Is Formula 1 becoming the new NASCAR?
18th December 2011, 0:57 at 12:57 am #130643
In recent months we have seen new countries applying to host a round of formula 1 with the likes of Russia, Mexico, South Africa, America (Texas and New Jersey), France wanting a position back on the calendar and now Argentina. I am wondering is it going to become like Nascar where there is a race a week with a 3 week break mid-season or will we see the loss of many European tracks to accommodate these new venues.18th December 2011, 1:06 at 1:06 am #187761
Formula 1 is driven by economics. There can be, at most, fifty-two races a year. Allowing for a break between races, the maximum that would be feasible is twenty-six. We’re currently at twenty, and expanding the calendar any further would require the agreement of the teams.
Assuming that twenty is the maximum number of races in a season, any country looking to start up a Grand Prix will only be able to do so when an opening in the calendar becomes available. And while Bernie takes criticism for being equal parts ruthless and greedy, he does deserve credit for one thing: he has never dropped a race mid-contract simply because he got a better offer from someone else. If one race is dropped in favour of another, it is because the race that was discontinued reached the end of its contract. So if Russia, Mexico, Argentina, France and South Africa want in, they will not be added until there is an opening.
So long as Great Britain, Monaco, Belgium and Italy remain on the calendar, I don’t think too many people would mind if Spain, Germany and Hungary were dropped. And I don’t think too many tears would be shed for Valencia, either. Bernie said about a week ago that Formula 1 will eventually leave Europe. He’s kind of right – economically, Europe is in the toilet right now.18th December 2011, 2:13 at 2:13 am #187762
With all the European races recently dropped (Austria, San Marino, France, Turkey) I find it strange Hungaroring has stayed on the calendar.18th December 2011, 2:38 at 2:38 am #187763
Hungary can evidently afford to keep their race.18th December 2011, 3:38 at 3:38 am #187764
I just hope Australia stays on the calendar i don’t care if its in Melbourne but as long as there is a race in Australia im happy. I think going to America will be a big mistake, but i hope it proves me wrong. And i agree that Europe is done but i hope they keep the great tracks as @prisoner monkey has stated.18th December 2011, 5:37 at 5:37 am #187765
Hungary also has the added significance of being the only race on the calendar in a country which used to be behind the Iron Curtain. If a race in Russia proves successful it may become expendable, which would be a shame, because the crowd really does seem to enjoy the race every year.18th December 2011, 5:59 at 5:59 am #187766
I think going to America will be a big mistake
Why? The teams wanted to go to America more than they wanted to go to Bahrain and Korea. And the United States Grand Prix has been popular in years gone by.18th December 2011, 6:08 at 6:08 am #187767
I just think trying to get a sport like F1 into America will be hard to do. Yes i know that people love the sport over there but i just dont see it working if it does good job to America if it dosent then oh well. Yes i understand teams want to get into the American market but i just dont think enough has been done.18th December 2011, 6:41 at 6:41 am #187768
But it doesn’t have to be a success by American standards. If it’s successful by Formula 1 standards, then how can it be judged a failure?
I think what Formula 1 in America really needs is GP2, since that is where new talent is going to show itself. Any young American driver (like Alexander Rossi who is believed to be in talks with Caterham ‘s GP2 outfit) will come up through the series, with GP2 expanding out to some flyaway races in 2012, I would not be surprised if the 2013 GP2 calendar is revised to include Montreal and New Jersey. A lot of people say that Formula 1 will only take hold in America when an American is winning, but I disagree. I think an American driver who can capture the American public’s attention on the European scene will be just as good. Give them someone whose career they can follow from start to finish, and they’ll respond to it. That’s why we need GP2 to go to New Jersey.
And also because the New Jersey circuit looks fantastic, and GP2 has proven that it can make Yas Marina exciting. Put two and two together, and the Americans could well fall in love with European racing even without a home driver to support.18th December 2011, 8:55 at 8:55 am #187769
I agree with everything you have said, i also believe if the now defunct USGP was around it would boost American influence in the sport even more.18th December 2011, 9:27 at 9:27 am #187770
mrjlr93 is right, if there was a us team for the americans to support with american drivers. Then there should be a lot more to encourage F1 over there.18th December 2011, 10:21 at 10:21 am #187771
Any American team in the sport is going to take whichever drivers are best for it, regardless of whether or not they are American (just as Force India has a Briton and a German). USF1 had Jose Maria Lopez – an Argentine – under contract before the team went bust, and I do believe that British driver James Rossiter was also signed on, though this was never made public until about a year after the team folded because Rossiter’s sponsors and management lost faith in the team’s ability to appear on the grid.18th December 2011, 10:40 at 10:40 am #187772
In an ideal world, F1 will only go to countries that have a large support and a passion for F1. That or have an outstanding track that the fan’s love. However, in a world that money speaks louder than passion, we will be traveling to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and the like for many years. Many countries cannot afford a race, just look at Spain right now, there on the edge of the plug hole but yet they have two races. This could be a mixture of bad finance ministers or there being a passion. Could you see Russians sitting in the cold watching an F1 race?18th December 2011, 20:07 at 8:07 pm #187773
Nobody needs two races in Spain, especially considering how average the tracks are. So there is one race saved. Germany should have one race considering the amount of german drivers and the amount of people here supporting the sport (even though I often feel only few really understand it). Hungary should not be dropped, it is a fantastic race to attend, a great City to go to and usually fantastic conditions. Also I kind of like the one week break between Germany and Hungary, it has become somewhat of a tradition.
Me personally, I would like to see more back to back races, then a break, then again back to back races in a different region. For example Britain, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, in the week after Italy a two day test and then 3 weeks break. I know it’d be almost impossible to achieve but thats what I’d like to see. That way 25 races could possibly be achieved, introducing the “20 best results” rule (just because I liked the best results count only rule). Or make 5 of the races non championship races. The last race of each “stint” of back to back races could be a non championship race, friday and saturday being free practice all day long, qualifying and race on sunday. That way there is more racing, possibly third drivers getting chances to drive and testing possibilities during the season.
I know that will never happen but I’d like it.19th December 2011, 0:17 at 12:17 am #187774
I think that there needs to be a careful balancing between keeping the races the fans love and finding new fans. To that end, I think the US GP is a good step, although I think it’ll be the New Jersey race which will attract attention more. I believe the passion is there, just look at how Watkins Glen survived for so long, but having the race constantly shifting location was a mistake.
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