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How to get American drivers into F1?
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John Matthews



Joined: 04 Dec 2004
Posts: 2046
Location: United States, Michigan, Williamsburg

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Investors are interested in ROI. The obvious answer to the question is we need another Mario Andretti. Advertisers still love him 35 years after he was World Champion.... I predict the next "American" F1 champ will be a "Mexican-American" given the demographics in our country and the passion for F1 in Mexico. Andretti is an immigrant, isn't he....

If you have a talented young American driver why would you look to F1, which is based in Europe, and has very limited appeal in this country?

We have NASCAR here. Check with JPM and find out how he's doing since he $witched over. Back in the 1970's NASCAR was still pretty small stuff except for the Daytona 500. The Indy 500 was the biggest prize in motorsports, and American automakers were on top. The last F1 races at Indy were a disgrace. It should have been a chance for us to showcase our talent but instead proved we weren't up to the task. Austin is much better, the investment is there and it's close to Mexico.

It would be great to have some more interest in this country, maybe if we can keep a race for more than a couple of years we'll see it happen.

BTW, I love F1. Went to the Long Beach Grand Prix in 1978 and raced my kart in a parking lot close by. Someone should put on a street race in Austin. Just one class and make it invitation only, that might get it going....

Cheers,
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Keith Bridgeman



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

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Matthews wrote:
Investors are interested in ROI. The obvious answer to the question is we need another Mario Andretti. Advertisers still love him 35 years after he was World Champion.... I predict the next "American" F1 champ will be a "Mexican-American" given the demographics in our country and the passion for F1 in Mexico. Andretti is an immigrant, isn't he....

If you have a talented young American driver why would you look to F1, which is based in Europe, and has very limited appeal in this country? We have NASCAR here. Check with JPM and find out how he's doing since he $witched over. Back in the 1970's NASCAR was still pretty small stuff except for the Daytona 500. The Indy 500 was the biggest prize in motorsports, and American automakers were on top. The last F1 races at Indy were a disgrace. It should have been a chance for us to showcase our talent but instead proved we weren't up to the task. Austin is much better, the investment is there and it's close to Mexico.

It would be great to have some more interest in this country, maybe if we can keep a race for more than a couple of years we'll see it happen.

BTW, I love F1. Went to the Long Beach Grand Prix in 1978 and raced my kart in a parking lot close by. Someone should put on a street race in Austin. Just one class and make it invitation only, that might get it going....

Cheers,


Well any international series won't be based out of the US. Not sure I understand that point other then Americancs don't like to leave the US? F1 is the top of the food chain in full international racing. That should be the draw of an American driver. Make it to F1. Also having an american driver would help F1 become bigger here. It still won't be Nascar level here but it would help.

On the Karting level which should come first Tim said it correct. We really need to compete on a international karting level first. Thats been few and far between.
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paul hir



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 351
Location: United States, Pennsylvania, Erie

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder why they ignore Jake Rosenzweig he is American and runs GP2.

Anyways Chico would not be driving for Mclaren if it wasn't for Telemex (see new sponsor next year) Same with Maldonado and VEN gov't, so we need Bill Gates to step up.

Honestly what sense does it make for Rossi to step into a Caterham, he obviously has some backers that are spending the money, so he can finish 2nd or 3rd to last? I rather see Conor and Rossi in Indycar dominating. I believe that would be more helpful to American open wheel racing and karting then sticking a American in a back marker car.
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Rob Kozakowski



Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 321
Location: Canada, Alberta, Edmonton

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have lots of money (of your own or of someone else's) and "some talent", or a reasonable combination of money and talent, there are opportunities to buy rides in any form or racing, F1 included. There are plenty of Americans who can compete along with these types of F1 drivers, who often find themselves in Indycar when the money to keep them in F1 dries up. Guys like Sato, Wilson, etc. are still quality drivers, they just aren't "elite" drivers.

What I think Whitmarsh is really talking about is the elite group of F1 drivers who don't have to bring money, and will therefore not only get to F1, but stay in F1. These are the guys who get noticed by people in the motorsports world while they are in karting, and get groomed and fast-tracked to F1 without having to spend boatloads of their own money.

Hamilton being picked by McLaren as a kid. Alonso getting an opportunity in cars through Adrian Campos, who through his connections got him into a Minardi for people to see how talented he really was. Raikkonen going from karts to FRenault to F1 with 23 previous races in cars. Vettel joining the Red Bull Junior team when he was 11 in karts. Button who went from Euro FSA Champ to FFord to F3, to F1. All guys who got noticed in karts when they were young. All guys who moved quickly to F1 because somebody else wanted to get them there. All guys who never have to worry about bringing money to the table, and instead just have to worry about how much money they can earn from F1.

For a variety of reasons, those same opportunities don't exist for Americans. One of those reasons is that there isn't a truly "elite" level of JUNIOR or Senior karting for the kids to get noticed if there was someone with influence who wanted to pay attention and pick a driver to groom him for an F1 future.

As I mentioned earlier, Long and Giebler were fortunate to get on with CRG and Tony in the brief period of time where Formula A was big here, and got opportunities to race in Europe and earn the respect of people over there. It didn't get them to F1, but it gave them an opportunity to get on that path, which is almost impossible to do with most of the karting we have had in North America over the years which makes it almost impossible to really pick out the true elite from the very good.
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Vince Mandarino



Joined: 25 Nov 2002
Posts: 45
Location: Canada, Alabama,

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you all make good points and have pinned on how and what venues a driver should take and do, all valid points, that unfortunately always comes down to money.

if I think back when Andretti Marco was racing skip barber there were a few drivers competing in the same class, that outrun him in most races and qualifying, tail end of the story? Marco is still racing and those very good talented drivers are making a leaving working. in today car racing formulas you need talent no question , but again talent without a lot of money is a short run.

I can name a hand full or more American drivers that are more than capable of competing in F1 today and probably very successfully, why are they sitting at home? some of them cant even afford to race karts. SAD..

the drivers there today are not the ones that are killer fast....

just my personal opinion.

Vince.
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Vince Mandarino



Joined: 25 Nov 2002
Posts: 45
Location: Canada, Alabama,

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you all make good points and have pinned on how and what venues a driver should take and do, all valid points, that unfortunately always comes down to money.

if I think back when Andretti Marco was racing skip barber there were a few drivers competing in the same class, that outrun him in most races and qualifying, tail end of the story? Marco is still racing and those very good talented drivers are making a leaving working. in today car racing formulas you need talent no question , but again talent without a lot of money is a short run.

I can name a hand full or more American drivers that are more than capable of competing in F1 today and probably very successfully, why are they sitting at home? some of them cant even afford to race karts. SAD..

the drivers there today are not the ones that are killer fast....

just my personal opinion.

Vince.
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Cory Ross



Joined: 19 Nov 2012
Posts: 192
Location: United States, Colorado, El Jebel

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not just money it is marketability. Of course Marco is still racing, because he can market his last name to sponsors to get the money needed to race. Just like Danica Patrick, very marketable therefore she has lots of financial support to race. Every form of racing has people with less skill but more support since they make up for the lack of skill with their ability to market themselves to sponsors. To make it in most forms of racing you need talent, money, and the ability to market yourself to get any additional support needed.

Back to developing the talent of US drivers it is a tough hard to navigate road for up and comers. If you wanted to start in karts and move up to F1 how would you do it in the US? If you first wanted to be the karting world champion before moving to full size cars what US series would you start racing in? Which series is going to give you the best knowledge and experience to take your kart racing over to Europe? Will any of the US series give you exposure to potential supporters to help you take your kart racing to the world stage? Will any of the US series give you experience racing with the level of drivers you would compete against in Europe? Will winning any US series give you some respect of drivers in Europe? If the CIKFIA was to host a single race World Championship with countries sending a team of drivers how would the US select who was going to represent them?
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Alan Dove



Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 991
Location: United Kingdom (Great Britain), not usa state,

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not karting's responsibility to produce drviers for F1. Being subservient to F1 has only helped drive costs skyward in the UK to the point where senior karting has been decimated. Why do karting if you're above the age of 16? Why set up karting so that anyone older than 16 in a senior class feels like a failure?

My advice - stay WELL clear from this F1 ladder nonsense and concentrate on promoting karting because it's a bloody good motorsport. Everything else is pointless. F1 don't care one bit about the real fundemental health of karting...
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Brian Mead



Joined: 18 Mar 2007
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Location: United States, Tennessee, Franklin

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said Alan. Of all motorsport, none consumes money at a more fantastic rate than F1. In regards the ladder idea, someone posted on ekarting a great interview with D'Angello Parllia. Must see. Karting in Europe according to him is ingesting itself because of expense. He pointed out that karting here is much different, and I think he meant that to be in a favorable light. To get to f1 today requires access to sums that are seven figure, AND talent. Racing of any type has always had to have lots of money, but more so even today. Besides, if you are the next Vettel, Johnson, Loeb, etc, etc, you'll get there. That type of talent doesn't go unnoticed, because its one in a generation. The rest of us need somewhere to race, and I vote karts.
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Tim Pappas



Joined: 25 Jul 2001
Posts: 804
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Alan Dove"

My advice - stay WELL clear from this F1 ladder nonsense and concentrate on promoting karting because it's a bloody good motorsport. Everything else is pointless. F1 don't care one bit about the real fundemental health of karting...[/quote]

+1!
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Tim Pappas



Joined: 25 Jul 2001
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian Mead wrote:
Well said Alan. Of all motorsport, none consumes money at a more fantastic rate than F1. In regards the ladder idea, someone posted on ekarting a great interview with D'Angello Parllia. Must see. Karting in Europe according to him is ingesting itself because of expense. He pointed out that karting here is much different, and I think he meant that to be in a favorable light. To get to f1 today requires access to sums that are seven figure, AND talent. Racing of any type has always had to have lots of money, but more so even today. Besides, if you are the next Vettel, Johnson, Loeb, etc, etc, you'll get there. That type of talent doesn't go unnoticed, because its one in a generation. The rest of us need somewhere to race, and I vote karts.


Interesting because there is a contingent here that thinks we should be more Euro like. Maybe we don't need to change at all?
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Alan Dove



Joined: 10 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian Mead wrote:
Well said Alan. Of all motorsport, none consumes money at a more fantastic rate than F1. In regards the ladder idea, someone posted on ekarting a great interview with D'Angello Parllia. Must see. Karting in Europe according to him is ingesting itself because of expense. He pointed out that karting here is much different, and I think he meant that to be in a favorable light. To get to f1 today requires access to sums that are seven figure, AND talent. Racing of any type has always had to have lots of money, but more so even today. Besides, if you are the next Vettel, Johnson, Loeb, etc, etc, you'll get there. That type of talent doesn't go unnoticed, because its one in a generation. The rest of us need somewhere to race, and I vote karts.


From my experience that type of talent goes unnoticed a lot. The fact is there really isn't many opportunities for 'talent'. Motorsport is pay to play 99.99% of the time.

Karting is become so subservient to car racing and now has a greater emphasis on spec-racing that any actual professional opportunities to drive WITHIN karting have been all but eroded away.
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Alan Dove



Joined: 10 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim Pappas wrote:
Brian Mead wrote:
Well said Alan. Of all motorsport, none consumes money at a more fantastic rate than F1. In regards the ladder idea, someone posted on ekarting a great interview with D'Angello Parllia. Must see. Karting in Europe according to him is ingesting itself because of expense. He pointed out that karting here is much different, and I think he meant that to be in a favorable light. To get to f1 today requires access to sums that are seven figure, AND talent. Racing of any type has always had to have lots of money, but more so even today. Besides, if you are the next Vettel, Johnson, Loeb, etc, etc, you'll get there. That type of talent doesn't go unnoticed, because its one in a generation. The rest of us need somewhere to race, and I vote karts.


Interesting because there is a contingent here that thinks we should be more Euro like. Maybe we don't need to change at all?


Depends what is meant by 'euro like'. Every european country has slightly different classes and structures. The only inherent difference I see between the two markets is that we have CIK (KF and KZ) racing which consists of a hundred or so drivers travelling around in the 'elite' events. Everything else is quite similar.
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Chris Livengood



Joined: 24 Jul 2001
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Location: United States, Pennsylvania, Da Burgh

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karting in North American is on a completely different land mass than the F1 teams. Out of sight out of mind.

Also, a lot of money doesn't cut it. To do a year at the Star Mazda level in North America you are going to need $500,000 (+/- $100,000). And let's be honest, the series is crap, the cars are crap, and competition in the series is crap. On top of that, there is only one track here that is on the F1 schedule. If you want to train for F1, you do it on the F1 tracks. On top of that, if you want to do a competitive series in a modern car you have to go to Europe. To do that you are talking 2-5 million dollars U.S. The number of persons or companies that can afford .5m dollars is significantly more than those that can afford 2-5 million. That alone is the biggest barrier to entry. Finally, if you can afford the 2-5 million, why would you leave the states when you could spend just 1 million on a U.S. based series and significantly outspend your competitors and develop a advantage while still spending less than you would in Europe. Then take your remaining 4 million and start putting together an Indy ride, head to the Daytona 24 for $50,000, and because you've some left over you might as well squeeze the Sebring 12 in there. Or you could go up against insane competition in a foreign country and blow all of your 2-5 million finishing last on tracks you've never seen.
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Bobby McCourt



Joined: 31 Jan 2006
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bumpers. You can't use them in f1. Most of the good drivers in karting and f1 came along before rear bumpers. Open wheel racing has a purpose and karting didn't understand that so now the better young drivers like Kyle Larson are coming from outlaw karts where you have to drive around your opponent rather than just feed him bumper. This style of driving has also driven parents away from the sport as its a bigger crashfest with the rear bumper than it was before. Plus the increased cost of the bumpers have helped dwindle down the number of racers and without a lot of karts on the track to test your skills against its hard to get better.putting down a fast lap, starting from pole and driving away from the competition teaches you little.
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