent today, but racing all together in one series puts a polish on a driver that he can't get elsewhere.[/quote]

The other comparable would be the late 90's Formula A stuff around the time that the Euro's came to North America a bit. While nobody from over here went to F1, it did arguably help get guys like Patrick Long involved with CRG and then a good career with Porsche, Phil Giebler got in with Tony and into F3000, and a few others launched decent careers in cars.
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Brian Degulis



Joined: 13 Aug 2012
Posts: 481
Location: United States, Florida,

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

America is plagued by the "not in my back yard" syndrome and it's been expanded to not in my town or not at all. That makes it very difficult to have tracks in populated areas with daily access. IMO that's what's keeping karting from growing and limits the training ground.



Brian
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