F1 Fanatic round-up: 7/7/2010

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Coming up on the site today is part two of the half-term driver rankings – and a fresh coat of paint for F1 Fanatic (if all goes according to plan!)

Here’s today’s round-up:


Wind Tunnel – Jean Todt, FIA President (Speed TV)

Jean Todt takes in his first NASCAR race and talks to Speed TV about it, F1 regulations and the return of the United States Grand Prix:Ecclestone still eyeing New York GP (Autosport)

“It’s happening. We are talking to them and trying to do our best. Let’s see what happens.”

Comment thread of the day

If you’re heading to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix make sure you join in the 2010 British Grand Prix discussion which is getting a lot of comments right now.

From the forum

Who wants to see A1 Grand Prix make a comeback?

Site updates

There was a brief period of down-time last night while a small problem on the site was fixed.

Later today the site should be getting a revised header and footer so don’t be surprised if it suddenly looks a little different!

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Brabham’s 35th and last win came in the French Grand Prix 25 years ago today.

It was scored by Nelson Piquet, who credited the win to how his Pirelli tyres performed in a very hot race. The team had done much of their pre-season tyre testing in the high temperatures of Kyalami in South Africa.

After this Pirelli only won twice more in F1. Its last win was also courtesy of Piquet, when he drove for Benetton in 1991. The manufacturer returns as F1’s sole tyre supplier next year.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 45 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 7/7/2010”

    1. interesting to note that jean todt talked about some manufacturers who left are interested in returning, I’m guessing hes talking about honda and somebody else.

      1. I suppose he might be talking of Toyota as well. They are interested, but want more “bang for their bucks” and VW/Porsche as well as Hyundai/Kia might be interested from a engine point of view.

    2. Someone should tell Jean Todt we already have adjustable front wings $:)

    3. When asked how sure he was that the Texas race would go ahead, amid scepticism from some quarters about whether the funding exists for the event, Ecclestone said: “100 per cent.”

      Sounds like he’s doing his best not to jinx this even like he did USF1. Glad to hear he’s still working on a NYC GP. That would really be something special if it could be pulled off.

      1. I don’t see why America deserves two races. It’s been a long-established precedent that in order to qualify for a second Grand Prix, you need to have an established and enthusastic fanbase and a successful driver. Germany had Schumacher, Spain have Alonso. Who the hell does America have?

        1. Scott Speed?

          Oh wait.. :P

        2. On that basis there should be an English GP, a Scottish GP, A Welsh GP and an Irish GP. Just to top it off the European GP should be a 6 lapper at the Isle of Man !

        3. One could argue that if Spain gets two races, then the US really deserves about 13 races, working on the number of races per captia. Spain has a population of about 45 million, and the USA has a population of about 307 million, and I would say Americans are just as fanatical about motorsport as Spaniards or Germans are; 17 of the top 20 most-attended sports or entertainment events in the world are NASCAR events, according to NASCAR’s Director of Security Tim Christine.

          Even if the USA gets two F1 races the ratio of race/population is much less than other countries, such as Australia, Belgium, UAE, Bahrain and Monaco.

          In Australia we get one race and only have a population of 21 million. In Belgium they have a population of about 10 million and get a race. In the UAE they have a population of 4.5 million and get a race, and in Bahrain they have a population of less than a million and get a race. Then you have Monaco which has an entire population less than 50,000 and they get a race.

          1. Since when does population size dictate the number of races? Getting a second race is dependent upon a) an established, enthusiastic fanbase and b) a successful team and/or driver. The United States has neither – they haven’t really produced anything since the days of Mario Andretti. So why are they suddeny deserving of having two races? Surely England, Germany and Italy would be the next in line for a second race?

            But no, American fans seem to expect that they get two races because they’re in America. If there’s a race in New York, what are fans in California going to do if they can’t afford to fly out? I’ve heard that argument a dozen times, but it doesn’t stick with me – I live over 2000km from Melbourne, but you don’t hear me campaigning for a second Australian Grand Prix because it’s hard for me to get to Victoria.

            If America is going to get a second race, I think they should earn it the way Germany and Spain had to, instead of simply holding out their hand and expecting it as their due.

            1. I disagree that America doesn’t have an enthusiastic fan base. They have a number of highly professional, successful, well attended motor racing series; NASCAR, Indycar, ALMS, Grand-AM etc, not mention huge numbers of people involved in grass-root club level track racing, dirt and sealed speedway racing etc.

              Therefore the problem isn’t that they don’t an established fan base, the problem is that for a long time F1 have screwed over US motor racing fans, and the US fans and US drivers have gone on to support and race in other series.

              If there are promoters in the US who are willing to pay the huge fees to host races in a market as large as the US, then I think F1 should be jumping at the chance to get back into that market, and try and attract the attention of the already enthusiastic motor racing fans. If that means having more than one race in the US, so be it. F1 will never grow a fan base in the US if they don’t give them races, and at the end of the day if F1 can develop a strong fan base in the US, it makes the sport as a whole stronger which benefits everyone – the teams, the FIA, the FOM, and the fans.

            2. I disagree that America doesn’t have an enthusiastic fan base.

              More enthusiastic than England or Italy or Gemrany or Spain?

              Sorry, but I just don’t see the need for a second American Grand Prix, especially when the first isn’t even up and running (though we’re supposed to find out more about it this weeked, I’m told). I’d much rather Formula 1 revive the French Grand Prix in place of a second American event, or expand out to Russia or Africa – the last two regions untouched by the championship – and become a proper World Championship.

            3. That’s how America is though, they have American football, while Europe has Soccer.
              They have Nascar, while Europe has F1.

              I think we can see that their are a lot of American fans, looks at how many go up to Canada.

              If they create the same atmosphere that Canada has, it will be a hit. Of course, A modern design with first class facilities will make it impossible.

              Oh, and I take offence to the references to Australia’s population. The Aus GP appears to be right up there in terms of peoples favourites, and Monaco and Spa have to be possibly two of the greatest tracks of all time. So I think making that argument really is just stabbing yourself in the back.

              I dislike the idea of two races in one country anyway, the only exception is when there are two amazing tracks, and that’s only really happened in places like England or Germany.

            4. If you do a football analogy, the final of the worldcup wil oppose two of the greatest teams in the history of the sport. Overall pop : less than 100 M.

              USA need to start by getting at least one running F1 GP before hoping for a second!

            5. I have to say I’m exactly sure what is offensive about my comment about Australia’s population. As an Australian, I’m pretty sure our population is around 21 million.

              There is no doubting that the Australian Grand Prix is popular, I like it myself. I was simply using it as an example that countries with much smaller populations get a Grand Prix and have for many years, where as USA with a much larger population in the past seem to have gotten a pretty rough deal from F1, for many years. Therefore I think if F1 talking about two races in the USA, they are saying to US fans, “we haven’t forgotten you, you guys are important”.

              As for suggesting American’s aren’t into Formula 1 and only care about NASCAR, is like suggesting that Australian’s only care about AFL, Rugby League and V8 Supercars. Given that 225,000 people attended the race day for the first race at Indy in 2000, which is one of largest race attendances of any race ever, would suggest that American’s do indeed like Formula 1, hence reinforcing the idea that two races would be reasonable.

        4. that depends…

          if Abu Dhabi offers Bernie a Boeing747 made of gold with some chocolate bars and a girl too tall for him, he’ll not hesitate to organize another race there…

        5. america “deserves” 2 races because bernie thinks there’s money to be made. that’s the only “precedent” and “qualification” there has ever been.

          1. “america “deserves” 2 races because bernie thinks there’s money to be made. that’s the only “precedent” and “qualification” there has ever been.”

            ….no need to read no further.

            I do agree that we need to wait and see how our Texas GP pans out first.But,for those who think we Americans are not passionate about our motorsports I suggest you read the history of motorsports.The first race track in the world was “The Miracle Mile”.Converted from a horse track.

        6. Two Races?… they are struggling to have even one. Two if that ever happens is a long way off. Bernie always has loads of kites flying……

        7. UneedAFinn2Win
          7th July 2010, 12:16

          Based on fan enthusiasm and quality of drivers, Helsinki GP is at least fifteen years late…
          It’s not the size of the population, it is ALL about the bottom line. F1 would sell 250 000 tickets in Finland in a heartbeat, (and that’s 5% of our population!) but as a whole, F1 would have a hard time finding even Scandinavian let alone Finnish sponsors willing to put up the big bucks for the trackside advertising, or the government guaranteed 25 million a year for putting on the show. We like to spend our money on healthcare and education ;)

    4. Having two races in the USA is probably not a bad idea. It might force some intertrack / interpromoter competition between the two races, and push each event to become better and better each year to outdo the other. That would be a pick win for spectators, with constant facility upgrades, packed programs with lots of support races etc.

      1. Also if they get their schedule correct, they can start set the final leg of the season as Canada, NY, Austin and Brazil.

      2. That’s not how it works in F1 though is it?

        Competition usually means lowering ticket prices, and lower ticket prices will mean an even bigger loss for the track owners because of Bernie’s ridiculous fees.

        So while 2 tracks competing for attention might be good for fans financially, it would be a disaster for the tracks and ultimately F1 in America, because both tracks would go broke and lose the GP…

        I don’t know why anyone would want to give the US two races before we we even know if the one in Austin will be popular enough.

      3. but a race in New York would steal fans from going to the Canadian GP and the Austin GP due to it’s location.

    5. Interesting the 1985 French GP film, Nelson Piquet commentating that Ayrton Senna had a big shunt, it didn’t look bad by todays standards–I think maybe we have become complacent?

      1. Those were the days of catch fencing and, as Piquet says, Senna was lucky he went in backwards instead of head-on. Several drivers were injured being hit by the poles or wrapped up in the fencing.

    6. In the past there were no USA GP now all of a sudden Bernie wants two GP there like Moto GP! that’s crazy. I know that there are interest of F1 n USA but I doubt that it is huge like some of the European GP. I think he should concentrate about Austin where the GP will be held in 2012 so that it turns out to be a good show just like Canada was this year which was absent last year.

    7. Uh Brabham, good times. I was over the moon last season when the roomer of the teams return was surfaced but was quickly back to earth when it was realised that the bid had nothing to do with the actual Brabham family.

      I would love to see them take the 13th grid slot next season but unfortunatly we all know that’s not going to happen.

    8. Prisoner Monkeys – Why the animosity around a 2nd US race? Your theory on why a country deserves a race makes absolutely no sense. All you have to do is look at the current F1 calender to see that. Why not have 2 races in the US? Will that not build a larger fan base and cause more excitement in the US for F1 racing?

      As I understand it, race tracks and sometimes cities / countries have to pitch their track idea to FOM (Bernie). If FOM likes the pitch and think it can be a commercial success then they entertain the idea and try to fit it into the calendar. There are no hard and fast rules regarding drivers, teams etc. If that were the case then England should have 3 GPs as many teams are based there.

      F1 is more a world championship then most other international sporting events. Yes, a South African track would be great, but can you possibly see F1 in any other African country? Unfortunately, I do not think any other country in Africa has the infra-structure to support an F1 race (maybe Nigeria). So for teams to go all the way there for 1 race does may not make sense. However, I do support the idea!

      I am not sure where u have heard that California fans would not fly out to New York to watch a race. Firstly, I think they would happily do that. This is evident by seeing the larger % of American at the Canadian GP in 2010 and 2008. Secondly, if they cannot fly, I do not blame them! The distance from NY to LA is 3960kms and flight tickets are ~$400+. Even London is closer to NY then LA is. So if people are complaining (I do not think they are) then I think it is a valid complaint! Please check your geography the next time.

      In a country as large as the USA, 2 tracks seems like a good idea. I really hope it happens. The USA most definitely does have a strong and enthusiastic fan base. It also has one of the largest automobile markets in the world. With 2 tracks I think interest in F1 would multiply and that would be great for the sport (new sponsorship, new fan base, new clientele etc.).

      1. And the two tracks would also provide completly different racing with the Texas GP being a purpose built circuit and the New York GP being a street race.

        I’m with you AB576, I have no issue with America having 2 races. It makes more sense than Spain.

        1. im very old school!!! i hate the idea of the european GP, i believe one country gets one race, thats it. Doesnt matter on the size or economy otherwise there is no reason why there are not 65 races in china and india!!!

          look at motoGP spain has 4 races! i do not agree that that is right for a world championship! its more like a spainsh championship with a few feild days!!

          1. I’m not entirely sure why hating the idea of the European GP is “old school” given that the very first race of the Formula One World Championship was the Grand Prix d’Europe.

        2. I always thought that Texas considered itself a separate country anyway ;-)

          1. Yessiree and the good folk in California tend to see themselves as Californians rather than Americans as their state is the fourth largest economy in the world.

            1. UneedAFinn2Win
              7th July 2010, 12:17

              Isn’t that spelled “the worlds largest deficit”

        3. Spain has a massive fan base but the European GP should be in Portugal that way fans from both countries can goto the race.

      2. I think it would be great to have 2 GPs in the USA. That would give the fanbase some solid options to visit a GP.

        Not sure about NewYork thoug, it seems the City hardly needs another tourist bringer. I would love to see Watkins Glen or elkhart lake or Laguna Seca back, but thats not going to happen.

    9. I’m with PM on this one. I also respected his attitude of it being so hard to travel but not grumbling. We have it very good here in the UK.
      Back to the point- America has nothing to warrant two races. They haven’t even shown they can successfully run the one they’ve been given yet. It’s too soon, they have no presence in f1 when it comes to drivers and teams and even if they did, they wouldn’t be successful right away so why? America hasn’t even been that involved in f1 for a few years.
      I think the population argument has no basis either. Should India get another one already? Russia get two straight off and then what about China? More important economy and a massive population and yet f1 hasn’t exactly taken off there.
      It should stay how it is. Work for one GP then get a champion or a champion team so they’ve ‘earned’ it or at least will more than likely the country will have a big interest.

    10. As an American, I’m thankful that F1 appears to have added a round back on the Championship, but why are we talking about two rounds?

      For as large of a country this is, the support for motor racing is pretty slim. NASCAR does have a generous fanbase, but it’s only second-tier to the major sports, particularly in TV numbers. The media also treats it a bit second-rate. After that, the coverage for motorsport is considerably thinned. Drag racing and the IRL would come next, with the top level open wheel series of course having a major event in May; the NHRA gets similar ratings to the IRL, even on ESPN (to the IRL’s sub-cable home). Sports car series are poorly attended and only receive coverage on the Speed network. Formula One draws awful ratings when on network television (four races a year), decent enough for typical non-peak hour races on Speed.

      And after NASCAR, no form of racing gets any significant coverage in the news.

      1. I think the on country, one race rule is a good one on the whole. But when we’re talking about countries as vast as America I think you can make a sensible case for breaking it and having an “east” and “west” race as they used to. I’m not sure the same should apply to Spain, which already has two races.

        1. Jose Arellano
          8th July 2010, 3:53

          austin race will be full of people from mexico (including me). Ny will be more of usa people…

    11. keith , any pics of virgin cars & williams cars fitted with shark fins.

    12. Here’s an odd link from the begrudgingly-F1 handling girlfriend. Apparently Flavio is being touted as a moneyman in a new Hollywood deal.


    13. Interesting interview with Todt. He seems to be pretty supportive of giving the teams some freedom to develop new things (the rear wing) and learn from what is needed to provide the public (especially in America) with a great show.
      I hope he learnt from the easy access to teams and drivers providing a better experience for the fans, it’s something F1 and GP2 etc. need.

    14. any news on the site update?

      1. Some code problems – postponed to tomorrow.

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