What F1 can learn from NASCAR II

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Regular F1 Fanatic commenter Robert McKay has written a guest article looking at what F1 can learn from NASCAR – a subject we’ve looked at here before. Here’s his take on America’s favourite motor sport.

I’ve recently started watching Sky’s NASCAR coverage.

Readers of Keith’s other blog, Maximum Motorsport, will know he’s a bit annoyed that Sky TV chooses NASCAR over the recently reunited Indy Car series for live coverage when they clash. It’s a strange decision given that NASCAR has always proven a bit impenetrable for the UK audience and that Indy Car is more recognisable to F1 followers. But that’s Sky for you.

I’m finding it hard to love, and so I’ll add the disclaimer that this is only personal preference and not an attack on NASCAR…

If you happen to like it, great – different strokes for different folks. In my view, the racing is repetitive, there’s actually too much overtaking. I know, it sounds impossible, when you consider the discussion on the state of racing in F1, but trust me on this.

And it just seems largely random who wins. Yes it’s very complex, and probably there are reasons why this is the case, but the endless full-course yellows effectively randomise most races.

So there are plenty of things F1 should ignore – spec cars with technology that’s years behind road cars, racing on oval tracks, is not going to be very interesting to most F1 fans.


However, there are a few things Formula 1 can learn from NASCAR.

First, NASCAR promotes itself extremely well. I think it’s a bit like Premiership football in this country, in that the product is not always all it’s made out to be, but they do such a good job of selling the sport to the media that they and the general public seem to lap it up.

NASCAR is HUGE business in the States. The recent All-Star shootout had a purse for a single race of over a million dollars just for the winner! Because the sport is so well-marketed, there is no shortage of sponsors at all: some teams even rotate the sponsor’s logos on a race-by-race basis because they can sell the space over so many times.

There’s plenty (if not more) money floating around F1, but it seems to evaporate down expensive holes like ridiculously opulent motorhomes, endless, pointless testing, and silly technological "advances" (my favourite being, as Max explained once, the teams continual quest to reduce the weight of the car as much as possible, so they can replace this with the most expensive ballast money can buy).

Formula 1’s attempts at branding itself looks amateurish in comparison. Consider the horrifically expensive carbon-fibre mousemats no-one buys, the struggle to get a new Formula 1 video game on the shelves, and the rather dismal official F1 website.

The drivers

NASCAR puts the driver at the heart of the action: they are the stars, and the personalities to boot. Before the All-Star race there was a segment when all the drivers and their crew are introduced to the cheering public with a huge fanfare.

It was terribly cheesy, but compare with Formula 1: the FIA have taken to putting a naff little photo on the grid graphic before the race, because people have very little feel indeed for who drivers like Nick Heidfeld actually are… as an effort to connect the heroes we see wrestling these supercars around the circuits of the world with the personalities off it, it’s absolutely pitiful. The driver’s parade, where a few uninterested dots miles away stand and talk to each other on a truck moving way from you, is equally naff.

OK the over-the-top approach would probably not work well outside America. But most of the Grand Prix drivers might as well be Top Gear’s Stig for all we see of them without their helmets on. Why not broadcast the drivers’ briefing at a Grand Prix weekend?

Big grids, more races

NASCAR grids are huge, about double F1’s increasingly anorexic fields. Qualifying for a race actually means something – it’s an achievement to get in the field, unlike F1’s process of arranging everyone who turns up.

Many of the drivers will also happily race the Sprint Cup, the Busch Series and the Craftsman Truck Series all in the same weekend. It’s roughly equivalent to Raikkonen getting in and driving the GP2 races after F1 qualifying is over, just for the hell of racing. I’m sure most drivers in F1 would love that, and Lewis Hamilton has even said he would.

And NASCAR’s guys are less afraid of having a rant, say what they feel, tell it like it is: something increasingly rare in F1’s ultra-professional, clinical environment.

What I also like about NASCAR is that, with such a big calendar (nearly 40 races), there is scope for changing the format, trying different race structures etc. Yes, it’s artificial, and yes, it’s probably needed as all that oval racing (there are only two road courses) gets repetitive, but wouldn’t it be great to see F1 also having non-championship races, like it did years ago?

Races where the drivers can go out and have fun and not worry about the consequences of a DNF because every point counts in the championship? Races with an opportunity to temporarily change the format, without upsetting the championship?

A couple of non-championship F1 races in the winter months could surely be achieved. Good for marketing, good for racing, good for the increasing number of tracks clamouring for a race?? No-one’s looking for a NASCAR calendar – it’s just too long – but if F1 is going to spend so much racing these cars let’s use a few more opportunities.


And while we’re at it, let’s get a NASCAR level of TV coverage.

The ability to follow three of four cars at the pitstops with split-screen coverage, the gaps between drivers updated in real-time, the plethora of extra, rotatable, onboard cameras?? these are not and should not be beyond F1, but Bernie seems unable (or unwilling, after the pay-TV debacle of a few years back) to provide this level of coverage.

If there’s a message creeping through here, it’s this: I don’t like NASCAR’s racing – it doesn’t do anything for me at all – and a lot of the things it does get right it overdoes. But if F1 could adopt some of the things I’ve mentioned, even on a much smaller scale, I think the sport would be all the better for it.

Read more about NASCAR and F1:

42 comments on “What F1 can learn from NASCAR II”

  1. I agree 100% with Robert here – I’ve tried and tried and However, on just about every other tried and TRIED to find NASCAR exciting (mainly due to years of reading Nigel Roebuck – who is a self-professed fan), but I just don’t. As Robert says, it is too random and there really IS too much overtaking. However, off the track, they get a lot of things right and take the sport much closer to the fans than F1 manages, and the sport would be wise to learn from some of the examples Robert gives.

  2. I liked Nascar before they brought in the restrictor plate. Now the super speedways are an accident waiting to happen as all the cars are held back.
    Yes, it was probably done for safety, but I preferred the insane speeds than the crowded “wait for the crash” type racing.
    I guess not having Sky Sports means I don’t miss too much now, only channel 5 highlights are available.

  3. NASCAR is great for adults no older than 12 years of age.

  4. Robert, I can’t agree more, the marketing, broadcasting, and licensing wings of NASCAR are to be commended through and through. Yes, they can’t generate 4 lateral G’s in the corner, and when and if Kyle Bush does ever get to try and drive Toyota’s “F1” car (at least Ralph doesn’t happen anymore) he’s going to make it about 5 laps, BUT, you’re right, the access that FOX (the U.S. tv network, not the small animal) brings to the sport has enabled even my ivy league educated wife to find NASCAR interesting. While, clearly, anyone on this site is looking for F1 (as am I) it realy irk’s me that F1’s elf in charge is so backwards in his marketing of the sport we all love.

    Even from the simple issue of video games, you can see where the mistakes begin, Bernie waited for 1 single most expensive licensing bid, rather than to make the licensing costs available at reasonable ROYALTY prices (which would allow more companies to afford to develop more games, and only the better games would survive and make good money, and those same games would pay Bernie better (and vastly more than if he had his ridiculous manner of contracting). There are kids all over the planet (for example) that would gladly pay a wee bit of money for an online F1 game, but Bernie would never allow it, and there’s just one more way he’s shutting it down (saying nothing for the myriad marketing, broadcasting/licensing snafus Bernie generates on a daily basis.

    Too bad we’re all already hooked,, if he changed his ways, billions more would be too.

  5. An interesting point about getting the drivers’ personalities out there–last year at the US Grand Prix there was a program where the drivers from each team came up on an outdoor stage on Thursday–without minders–to be interviewed by a rotating group of Speed TV personalities and answer questions from the audience. Apparently Bridgestone was instrumental in getting it to happen. It was hugely entertaining and really showed a different side of a lot of the drivers that I had never seen (especially those that don’t end up on the podium much). Sato was hilarious!!!

  6. William Wilgus
    22nd May 2008, 18:05

    Crediting Nascar as racing is crap. It’s a show, it’s boring, and thank heavens F-1 isn’t anything like it.
    The only thing Nascar cares about is money, money, money. Finally, you think F-1 has favorite teams? Nascar has favorite drivers that get away with doing a lot that other drivers are punished for.

  7. I love watching the comments on these. Definitely agree about FOM and the teams missing the merchandising boat.

    BTW, were those hideous “puffy” McLaren shirts from 2007 fashionable in Europe, or were they considered hideous everywhere?

  8. William Wilgus, money money money?

    they should have had Abba fund Aguri Suzuki in that case.

  9. I largely disagree.

    Why we want F1 to be accessible is beyond me.
    Why we need F1 drivers to sign autographs and meddle with the common beats me.
    Why we want Average Joe talking about F1 like he’s an expert (hint, all nascrap fans talk like that) is well beyond any intelligent reasoning.

    F1 is elite. Period.

    We don’t want it to be otherwise. Oh, you say you do? Well, turn to nascrap and that pale shadow of champ car and you got what you want.
    Ridiculously opulent motorhomes you say? Well, we also have ridiculously incredibly advanced cars and I see no one complaining. It’s a natural evolution. Endless pointless testing? Come on, no one can seriously believe that. If we need anything it has to be more testing!

    Nascrap drivers can drive 4 races on the same weekend because they only have to lock the wheel on one position and act like they’re actually driving the damn thing. They’re a fat beer drinking bunch. F1 guys are top athletes (why would a top athlete want to sign autographs???).

    The ONLY thing F1 has to copy is TV coverage. And that’s where it ends.

    Seriously guys, I for sure don’t want F1 to become less elite than it is.

  10. Less elite that wasnt the point the point was F1 continues to be too distant(organisationally) also it isnt open and shooting itself in the foot by rule changes and circuits – where no one lives bar cammels – and lucky you will be see one – a real wild one that some sheik doesnt race with a midget on it’s back??
    We wont racing in europe and other places where there can be a chance of expanding the fan base and using both historical and new circuit’s.
    We dont want night races and really do the sponsors?? – nascar is full of people wanting to watch and pay good money for it they also have companies like m&m – washing powder etc falling over themselves to sponser the cars – with some of the current liveries in F1 – that may even be more attractive?
    Yes it is boring to us we weren’t brought up on it but the graphics and in car interviews – great and as for everyone of the pit crew being part of the pre race show – excellent too many times these unsung and often run over people have been neglected as part of F1 – kings and princes – so what or old rock stars – if they dont do their job to perfection (pit crew that is) – it doesnt matter who drives for whatever – without them it dont work – aaah that feels better folks

  11. Robert McKay
    22nd May 2008, 21:04

    I think there’s been plenty of complaining about the incredibly advanced cars. I know I do my fair share :-D

    F1 is a bit like a private little club that opens its doors once a fortnight, gives you a little glimpse, then tells you to shove off again, even though it is largely built on the premise that you look in in the first place. And yes, there’s a certain appeal in that, and like I say the things NASCAR gets right it goes too far in that direction…but there’s a limit to how elite F1 should be.

    I’m fairly adamant on the testing – what three days at Catalunya was worth to anyone a week before they raced there is anyone’s guess. But like I say, just my opinion!

  12. I think it comes down to there being an American way of showing sports, and the way the rest of the world does it.
    NASCAR caters for the working class, American masses, largely based in America’s southern states, founded by boot leggers and speed demons after the Second World War.
    F1 is a more ‘gentleman’s’ sport, very much more elite and advanced. Don’t forget, F1 race in the rain, NASCAR delay a race even if there is a chance of light drizzle.
    F1 cars are faster, lighter, and run on a varied array of circuits, NASCAR cars are heavier, slower, but are not as delecate as F1 cars.
    You can tag another car, or hit the wall, and still stand a chance of staying in the race. In F1, it would 9/10 finish your race.
    In short, they are completely different sports with completely different fans, with completely different views on racing.
    In NASCAR, a driver can take out an opponent at 190mph, and not get punished by officials. Many races are won that way, and the sport’s best drivers have all crossed that line.
    In F1, a driver would be crucified for such an act, the beauty is in clean overtaking, skill, not thuggery.
    That is the main reason why I love F1.
    Anyone can ram another car into the wall, in affect cheat, to win a race. Passing using skill, and sheer driving panache, is something quite different.

  13. I am of the impression that F1’s greatest would race F1 without a single sponsor or spectator as long as it is made feasible for them.

    That means that by and large, they expect the publicity machine to be us at a grassroots level, or any press that will write about them, making the question, how do you keep them writing?

    The 1 (one) thing I find particularly fascinating about Indy that F1 might borrow (besides bringing back ground effect) is that most of the drivers are accessible, by design, because they know that if they don’t keep it friendly their sport will become extinct, and maybe that’s the charm for its fans. F1 would have a serious linguistics barrier if it tried to be that open, though.

    I can do without 40% of Nascar’s pro-wrestling borrowed antics, though, and I dislike most of the things Indy has that make it like Nascar: too many ovals, too many full cautions, wins are too random…

    Good piece, this is a debate that needs to be kept alive to some extent.

  14. bernification
    22nd May 2008, 22:33

    Really, saying that there are things F1 could learn from NASCAR is like saying there are things F1 could learn from Wrestling.
    I think NASCAR is made to appeal to the same audiences as wrestling.
    I find this ‘sport’ crass and boring.

    Ernest Hemingway said that there were only 3 sports, bullfighting, mountaineering and motor racing.
    Possibly would have changed his mind had he seen NASCAR.

  15. Aha, great coment by “the limit” preciselly what I mean.

    When I happen to find nascrap on the telly, I only stay long enough to see them crash into each other and the barrier, have a laugh and change the channel. That is, about 5 laps or so.

  16. You guys are just killing NASCAR. I never got into it the sport until I started dating a girl from the Charlotte, NC area two years back.

    Its a completely different type of racing that has a very American way of doing it–everyone has a chance of winning. There are about 20 cars that can win every week compared to three this year in F1. The end of a race in NASCAR in infinitely more exciting than the end of an F1 race. The cars may be slower in NASCAR, but that is because of the roots of the sport. They are supposed to be Stock Cars (which of course are modified these days, but the root is still there.)

    Qualifying is much more important in F1 than it is in NASCAR. Out of 36 races, only two in NASCAR are road courses, however, there are many different types of ovals. From Bristol to Martinsville to Pocono to Daytona to Darlington to Charlotte, all ovals are not created equal. They can be very different.

    It seems like F1 is more racing the track while NASCAR is racing the other drivers. Yeah there is a lot of overtaking, but this makes things more exciting lap to lap (until things get sorted out, which makes full course yellows a good thing because it produces side by side racing).

    There is always a dead period of watching a NASCAR race in the middle, unless there is a wreck (which is like a plot development in a story), but in F1, the same dead period happens after the first 15 or so laps where the most action happens. After that, you just wait to see how the strategy plays out (a dead period). And I wouldn’t say the winner is random in NASCAR, the best drivers on the best teams win the most races and have the most top 5’s. Look at Jimmy Johnson’s last two seasons.

    NASCAR, F1, and Indycar are all great sports, there is just a different attitude one has to have when watching each type of race. Wouldn’t motorsports be really boring if they were all the same?

  17. One more thing, if you want high comedy, try watching the two road races. Some of the guys have no clue how to stay on track.

  18. Wouldn’t motorsports be really boring if they were all the same?

    And that is why we don’t want F1 to level down and start copying nascrap.

    Now, this may sound very silly, but you can grab your copy of Nascar Racing Season 2003, or the stock car category on rFactor, set the dificulty to 95~100% and start wining right away.
    Try that on GPL, the 1979 addon on rFactor or even F1 99-00 Challenge with everything at 100%.

    Nascrap = full throttle, turn left, lift a little, full throttle, turn left, lift a little… And somewhere in between you can yell YEEEEHAAAAW!!! and think of Daisy Duke.

  19. The one point that I agree with is the one about exposure in F1, especially concerning the internet and sites like Youtube for example.
    I find the attitude towards fans using the internet as a means to glean more information about F1 baffling, from a man as successfull and as astute as Bernie Ecclestone.
    The one major thing that I do like about NASCAR is the way in which they treat their fans. You can log onto the internet and see straight away race highlights from the previous race, and they are not wiped off swiftly like in F1.
    F1 is a very attractive, unique brand. A true ‘WORLD’ championship, unlike NASCAR and the IRL. It’s fans are scattered around the world, on every continent, and in vast numbers. For many, the only realistic means of obtaining information about F1 is on the internet, and there is a huge appetite amongst the fans of F1 to see more race highlights on the internet, recent race highlights.
    There is no excuse for banning these highlights. Everybody wants to watch the grands prixs live, as it happens, so I can’t see how it can affect tv ratings?
    The almost draconian way F1 supremos handle their loyal fanbase is often disgusting, and unattractive.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am no fan of NASCAR, but atleast NASCAR don’t eat their own.
    Never forget your core customer, the average, hardworking punter and anorak who lives two weeks at a time, every other Sunday, for the best racing series in the world.

  20. One thing you mention Haplo is that F1 is elite. I agree it is, but I also think that it’s the cars and sport in general that make it elite, NOT the driver.
    Sure there are always going to be drivers who are much more successful and draw more attention than others. These are the drivers that need to be marketed to help push the sport back to the top spot it deserves.

    I’m not sure how thing are across the pond there in the U.K., or othere parts of the world for that matter. But I can’t watch an hour of TV without seeing some kind of advertisement for NASCRAP. It might be an ad for a race, it might be an ad for Coca cola or Pepsi. Either way it’s exposure and fed to the U.S. like candy

    All one has to do is look back at history and see what the drivers of F1 used to be. Racing in multiple series, different types of cars and tracks, much more accessible to the media. Sounds a lot like the current setup of NASCRAP. It’s all publicity and that is never bad.

    Keep the cars elite, it’s what makes the sport desirable to a lot of people. But athletes are just people doing a job. They just happen to be able to do something most people will just dream of. The lack of public access makes them seem too arrogant.

  21. i do like the non-championship races! it would be great if instead of testing at Barcelona every week thousand of km per day, without any interesting thing out of it…

    imagine teams travelling to, say, Kyalami, Le Mans, A1, or Brno, even Buenos Aires or Mexico city. Those places where F1 won’t go as a championship, but will go to test AND race for fun the same weekend. I could be great, also drivers taking risks (you won’t see THAT much risky moves, but it will be better than some defensive drives like Fernando in 2005 and 2006)

    Also, they will avoid the stupidity of racing a track they have tested sooooooooooo much. Why every race at Barcelona is THAT boring? also for drivers… Because they know everything about the circuit, they keep going there month after month after month after month!

    It would be great for fans too. F1 becoming accessible worldwide.


  22. NASCRAP? Maybe you guys aren’t as sophisticated as you think. Arrogant is more like it.

  23. To Steve K.

    Some of these views may appear arrogant, I admit, many openly admit their disdain for NASCAR, but you are on a blog to a rival series to NASCAR. You cannot expect hardcore F1 fans to turn around and applaud, put down their Ferrari flags in exchange for #88’s.
    These are the fans of a rival organisation, you cannot force feed them or preach them NASCAR, if F1 is their sport of choice.
    Try talking to a hardcore NASCAR fan in some small town in Florida about F1 and you’ll get the same response, and it’ll be in the negative.
    Let’s not kid ourselves here, America has given the world many great things, but NASCAR isn’t one of them.

  24. First off, hats off to Robert for a great write-up!! If you diden’t make it clear in your introduction, I would have thought you were living here in the States for many years!

    Steve K, you’ve got an excellent theme going- here’s a toast from a local boy to your mention of Pocono! The funny thing about NASCAR vs. F1 is that here in my area, I do know a solid number of racing fans who eagerly follow both series, and spend all say on Sunday tuning in to both NASCAR and F1, plus the Indy races. Most of us on here obviously prefer F1, and i’m not an avid follower of NASCAR, but both series of racing are entertaining, and they both have pluses and minuses. And in my observations, there’s a good number of Americans who eagerly follow both.

    Halpo, I am in no means trying to moderate anything here, but as a humble suggestion, perhaps you should consider refraining from the phrase “nascrap.” Perhaps you may not like it- I’m not a big fan of it myself- but in my book, It’s just disrespectful to those on here who do take an interest in it.

  25. On one last note…Fer no 65, the non-championship races are a tremendous idea, although I doubt Bernie and his crew will ever agree to anything of the sort. The only glitch with your idea is that I believe the A1 Ring has either been demolished, or is on the chopping block at the moment. Still, great mix of tracks you suggested!

  26. Comparing the reaction to this article and the similar one from three months ago is interesting.

    I’m surprised how many people are reacting and saying F1 cars should become more like NASCARs (Haplo, Brakius) – because Robert didn’t say they should do that.

    Nor do I think the number of races NASCAR drivers do on a weekend has anything to do with the amount of skill involved in driving a NASCAR. The reason F1 drivers don’t do other races on F1 weekends (or most of the rest of the time) is entirely to do with their contracts, as we discussed here.

    Gman – Red Bull are rebuilding the A1 Ring, there’s been a rumour it will hold DTM races soon.

  27. Just to mention if one notice the pit crew in the
    Nascar pit change those tyres in the time shown eg 15 sec.
    unbolting screws from the wheels and bolting them again in
    that time.

  28. Nascar sucks…but i love it
    there is more happenin in one Nascar race
    than a whole season of F1
    yellows,pacecars,what is the difference?
    i love the wacky commentators,love the tv
    footage,inboard camaras,graphics…
    the burn out in the end,drivers fighting in the pits,
    yes it’s a circus and yes it is fake,but F1 is anal and only interesting if you are involved
    would love to see the sun go down
    being shaken by the rumbling pack at Daytona.
    beats a windy,flat day at Silverstone!

  29. Excellent article by Robert McKay and very interesting comments on the whole. I think the premise is correct (that F1 can learn a few things from NASCAR) but it may be we need to adapt what we learn rather than just copy. These are two vastly different markets, after all.

    This is a short comment, thanks to my current severe case of the man flu, but, if I can gather my energies as I wake, I might attempt a post on the subject later. There are things I want to say but just cannot summon the will power at the moment.

    No promises, mind you…

  30. clive,
    i stay up till 2 o’clock in the morning to watch a nascar re run
    i fall a sleep on sunday afternoons,so you know what to do to get a good rest and get well soon!

  31. I in no way want F1 to become like NASCAR, but like Robert said they could learn a few things. But the thing is NASCAR learned from F1 and USAC when they dominated the racing scenes from the 50’s -70’s.

    NASCAR has only taken what made those sports great then and continued the growth in terms of marketing. That’s where F1 really needs to focus.

    One thing I always hear about on the US broadcasts, the US market is the largest for most, if not all, F1 manufacturers. Yet due to stringent TV rights, you won’t see any local coverage, highlilghts, or even an announcement of who won the race, for even the US race on the local network news. However it doesn’t matter where you go in the states, almost all local news networks will report about the NASCAR race, even if it was held on the other side of the country.

    The other big marketing problem, when the race was held at Indy, unless you lived within the area, the only advertising you saw for the upcoming race was on SPEED TV. Might as well be preaching to the choir.

    All I’m saying is, loosen up the TV restrictions and allow the media to market your sport for you by allowing more access to highlilghts and interviews. How can you sell a product when you refuse to completely offer it? F1 can’t sell itself on it’s name alone anymore, there’s too much competition.

    This is why NASCAR has turned some backyard bootleggers into a multi-billion dollar sport. Give the fans what they want and more will follow with money in their hands. That’s the only thing I’d like to see F1 take from NASCAR.

    As far as drivers competing in other races, I understand the contracts. But it might be time to quit all the crappy PR and maybe do a little more fan interaction to show some personality. This was a big reason I was sad to see Montoya leave F1.

  32. Nobody ever passes in F1. The same drivers win EVERY race and the sport is boring. This is why people in the US would rather watch CART racing then F1. If I want to watch cars stroll aimlessly through a track I’ll go watch a practice session. Otherwise, I prefer to watch RACING.

  33. bernification
    23rd May 2008, 19:52

    Quite the contrary, gman, I know in the past F1 drivers would drive F2, non-championship races, etc., and I would relish seeing more F1.
    I just find going flat out, foot to the floor, turn left, maybe lift a little, flat out foot to the floor etc. really boring.
    And it’s not about the showbuisness either- I love supercross.
    Racing in circles with everybody passing continually (too much), it’s just a lottery.

  34. @Brakius
    But you also have to notice that F1 drivers are top athletes, hence, elite. They’re clearly not your John Doe that drives a nascar around.

    And if they can’t drive several series now, as before, it has to be because the increasing complexity and demanding situations that a F1 race has.

    Here we only get nascar advertising on cable, not on local tv (mexico).

    @Steve K
    Of course we’re arrogant. We’re F1 fans! But please don’t take any ofence from us.

    @the limit
    Well, you can bet the response from that fan would be something like: YEEEHAAAW ;)

    Please don’t take it in the derogatory way, consider this: this is a sport, and passion has to be involved. You’re going to tell me you never called names at your rival football team? It’s the same thing. Alphonso, Don Pedro Montoya (and that would mostly be an offence to me, I’m mexican), The German Cheating *******, and Nascrap.
    I’ll try to limit myself, but you also try not to be offended by something that is not meant as an offence to anyone.

    No! You have it all wrong! I’m saying quite the opposite, I don’t want F1 to become more like Nascar! All the contrary!

  35. Bernification, I think the drivers and many team officials wuld be all-in for the off-season races, but would the top brass of the F1 world go along with it? It would indeed help grow the sport in potential new markets, but with some team officials griping about the lenght of the season already, I don’t know if it’s as viabale of a concept as it was 20, 30 years ago.

    On the NASCAR exitement issue, I don’t really enjoy the endless turning and passing either. I just find it interesting that nearly all of the F1 fans here in my area that I know are also devout NASCAR fans. Many of them seem to root for the powerhouse teams- Ferrari and then one or more of the Hendrick drivers in NASCAR- so perhaps there is some common trend in that mix.

  36. “it just seems largely random who wins”

    That is because the overall field is more competitive than a F1 field.

    In any given NASCAR field there are at least 20-25 possible winners, while F1 only has about 4 (2 each from two teams – McClaren and Ferrari).

    The ‘randomness’ makes it exciting and less predictable. Not very many cars win from the pole in NASCAR while in F1 it is usually the pole winner that wins the race, meaning the real race is on pole day and not on race day.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I like F1 but I think in recent years the fields have become less competitive and the excitment that F1 once generated in the days of Senna, Prost and the like,has been lost (at least to me anyway) because of the smaller fields and the dominance of one or two teams and unless there is a mechanical failure the winner is usually one of the cars starting in the front row – more than likely from the pole.

  37. I am continually amazed at the level of brilliant and ignorant comments a simple topic like this can generate. There are all forms of racing that have evolved from many historical origins and they are not to everyone’s liking. I personally participated in 1/4 mile drag racing on our local streets as a twenty year old, but thought NHRA drag racing a waste of time-until I went to a race.

    All racing seen through the lens of TV and heard through the voices of asinine analysts is diminished. See it live, and your perspective may change.

    Well done Robert.

  38. Clipped from George K above, “I am continually amazed at the level of brilliant and ignorant comments a simple topic like this can generate.”

    Ditto my friend, I’m embarased how ignorant and immature some of my F1 friends can be. NASCAR and F1 are like Football and Baseball ……. entirely different games played with a ball. For a football fan to call a baseball fan “stupid” (and worse) only indicates what the football fan really is! (and visa versa)

    Good people have the ability to enjoy BOTH without critizing the other. Concerning the intent of the article……..there is a LOT F1 could learn from NASCAR but I suspect Bernie is the chicane in the works.
    He seems far too intent on making money through promotional fees and TV rights and hasn’t put in enough (if any) effort in retail marketing. Have hope, someday Bernie and MadMax will be history ……………….

  39. Halpo, I understand your point, but just understand that people who actually enjoy both F1 and NASCAR- and I know a solid handful of them- may take some offense with your remarks. It’s interesting that you brought up the “football aspect,” because by that I assume you mean the game we here in the States call soccer.

    Personally, I like soccer about as much as I like NASCAR-not much. I could also easily say soccer is nothing more than a bunch of guys kicking a ball around, and that the only real form of “football” is the American-rules, full contact sport featuring 11 guys in pads and helmets slugging it out with a pigskin. However, I understand many other people are huge soccer fans- especially on this blog- and would never think of degrading such a sport in any way. Best wishes on your posting, and enjoy your F1 and football.

  40. It’s football. Only in the states you call it soccer, the rest of the world call it football I think. Likewise, the rest of the world call your sport American Football.

    And it’s very debatable that a bunch of guys in full plate metal armor (lol) are really taking any risk at all. Also considering that they have an entire team for each type of play… Full contact you say? Watch that mental guys doing Rugby. Now that’s the only “real” form of football (tho, they don’t use their feet ;))

    I enjoy football the same as american football, that is, just the finals, and IF I manage to put myself on the lamentable situation where I’m in a bar and everyone else is watching the game. That is so you realize I don’t pretend to offend any sport at all. Same with nascar, I insist it wasn’t meant as an offense. But certainly a sport where no one bashes (american football pun intended) at each other would be very boring indeed.

    Oh, and thank you for your best wishes, that’s very gentlemanly from you. Not like the american football guys at all. Best wishes to you too :)

  41. Alexandre Augusto Leite
    15th October 2009, 16:42

    Olá pessoal da Formula 1. Meu nome é Alexandre Augusto Leite, tenho 37 anos. Eu gosto muito de assistir a formula 1. Eu sou o fã da Ferrari. O meu desejo que as Ferrari no ano que vem de 2010 competirão com os números 22 e 23. Com Fernando Alonso e Felipe Massa. Esse é meu desejo realizado Que a Ferrari competirão em 2010
    com o número 22 de Fernando Alonso e 23 de Felipe Massa.

    Alexandre Augusto Leite
    São Vicente (Brasil)

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