Sebastien Bourdais’ troubles show why IndyCar drivers struggle in modern F1

Sebastien Bourdais made his last F1 start at the Nurburgring

Sebastien Bourdais made his last F1 start at the Nurburgring

F1 Fanatic guest writer Duncan Stephen, who writes Vee8, looks at how Indy Car drivers have fallen out of fashion in F1.

The departure of Sébastien Bourdais from Toro Rosso brings into focus two trends that have emerged in the driver market.

The first is the high turnover of drivers in the Red Bull teams, particularly Toro Rosso. This has been picked up elsewhere (including on F1 Fanatic and James Allen’s blog), so I will discuss it only briefly.

But another aspect has not been mentioned quite as much – the trend away from drivers who made their name in IndyCar.

Red Bull’s driver management

In its short history, Toro Rosso has built up a history of managing its drivers poorly. Since Toro Rosso’s first season in 2006, the team has gone through six different drivers. That is more than almost any other team, although McLaren has also gone through six in the past four years. The Woking-based squad has had some high profile driver management problems of its own in that period – first with Juan Pablo Montoya, then with Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

Back to Toro Rosso’s problems, the team’s management famously had a rift with Scott Speed in 2007 which ended in the driver accusing Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost of physically assaulting him. Needless to say, that was the end of his relationship with the team. Toro Rosso’s other driver at the time, Vitantonio Liuzzi, also ended up being disillusioned with the situation and has since cut his ties with Red Bull.

The parent Red Bull team has not had the most stable of situations with its drivers either. Its first season in 2005, also involving Liuzzi, was a disaster on this front. Although they had brought in veteran David Coulthard, who would serve as a stabilising influence and remains on the team’s books to this day, Red Bull intended to share their second seat between two drivers, Liuzzi and Christian Klien.

At first the promise was for the two Red Bull Junior Team graduates to be given roughly equal time in the race seat, with the drivers swapping places every few races. But this policy was quietly dropped after Liuzzi’s first four races, after which Klien became the permanent second driver.

Klien stayed on for the following season, but the relationship with Red Bull soon soured. Klien was not offered another year at Red Bull Racing, and was instead offered a drive at a Red Bull-backed ChampCar team. Klien baulked at this idea, and severed his ties with Red Bull, being replaced by Robert Doornbos for the remainder of the season. Following a stint at Honda, Klien is currently BMW’s reserve driver.

Red Bull heavily invests in young driver talent through its Red Bull Junior Team programme. This is the official explanation for Red Bull’s constantly changing driver line-up – it wants to give as many of its drivers a seat in F1 as possible.

This is supposed to be the raison d’?â?¬tre of Toro Rosso – but cynics say it is there to share costs with the main Red Bull team. For instance, why did S?â?®bastien Bourdais – not a Red Bull Junior driver – got a race seat there? Moreover, neither of Red Bull’s longest-serving drivers, David Coulthard and Mark Webber, were nurtured by Red Bull.

Red Bull point to the success of Sebastian Vettel, saying that he is proof of the success of Red Bull’s approach towards driver development. But the fact is that BMW can have a better claim to having prepared Sebastian Vettel for F1. It was BMW who gave him his first test in a Williams-BMW, his prize for winning the German Formula BMW championship in 2004. He became BMW’s permanent test driver in 2006. It was BMW who gave him his first race drive, when he scored a point at Indianapolis in 2007.

Vettel is not the only BMW prot?â?®g?â?® either. Robert Kubica is another successful driver whose skills have been nurtured by BMW.

The tide against IndyCar drivers

Bourdais won four Champ Car titles from 2004-2007

Bourdais won four Champ Car titles from 2004-2007

The departure of S?â?®bastien Bourdais also brings up the question mark surrounding the skills of American open wheel racers. Once upon a time, it was common for IndyCar drivers to make the switch to Formula 1. In fact, almost 100 Champ Car drivers have had involvement in F1, and four Champ Car champions have also become Formula 1 World Champions. Keith wrote a wonderful series about drivers hopping over the pond last year.

But today, open wheel racing in America is a shadow of its former self. Particularly over the past decade or so, the quality has decreased dramatically. But question marks over the ability of Champ Car drivers have been around for even longer.

No driver has successfully made the leap to Formula 1 from Champ Car or IRL for over a decade. The last successful Champ Car driver to compete in F1 was Jacques Villeneuve. He won the World Championship in 1997, but few would say he was among the most deserving drivers to become a World Champion. From this point onwards, the ability of Champ Car drivers to join F1 fell rapidly.

The next driver to make the jump was Alessandro Zanardi, also with Williams. Zanardi had raced in F1 before, but with a string of poor teams – Jordan, Minardi and Lotus which by then was on its last legs. But he had a more successful time in Cart, winning two titles in 1997 and 1998. This was enough to convince Frank Williams to give him a three year contract. But his first season turned out to be a disaster.

Zanardi lacked the speed and failed to get to grips with the complexity of Formula 1 cars. Towards the end of the season he even ran with heavier steel brakes, saying that he preferred them to the more modern carbon brakes used by everyone else. After a year of rumours, Zanardi’s three year deal was cut short at the end of the season, having failed to score a point while his team mate Ralf Schumacher scored 35.

Despite this experience, Williams obviously did not clock onto the fact that Champ Car drivers were no longer up to scratch because the next driver to make the leap into F1 was 1999 CART champion Juan Pablo Montoya, once again with Williams. However, this relationship was much more successful than the one with Zanardi. Montoya even came relatively close to winning the Championship in 2003.

But despite gaining seven wins in F1, doubts about the Colombian’s abilities increased as his F1 career progressed. His relationship with Williams soured before his move to McLaren in 2005. While driving for McLaren, he failed to get on top of the handling of the car.

Meanwhile, doubts about his fitness were constantly raised. While at Williams, he gained a staggering 10 kilograms (over 1½ stone) in weight during the course of one season. He did not go up in many people’s estimations when he had to sit out two of his first races for McLaren following a “tennis accident” which is said to have actually been a quad bike accident.

That was the last time Williams dared hire a Champ Car driver, but other teams failed to take notice. Toyota signed Cristiano da Matta for the 2003 and 2004 seasons after winning the CART series in 2002. His first season was a relative success, but in 2004 his performances were anonymous and disappointing. He finished in the points just once all year, before being replaced by Ricardo Zonta mid-season. Afterwards, Da Matta bitterly vowed never to race in F1 again, complaining that there was too much emphasis on cars’ technology – another sign of Champ Car drivers’ inability to handle the more sophisticated F1 machinery.

Since then, Formula 1 teams have generally given Champ Car / IndyCar drivers a wide berth – until Toro Rosso signed S?â?®bastien Bourdais for the 2008 season. Bourdais’s record seemed impeccable though, winning an unprecedented four Champ Car championships in a row.

However, by this time US open wheel racing was a shadow of its former self. Bourdais disappointed in F1, failing to capitalise on the opportunities he was given, thoroughly outclassed by his team mate Sebastian Vettel, and even this year by rookie S?â?®bastien Buemi. On the BBC’s coverage, Force India’s Ian Phillips recently scoffed that the problem with Bourdais was that he was used to driving “lorries”.

This year’s IndyCar series increasingly under fire for being too processional and producing poor racing. The sanctioning body has drawn up plans for a “push to pass” system to be introduced mid-season in a desperate bid to spice up the series (which, on the strength of last weekend’s race, seems to have worked). Somehow I think Bourdais will be the last IndyCar driver to make the switch to F1 for quite a while.

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112 comments on Sebastien Bourdais’ troubles show why IndyCar drivers struggle in modern F1

  1. Prisoner Monkeys said on 3rd August 2009, 12:58

    I think there are deeper problems with Toro Rosso than their driver management. They shouldn’t be in Formula One; they’re nothing more than a glorified GP2 team. Their drivers are brought into the sport to get them some experience, and then poached away by Red Bull as soon as they come good. They run the same car as their parent team, yet they have to wait for all the updates. They’re essentially kept under Red Bull’s heel, unable to actually compete. At least when they were Minardi, they were actually able to have a decent go at it. I was actually quite looking forward to seeing them gone, – Epsilon Euskadi claimed to be in negotiations – but unfortuantely, it was decided that Dietrich Maserchitz could not commit to selling them. So we’re stuck with them until 2012, unless someone finds away around that.

  2. goofy said on 3rd August 2009, 13:09

    No driver has successfully made the leap to Formula 1 from Champ Car or IRL for over a decade.

    Timo Glock?

    • Williams 4ever said on 3rd August 2009, 13:22

      @Goofy – The author seems to use only those examples which s/he finds convenient.

      • Alex Bkk said on 3rd August 2009, 13:48

        Timo Glock is successfull…are you sure.

        • Williams 4ever said on 3rd August 2009, 13:51

          Timo Glock is successfull…are you sure.

          – subject to the quality of equipment he is driving, he is not exactly driving McLaren car from 2007-08 is he :-?

          • Alex Bkk said on 3rd August 2009, 14:15

            Yeah…I guess the term successful is a bit ambiguous and definable according anyones particular bias…but I really can’t disagree with this article.

            None of the drivers mentioned were American, they just raced in an American series. I used to watch CART in its heyday and F1. I saw many drivers switch sides. It seemed that the F1 drivers that went to cart did much better than the Cart drivers that went to F1. That includes Michale Andretti…who teamed briefly with Senna at Macca. He was mega in CART, but…

            Cheers, Alex

          • Damon said on 3rd August 2009, 15:13

            @ Alex
            “It seemed that the F1 drivers that went to cart did much better than the Cart drivers that went to F1.”
            - Doh!!
            Every single F1 driver who went to IndyCar got a competetive car! Not only as fast as all other cars, but a car that he was able to set-up the way he liked. Why?? Because there are no uncompetetive/slow/underpowered cars in that series, there are no Torro Rossos, Minardis or Spykers.
            And what did the IndyCar champs get? Ferraris? McLarens? None of that.

            But one did get a top car – Jacques Villeneuve. He drove to pole in his first race, and had he not make one mistake, he would win the race, but he came second anyway. He almost won the WDC in his 1st season. He won it in his second.

            Montoya got a good car, result: a win in his rookie season, and a 3rd place in WDC in next two seasons.
            _______________________
            And what happens to the IndyCar champs in F1 is actually the same as what happens to… F1 champs in F1:
            - Damon Hill 1997
            - Villeneuve 1999 onwards
            - Hakkinen 2001
            - Alonso 2008-2009-…
            - Hamilton 2009 (until mid season)
            - Button 2010 (that’s for sure)

            You get a slow car – you’re done.
            But the F1 champs are lucky – because the F1 WDC gives them an immunity against any criticism.
            Whereas the Indy champs have nothing to defend their credibility with.

          • Patrickl said on 3rd August 2009, 22:50

            @Damon,

            Does it matter what car they get? They are compared to their team mates driving the same equipment.

            For instance, Bourdais gets beaten by a rookie twice in a row.

            Andretti did get a McLaren BTW and Senna went 1.5 seconds faster in Andretti’s car (in those days they could swap cars) during qualifying.

          • Damon said on 4th August 2009, 10:03

            @ Patrickl
            And what if Buemi is in fact Formula 1′s best driver?? Do you know he isn’t??
            Bourdais has never really been more than 0.15s slower than him, and he was faster on several occasions.

            Buemi and Bourdais might have been F1′s new Senna and Prost, but we wouldn’t know that.

          • Patrickl said on 4th August 2009, 17:13

            @Damon,

            Don’t be ridiculous. We would know. Buemi obviously isn’t that good either.

            Besides, Bourdais got trashed by Vettel already. It was Bourdais who made Vettel look so “great”. Now that Vettel is up against Webber he suddenly isn’t so amazing anymore.

  3. Eric said on 3rd August 2009, 13:27

    Damon, ARE YOU SERIOUS! You wrote: “I’ll take the ‘IndyCar drivers’ ability to drive a car over the ‘F1 drivers’ ability to set-up an F1 car any day!!!” Have you ever even watched a crappy IRL race? I am from the US and have watched quite a few and let me tell you that 90% of the drivers are mediocre at best, and the other 10% are not much better, for christ sake they have three girls racing in the series! The IRL is a joke of a series nowhere near the level of F1 or even GP2. The series has become so bad that many of the races are not even shown live anymore. And let me tell you a very sad note, Many Americans who don’t know crap about open wheel racing are told by news sources in the US (ESPN, CNN) that Danica Patrick is the premier open wheel driver in the world! That makes me sick to my stomach every time I hear it? So don’t compare drivers in IRL to F1 thats like comparing the ferris wheel at your local fair to the London Eye.

    • > for christ sake they have three girls racing in the series!

      How funny. This is just like Godwin’s Law. Make a comment like that and it’s an immediate green light for everyone else to point and laugh and disregard everything else you try to say.

      Remind us to point and laugh again when Bia Figueiredo or Simona De Silvestro become household names in racing…

      • Eric said on 3rd August 2009, 13:49

        Until they become household names, point and laugh at yourself.

        • Mark Hitchcock said on 3rd August 2009, 16:42

          No Eric, we’re still gonna point and laugh at you.
          Women can be just as good at racing as men are if they’re given the opportunity, get over it.

          • Gezz said on 3rd August 2009, 19:22

            I understand that you’re all in for equal-rights and stuff like that, but let us not kid ourselves shall we? Women will never be as good as men at racing, simply because men are better suited to race than women. You’ll never get a woman into the same shape as a top-trained man, she’ll never have the same bravery and courage as a man with balls of steel – which is simply because her testosterone levels will never be as high. Therefore women can NOT be as good as racing as men. I don’t doubt you that you can probably find a good female driver who can keep up, but she’ll never be the best, simply because of the fact that men are better suited for sports than women.

          • Gezz said on 3rd August 2009, 19:24

            It would be like saying women can compete with men on the 100m sprint distance. Racing today is much more demanding and sophisticated than it was 30 years ago, racing drivers are in as good shape as elite marathon runners and that will always speak to the advantage of men.

          • Eric said on 3rd August 2009, 20:23

            That would explain the women champions in all the major motorsports…. oh thats right there aren’t any!

    • Oliver said on 3rd August 2009, 13:43

      I agree with you but won’t say so publicly. :-)
      In the past, I used to wonder why the Indy car drivers looked so much fatter than their F1 counterparts.
      Unfortunately a lot of talented drivers are now ending up there for lack of slots in F1.

    • Damon said on 3rd August 2009, 14:36

      I meant the real IndyCar that later became CART or ChampCar, not the idiotic IRL.

    • Gman said on 4th August 2009, 5:16

      I woult not make the same statement about the women racing in the series, but you do make several very good points…..

      I’m also an American and I can agree with you 100% about U.S. news outlets feeding us the Danica PR nonsense. Sure she looks good, but she’s a poor-quality driver. I can’t tell you how frustrating it becomes when I try to explain F1 to my friends and the first question I get is “Formula 1 is what Danica Patrick drives in, right? ”

      As for the drivers, I think the top-tier guys- Dixion, Dario, Helio, Briscoe, Kanaan, Wheldon, Tracy- could probably give the F1 guys a run for their money in somewhat-equal machines. But a poor-quality driver is still a poor-quality driver, regardless of the series. To Danica’s credit, she’s out-performing her three teamamtes, but she’s still way below the previously-mentioned drivers in terms of talent.

  4. This article isnt the best ive read on f1fanatic to say the least.

    It almost seems to more of an attack on American racing and the drivers it produces than anything else… I dont get what point its trying to get across??

  5. He won the World Championship in 1997, but few would say he was among the most deserving drivers to become a World Champion

    Everybody could say the same about Button if he wins this year

  6. steve o said on 3rd August 2009, 13:42

    I second the Timo how convenient to forget that. I have to say, this sort of rubbish article get published any time anybody from the states comes over. Plenty of subconscious european snobbery for sure. What will you say next year with two american drivers ? Can’t wait.

    • Williams 4ever said on 3rd August 2009, 13:49

      Remember how they European Snob Lambasted Yuji Ide when he spun in Imola’06 driving 4 year old Arrows Car for Super Aguri Team and kept mum when Lewis Hamilton went moving grass in Silverstone this year. And How quick everyone was to write off Massa who was driving “Dry Setup” Ferrari in Rainy Silverstone’08. Everybody laughed heartiliy at his 6 spins while conveniently covering the fact that his team mate also spun similarly at least 3 times in same corner and conveniently they forgot that Ferrari was expecting dry race in latter stages and hence gambled with “DRY SETUP”

    • Gman said on 4th August 2009, 5:22

      I woulden’t exactly put it up to Euro-snobbery…there are plenty of people here in America who rip on the IndyCar series too, and with some good reasons. I do agree that excluding Glock was a mistake here, but I don’t think the author has anything against Americans or American racing per se.

      As for the Americans next year, there is nothing more I want in the sports world than to see multiple Americans racing in F1 and winning Grands Prix and World Championships. But it’s looking like it will be only one American in a race seat, alongside an experienced F1 driver of another nationality. Still, Americans who want to race in F1 now have a pathway to the sport, and it’s going to be fun in a few years to see how it pays off :)

  7. Williams 4ever said on 3rd August 2009, 13:43

    Utterly useless article. To succeed in F1 or for that matter in any sports key ingredients are capability of contestant and the support s/he receives from him team/support staff etc; These guys are all race drivers they have been driving whatever car that they get on limit for all their lives. The question in F1 is how honest is the team about a) equipment b) Strategy c) backing driver when things don’t go write due to mistakes in a) and b) and of course driver errors under pressure (remember Brazil’07, Fuji’08 ??)

    Can author honestly say that the drivers he has type-casted as “Indy” drivers get that backing from teams on a), b) and c)

    Classic example was Last race that JPM drove for McLaren Indy’06 and the 1st corner incident. Indy circuit layout is notorious for the first corner incident. Similar incident had happened in 2004 event of Indy as well( When European press couldn’t blame JPM who started from Pitlane). While the world was castigating JPM for taking out Kimi, Only one person who gave statement to back JPM was Martin Whitmarsh, who had said “If he was driving half a kilometer slower than he was, I wouldn’t be hiring him to drive F1 car”. Alas Whitmarsh was Managing McLaren then and not Dennis.

    Even in the current reviewing of “Heikki” Contract saga in McLaren, Martin has already mentioned in press about offering Heikki the contract before Norbert Haug came and stated ambiguios. Of all persons, Whitmarsh is honest about the fact that Heikki gets all the developments on his car delayed as compared to Lewis and in competitive McLaren for entire 2008 season McLaren was fueling Heikki heavier than Lewis in Q3 to cover their strategies.

    And Imagine if Like Lewis Hamilton JPM(or any non Brit driver) had tyre management issues and team had to cover for him like they did in Turkey’08. The Press/Fans/Pundits would have had a hayday picking on the driver and his non-ability to manage F1 car/Tyre. In case of Hamilton it was publicized as “Thinking on Feet by the team”

  8. I don’t think you can call Timo Glock a success from Champ Car to F1. He only had 13 races in Champ Car, after already having had experience of F1 cars. He then spent two years in GP2 rehabilitation before coming back to F1, by which time his Champ Car experience will have been not much more than a memory.

    I have to say I’m quite surprised that people are calling Montoya a top driver. He was sacked in disgrace mid-season by McLaren. He did win races, but he was outclassed by his team mate, not just Raikkonen, but Ralf Schumacher too. Ralf Schumacher — not the most well-regarded of drivers — won twice as many grands prix as Montoya did while he was at Williams. That doesn’t look like the record of a top driver to me.

    For me, the fact that a fancied four times Champ Car champion couldn’t cut it, and no other Champ Car driver has been able to cut it, is revealing. Maybe it’s revealing about F1 or it’s revealing about Champ Car. Likely it’s revealing about both. I would be happy to concede that it has changed if another driver comes over from Indy Car to F1 and makes a success for themselves, but given the recent record of these drivers I doubt many team bosses are interested.

    • Alex Bkk said on 3rd August 2009, 14:20

      For me, the fact that a fancied four times Champ Car champion

      Vee, wasnt Bourdais an IRL racer

    • “Ralf Schumacher — not the most well-regarded of drivers — won twice as many grands prix as Montoya did while he was at Williams. That doesn’t look like the record of a top driver to me.”

      So I am more convinced that the article’s first premise– Montoya’s poor abilities — is the main pillar of this article. (The second, car complexity, is not compelling in its own terms.) By my math, Montoya had more than 2X as many poles as the vaunted team-incumbent Ralf Schumacher in the Williams, and Montoya’s 30 podiums bests Schumacher on half the race entries. So the conclusion that he was “outclassed” by Schumacher, in any event, has no support in the facts.

      The article presumes that Montoya was forced out because he was too fat and too slow. And as the recent high-water mark for U.S.-talent in the sport, his fate is used to establishes the conclusion that F1 is not for yanks. The premise is not accurate. The more reasonable hypothesis, that good U.S. drivers are drummed out or drawn away for other reasons, is the one that needs proper investigation.

    • dwp said on 6th August 2009, 2:59

      @doctorvee

      he was outclassed by his team mate, not just Raikkonen, but Ralf Schumacher too. Ralf Schumacher — not the most well-regarded of drivers — won twice as many grands prix as Montoya did while he was at Williams.

      Is there a good source for these statistics? I looked and found this site but it doesn’t show wins but if you look at the record it points to Montoya having a better one than Ralf Schumacher

      Ralf
      JPM

      They were both at Williams 2001-2004 and if you add up their total points for those years, from the site linked above, you get Ralf with 173 and Montoya with 201. Ralf was in F1 more years than Montoya and had 7 wins vs Montoya’s 6, hardly a fair comparison.

      So, what’s wrong here?

      BTW Montoya was far more interesting to watch than Ralf.

  9. Kovy said on 3rd August 2009, 14:20

    A lot of it is down to practice in the specific car or type of car. If I had $5 million, I could buy an ex-F1 car, hire out a circuit for a month, and after a couple of thousand laps I’d be bang on the pace.

  10. Dan M said on 3rd August 2009, 15:36

    The next driver to make the jump was Alessandro Zanardi, also with Williams. Zanardi had raced in F1 before, but with a string of poor teams – Jordan, Minardi and Lotus which by then was on its last legs.

    Poor Taste?

  11. Sven said on 3rd August 2009, 15:36

    Many promising drivers fail in F1 not only those coming from IRL. The simple truth is probably that F1 is so much faster than any other racing series that any weakness is exposed right away. The wery good F1 drivers tends to show their skill almoast instantly once arriving to F1.

  12. Article seems to rest on two spurious premises: 1. High tech cars are harder to drive than simpler ones and 2. Montoya is a hack, and typical of his peers.

    The first is pretty bizarre. Does the author mean that a car with traction control, computer-assisted gear changes, and quasi-antilock (engine) braking is harder to drive fast than an IRL car? Americans are too dumb to work the buttons? IN any event, the GP2 cars that are supposed to groom F1 pilots, are not bristling with baffling furturistic technology.

    The second point has been sufficiently destroyed on this board. Montoya’s car control, raw speed as shown in qualifying, and ability to make a pass were legendary in his day. He was ultimately undone by some poor design choices at Williams, and some dodgy reliability at McLaren, and his own unwillingness to drive mired in the peleton, given his options.

    And options/economics is the other real issue here. Though it is 90% all-American hacks, there are some good IRL pilots who could be competitive with a a couple seasons in a good U.S. road course junior formula. Unfortunately, for an American, none of those are a ticket to IRL, and F1 is too remote from these shores.

    Once a good driver gets to the IRL and gets his championship he has little incentive to make the jump. The choice of getting paid a mint to do CRASHCAR and sleeping in your own bed every Sunday night, or getting slapped around by clowns like Tost for a couple years, is an easy one.

    • Damon said on 3rd August 2009, 17:12

      Does the author mean that a car with traction control, computer-assisted gear changes, and quasi-antilock (engine) braking is harder to drive fast than an IRL car?

      +1

      • Patrickl said on 3rd August 2009, 22:53

        I guess he’s saying it’s a lot more technical to deal with yes. You don’t just get in the car tweak the wings a bit and be done with it.

  13. Williams 4ever said on 3rd August 2009, 16:40

    About Sebass – If not for certain team principle who is also “driver manager” acting complete a$$hole and giving hard times to driver he doesn’t manage, Sebastian Bourdais was natural choice to drive for French Team on back of him F3000. Briatore managing team as well the drivers driving for that team is clear case of conflict of interest and we have seen that team throw under bus drivers who by sheer coincidence are not managed by Briatore.

    But F1 itself has become such a mess that this small case of conflict of interest always goes overlooked. Oh yes Spanish telecom giant Telefonica was ready to extend its sponsorship with Renault F1 on back of Alonso leaving Renault end of 2006.But what prevented that from happening, yes they wanted certain Spanish speaking Colombian driver to take Alonso’s place and certain Briatore was trying to push driver managed by him for 2007 season ( Ultimately Webber didn’t oblige to Briatore and went to RedBull after his 2006 stint with Williams-BMW)

  14. Funny thing is that I’ve seen pretty much the same arguments being used in Nascar boards to prove that Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart are the world greatest drivers.

  15. The author wrote what everyone knows from the outside,
    I was hoping he gave us some inside information on the matter
    I dont think why INDYcar drivers fail or dont have long careers in F1
    isnt so cut and dry.

    I’m a long time follower of F1 but the article has a scent of snobbery to me.

    Even Damon Hill won a championship in F1!

    • Damon said on 3rd August 2009, 20:15

      Even Damon Hill won a championship in F1!

      Hahaha :-) Why would you say that?
      No seriously, look – Damon dominated David Coulthard in Williams in 1995 the same as Hakkinen or Raikkonen did in McLaren.
      I think this is a valid comparison and puts him well against other F1 champions.

      PS. And no – I’m not Damon Hill’s fan. Damon is my username because it’s similar to my real (Polish) name. ;)
      _____________________________________
      And as to the article, seeing how many of the guys have already voiced their opinion, I have to add that I’m also not very fond of it. It doesn’t present various perspectives on the matter and seems biased.

    • Eric said on 3rd August 2009, 20:29

      Damon Hill was a quality driver, not only did he dominate DC in 95 but who could forget his drive for TWR Arrows in… can’t remember if it was Hungary? or Spa when he brought that back marker car in to 2nd place.

      • Damon said on 3rd August 2009, 20:42

        Hungary, yes. He was leading the race 4 laps (or sth like that) before the finish when his car suddenly began to go slower and slower, and he lost the lead. He should’ve won it.

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