Haas keen on NASCAR race for Grosjean

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In the round-up: Haas is interested in putting Romain Grosjean in its NASCAR team for a race.

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Two different takes on this week’s poll question: Is danger an essential part of Formula One?

F1 doesn’t need that danger to be worth watching or be worthwhile as a sporting endeavour. Limit-pushing is an essential part of its nature, but only limits relevant to the sport need to be pushed for this to work. No competitor gains any sporting advantage from being injured in pursuit of victory (it would be more surprising if a sport existed where such a thing was possible). In fact, the sport is stronger for keeping everyone involved fit and healthy, because time not spent recovering from an injury can be spent becoming better at the job and thus offering a stronger challenge to rivals.

Also, danger that could be removed without damaging the sporting spectacle but is left in anyway is only enchanting in situations where the danger is the primary point. That may work in extreme sports, but F1 is not an extreme sport in the sense that term is generally used, and attempting to become so would lead to it getting banned from many countries quickly. It’s simply too high-profile and too regular to make such a rebranding work. In a sport where other things are more important (in F1’s case, speed, tactics, finesse, style and control to name but five), unnecessary danger is a distraction at best and a reprehensible gimmick at worst.

Pretty much every sport is dangerous – football is dangerous, diving is dangerous, ice skating is dangerous.

The thing that sets Formula 1 and any kind of racing apart is the severity of the accident. I’m massively impressed by the safety regulations in F1. Can they be improved? Sure. Just as there is a fine line between performance and reliability, there is a fine line between safety and sport.

There are some things that are no-brainers – harder chassis, better helmets, neck supports etc, better brakes, tire tethers…

Any change that’s made has to respect that line. The fact that we are on the fence about the halo and aeroscreens suggests that we feel that the line has been crossed. We all genuinely care about the drivers’ safety but we also have respect for the sport.
Michael (@Freelittlebirds)

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54 comments on “Haas keen on NASCAR race for Grosjean”

  1. “A small technical issue”.

    Yeah, Bernie. I’m sure everyone is reading this and thinking that finding millions of pounds to host the race is just a small, technical issue.

    Really though, it’s incredibly unlikely to happen. Even if a private sponsor turned up and offered to pay for everything, the logistics and politics involved in finding a suitable location in London and then being allowed to shut down that area for a week or two (despite the best efforts of our own track designing competition in the past) would be very difficult to deal with, I imagine.

    1. Without wanting to start any rumours, I’ve noticed something walking to work every day past the Houses of Parliament.

      Most of the Westminster Bridge/Parliament Square/Abingdon Street area has been resurfaced and reprofiled lately, as part of a new cycle highway being installed. All the traffic lights look like they are now removable (similar to some sets in the City that I know are removed for the Lord Mayor’s Show), and many of the traffic islands and even some of the paved reservations on Abingdon Street are totally flush with the road rather than being raised as you’d expect. It did cross my mind that this is exactly the sort of thing you’d need to prepare for a street race.

      Could Westminster Council be anticipating a future race? Or am I being way too optimistic :)

      1. @graham228221, I’m afraid there is no way Westminster Council would be that organised or forward thinking!! From my experience working on various construction projects within spitting distance of the HoP and Parliament Square, it is more likely for security reasons during events such as the state opening of Parliament.

        Shame though, as I would love to see F1 cars going over Westminster bridge!

        1. I mean they could race past the cenotaph, but Top Gear already made a thing out of that…

    2. I share Berny’s pain.
      I want an XBOX one, however “there is a small technical issue. Who is going to pay for it?”

      1. @Eurobrun

        +1… Only I want a ps4, but, similarly, who’s going to pay…

        Perhaps we should ask Bernie, after all as F1 fans, we have assisted him to make his billions (even if it is only through being television spectators)!

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      10th May 2016, 11:24

      Absolutely 0% of it happening. No-one will be willing to cover Bernie’s costs in addition to the disruption it would cause in the city.

      On top of that, I wouldn’t want it to happen as it’d mean another horrible street circuit designed to look good rather than provide decent racing.

    4. There is no way that the newly-elected London mayor Sadiq Khan, is going to approve something like a London Grand Prix, when it clashes with several items of his manifesto.

      As Murray Walker might have said, “Bernie’s hopes, which were previously nil, are now absolutely zero”.

  2. Romain: Why did you stopped ze jazz music..?

    Yes, please…

    1. Mustavo Gaia
      10th May 2016, 4:02

      but the US gave the world pizza and chinese food.

      1. WHAT? The US gave the world Chinese food? Please tell me you were joking.

        1. I find your lack of humour disturbing…

          1. And now, the matador shall dance with the blind shoemaker!

        2. There are two types of chinese food… the type that people eat in China, and the type that people eat in the United States– usually while complaining about the authenticity of said Americanized Chinese food.

          It’s a bit like saying Taco Bell is authentic Mexican food. Or saying Taco Bell is authentic food. ;)

      2. While French give us democracy, I forgot the second one, and ze blowjob..xD

        1. Lingerie? Certainly wasn’t cooking– they basically ripped off the Italians, reduced the portions, and made it unpronounceable. *ducks and runs like hell*

          1. I love this thread…

        2. Democracy wasn’t that rather invented in Greece?

        3. It was the French that introduced the Normans (Viking invaders in France, given Normandy as a settlement to prevent further French invasion) to democratic politics back in the 11th century… It was the Normans who then invaded Britain back in 1066 and introduced French politics (and even had the audacity to make French the language of British politics for a period of time)…

      3. Yes and America invented the car right?

  3. Mustavo Gaia
    10th May 2016, 4:07

    Yes, one can consider nascar racing dumb, but unless one have been drive cover-wheel cars on oval since 5 yo, one cannot make the transition.
    Even Montoya, successful in indy, was not so much in nascar.

    1. I just don’t see Grosjean being super excited about going round an oval track in a large boxy car. I’ve never like NASCAR because it’s not a test of real driving talent. But, I can see the publicity that Stewart Haas will gain from this, especially in increasing the formula 1 awareness in the US. Go to a NASCAR race with a top notch formula 1 driver, maybe the NASCAR fans will get more aware of the Haas F1 team and support them at the COTAs.

      Having a frenchman in a NASCAR reminds fe on Talladega Nights, where Ricky Bobby’s arch rival was a Frenchman from Formula Uuh ;)

      1. @todfod Racing side-by-side with 42 other identical cars at average lap speeds easily topping 300km/h for 500 miles isn’t a test of real driving talent?

        There’s a lot to legitimately not like about NASCAR, but the continued lack of appreciation for top level stock car racing as a motorsport and the supreme abilities of the elite Sprint Cup drivers like Kyle Busch or Jimmy Johnson is such a shame.

        1. @willwood No doubt there is a great level of skill required but if you were to place a bet would you be more confident that an F1 driver could do well at Nascar or visaversa?
          I think there’s no contest there but the point is that F1 requires a higher level of skill for obvious reasons, driving around multiple bends with varying cambers, extremely complicated equipment both in set up and during the race, no margin for error in touching other cars or barriers.
          That’s why I think if good Nascar drivers want to prove themselves to be driving greats they need to move to singleseaters.

          1. @twentyseven We’ve seen multiple F1 world champions and grand prix winners competing in NASCAR in the Sprint Cup, Xfinity junior series and the Camping World truck series with extremely limited success.

            Kimi Raikkonen, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve have all won F1 races. Two of them have been world champions. But when they raced in NASCAR, none of them had any notable success. Kimi and Villeneuve never got near the front of any races they competed in and Montoya only won two out of 255 Sprint Cup races and both of those were on road courses, not ovals. So you could almost forgive an ignorant NASCAR fan for wondering what all the fuss about these fancy Formula 1 drivers was…

            That said, that doesn’t mean that a Kyle Busch or Jimmy Johnson could race this weekend in Spain and achieve anything of note either. The fact is that Sprint Cup stock car racing and Formula 1 are so incredibly different forms of motorsport that require such a different skill set as a driver that it’s almost like expecting an elite NFL player to be able to complete at the top level in rugby union or vice versa – it just wouldn’t happen.

            Rather than compare, we should be appreciating the drivers of both series. Sprint Cup drivers are the best in the world at what they do, F1 drivers are the best at what they do.

          2. @twentyseven – The “would you be more confident that an F1 driver could do well at Nascar or visaversa?” question assumes, unfairly, that many of the NASCAR drivers could even fit into an F1 car. We forget how small most F1 drivers have to be.

          3. Comparing NASCAR driving skills to F1 driving skills is a bit like wondering how a tennis superstar would do in a volleyball game. There have been very few F1 stars who have made it in the NASCAR or IndyCar superspeedways– basically Mario Andretti (who started out dirt-tracking) and Juan Pablo Montoya.

            High speed ovals are a completely different discipline to GP racing.

            As for how a NASCAR driver would do in an F1 race, keep in mind NASCAR has a few non-oval races– F1 currently has zero super speedway type events.

        2. @willwood @optimaximal

          It’s just a personal opinion… Like everyone’s entitled to have.
          I’m obviously comparing the amount of talent required to race a Formula 1 car as compared to a Stock Car, and not saying it requires no talent to race a NASCAR. Personally, I think Formula 1 is more challenging. It’s got braking zones, twisty corners, quicker cars, more high tech machinery, challenging overtaking, no forgiveness on contact, etc.

          I’m sure Ovals have their own challenges such as tyre management or whatever, but I’ll eat my hat the day a NASCAR driver even out paces the worst formula 1 driver on the grid in a Formula 1 car. Heck, I’d be surprised if the NASCAR driver can even keep a Formula 1 car on the track at race pace. The same cannot be said about a Formula 1 driver. Kimi and Villenueve might not have set the world on fire when they competed in a NASCAR race, but at least they were able to compete, which is more than what can be said if a NASCAR driver sits in a Formula 1 car. NASCAR drivers have been driving on Ovals since they were kids, and they’re ingrained with what it takes to win races and go fast in ovals, so obviously a Formula driver cannot get in for a race and automatically possess the experience of a seasoned NASCAR driver. Montoya has won a race or two in NASCAR, but I can guarantee you that no NASCAR driver will ever enter Formula 1 and do the same.

          1. If you’re genuinely interested in how the abilities transfer, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Richard Hammond have all three driven F1 cars– Hammond’s F1 lap was a bit less credible, but he also drove NASCAR, so it’s interesting seeing his perspective of both as a novice.

            Gordon was within a second or so of Montoya’s time at Indy. Stewart did OK at the Glen, but it was raining (and since it was Watkins Glen, so there’s no easy comparison to other F1 times).

      2. @todfod Until you’re competing and winning the series, I don’t think you should decry the amount of talent required to compete in it.

        The cars *are* massively technically advanced for what amounts to stock car racing ‘going around in circles’. They’re not heavy boxes being dragged around by ancient Chevy lumps any more.

      3. @Todfod Your projecting your distaste for the series onto RGJ but I think you have no way of knowing how he feels about nascar, right?

        Other than that the american drivers might find it unfair and say “He took ur job! We don’t take kindly to fokes who take urrrr job!” (Just a joke!)

      4. Grosjean has stated that he would not want to race on an oval, but I’d bet that he would have a blast racing one of those cars on a road course. The August race at Watkins Glen would be a good opportunity if time could be found for him to do a test/practice before-hand. I generally watch 2 NASCAR a year … Watkins Glen and Sonoma. The road races can be pretty entertaining.

    2. I could see it happening at Watkins Glen or Sonoma.

      1. Which one is closer in date to COTA weekend?

        I’d guess Grosjean would post an awesome qualifying time and then have a meh race. But the interest generated if his tryout was within a month of the US GP, would be very beneficial for Haas in particular and F1 in general.

        1. @faulty
          Watkins Glen is, but it is in August. About two and a half months before the US Grand Prix.

    3. Romain strikes me as the sort of person who’ll try any racing experience once. If he wants to try NASCAR, then why shouldn’t Haas help him make it happen? It might even (re)gain Gene a quality driver for his team once Romain decides to stop doing F1.

  4. I find the second COTD contradictory. Surely something like the aeroscreen is also a no-brainer when you consider the most severe accidents in recent times could have been mitigated at least to some extent by its presence.

    1. Agreed. Also the fact that such a screen actually has no effect on the sport itself, only the appearance of the machinery involved. Which, have had screens of sorts in the past anyway.

    2. We all genuinely care about the drivers’ safety but we also have respect for the sport.

      I can not see any way in which cockpit protection (even full canopies) does not “have respect for the sport”.

      With or without, the sport is about the fastest drivers in the world driving the fastest cars in the world, racing each other and trying to beat each other to the line. It is also about developing the fastest cars in the world.

      Adding a canopy, or enclosing the wheels (another safety and performance enhancement I believe would be a good move for F1, but that’s another debate in which I can see many disagreeing with me) does not change the fundamentals of the sport. In fact, it likely enhances them, as both would probably lead to faster, more efficient cars, as well as improving safety and potentially visibility.

  5. There shouldn’t be a second Grand Prix in England. Notice I said “England”, not “Great Britain”.

    1. That new Welsh circuit?

      1. Dont think the circuit of wales has the full formula one safety accreditations, its only got the testing one. And the moto gp is at silverstone again this year despite CoW supposed to be hosting from last year

        1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
          10th May 2016, 6:34

          That and the fact it doesn’t exist (and isn’t going to).

          That said there is no physical difference between grade 1 and 1T circuits such as Portimao, the grade 1 licence just costs a lot more so it’s pointless unless they intend to host an F1 race.

  6. I’m not someone who believe every word he reads, but I’ve red some bad things about Michael Schumacher. It saddens me.

    1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      10th May 2016, 7:49

      I don’t read those sites that you are seeing this “news” they are awful and just click bait. Until a family statement gives the true up to date prognosis we all continue to speculate.

  7. i like the fact mallya is described as the ‘beer baron’ – he does have a bit of the homer simpson about him…

  8. It’s hard to believe that Vettel is already 67 points adrift from Nico Rosberg after just 4 races. It’s fairly obvious that 2016 is another Mercedes year, but I think 2017 will be a make or break year for the Ferrari spirit. Ferrari have dropped the ball with the last few regulation changes (2009 and 2014), and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get jumped by Red Bull again, and get planted firmly with the 3rd best car on the grid.

    It’s all about a patience game at Ferrari for Vettel. The first three seasons for Alonso in a Ferrari were pretty rosy, and it was only in season 4 that cracks appeared in the relationship, before ending in season 5. If in 2017, Vettel still doesn’t see himself fighting for the WDC, it will be interesting to see how things pan out in the Ferrari garage.

    1. Yeah, imho Alonso was right when he said Ferrari was only going to finish second again, he’s been there and done that before. The fact that his transition to MCL didn’t work out as he’d liked doesn’t change that. At least he tried.

  9. Bernie wants new race in London, nobody wants to pay for it… Blah blah.he wants one every year. I guess he is fishing, throwing hooks with bait at different major cities, to see if it will catch.

    Meanwhile in Haasamerica… Real racer Grosjean getting a guest apperance!!! Now this is good. Very important for F1. If there ever was a good case to be made for effective promotion, is to take F1 stars and drive them to other series, and have them do well there for a race or two.

    Mercedes should parade Lewis to DTM, Ferrari should slot Vettel to Le Mans, Red Bull should stick Riciardo to an X-rally event, Mchonda should get Alonso and Button to a WTCC race… And the list goes on.

    How do we know Jim Clark was world class? He won everywhere, F1, F2, F3, Lotus Cortina… You name it he drove it.

    Grosjean apperance will ensure massive Nascar audience will take a look at F1. Expense 100-300k$ and you get endless advertising for Haas, F1 and F1 drivers…

    I bet if Lewis would win a DTM race Germans would take notice. Even better bring Nico and Lewis to DTM for a race…a guest duel.

    All fairly easy ways of generating media attention. Making people notice F1 drivers as masters of driving they are.

    1. @jureo ..or they suck like Montoya in Nascar or Raikkonen in rally and then people will think F1 … pft! ;)

      I think maybe cars and drivers today are too specialized to be able to do what Clark & Hill was able to.

      1. I remember Nigel Mansell having a go at Touring Car…

        It resulted in one of the most severe accidents of his career…

  10. I read that Hamilton story and thought, Bushy Park… but what about the deer? Then I realised it’s a different Bushy Park!

  11. From the first COTD:

    “No competitor gains any sporting advantage from being injured in pursuit of victory (it would be more surprising if a sport existed where such a thing was possible).”

    What about Boxer and MMA? One competitor (the loser) usually get pretty injured.

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