USA Day: Five US scene drivers for F1

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

USA Day: Scott Dixon, Indianapolis 500, 2008, 470150

There’s no United States Grand Prix this year so it’s USA Day at F1 Fanatic with a series of America-themed articles.

Which drivers in the American racing scene whould head over to Formula 1? Here are five of the drivers I’d like to see make the switch from NASCAR and Indy Car.

Scott Dixon

New Zealand’s Scott Dixon has an excellent pedigree in Indy Car Racing. He won the Indianapolis 500 this year (above) and is leading the re-united series convincingly.

Dixon came heart-brakingly close to winning the title last year, only to run out of fuel on the last lap of the season.

Kyle Busch

American NASCAR star Kyle Busch, 23, is expected to do a make an appearance in a Toyota F1 car in Japan at the end of the season. Busch drives a Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and leads the championship with four wins at the time of writing.

We’ve seen former F1 cars turn to NASCAR in recent years but I think it would be fasincating to see how a driver who’s spent his career racing almost entirely on ovals would cope with Formula 1. And having one of NASCAR’s top drivers do it would be a huge publicity boost for F1 in America.

Marco Andretti

You can take your pick of the PR-friendly drivers in Indy Car who could make the jump to F1: Graham Rahal, son of three times CART champion Bobby Rahal; Or Danica Patrick, possibly the only professional racing driver who could generate more hype by arriving in F1 than Lewis Hamilton did.

But Andretti, the third generation of the dynasty beginning with 1978 F1 champion Mario, is probably the best bet. He may have looked rough around the edges in recent races, but he showed tons of skill on his debut in the series in 2006 – particularly when he led commandingly at a damp Watkins Glen before being taken out by Eddie Cheever.

AJ Allmendinger

I was hugely disappointed to see Allmendinger switch from Champ Car to NASCAR in 2006. At the time he had won several road course races on the series and looked like one of American’s most promising open wheel racers.

His NASCAR career to date has not been much to write about. I’d like to see him back in a single seater, maybe even an F1 car.

Juan Pablo Montoya

Yeah, I’m still banging the drum for Montoya. He’s wasted in NASCAR, and I think he’d be right at home in the 2009 spec low-downforce F1 cars.

Read more: 10 of the best… American F1 drivers