Rossi prioritising IndyCar seat over F1 for 2017

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi is prioritising a place in IndyCar next year over a return to F1.

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Comment of the day

More races may bring diminishing returns for Liberty Media, warns @Hey:

I think it would be a waste if teams had to spend more money just to dilute the product further.

The more F1 weekends there are, the more they clash with other things in people’s lives. There’s only so many times fans will put effort into recording, news-dodging and watching-back-later before there comes one weekend they don’t bother watching it back. Soon it’s routine to not to make an effort to watch races, and you end up ultimately watching less races than you would have done had there been fewer of them in a season. F1 becomes less special and you find more time for other things/series. At least that’s part of what’s happened to me over the last few years.

Maybe Liberty are another company who aren’t bothered about having “fans” though. Maybe their plan is to chase after the millions of these mythical “casual viewers” who spend every weekend flicking through all the channels of their pay-TV package before stumbling upon F1 and deciding that it is the most vital thing in their life for an hour before moving onto Ice Road Truckers and forgetting about it completely. As if that’s a sensible customer base to rest your business on.

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher scored his final grand prix victory ten years ago today in China. It put him level with Fernando Alonso at the top of the championship standings with two races to go.

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

19 comments on “Rossi prioritising IndyCar seat over F1 for 2017”

  1. I fully agree with the COTD. I have been thinking about it an awful lot recently. Formula 1 doesn’t seem as special to me as it once did. From my perspective, the spectacle hasn’t changed that greatly since I started watching in the early 2000s (it’s different, but I wouldn’t say it’s better or worse) and I’ve endured three separate spells of prolonged single-team dominance, and none of them have ever killed my passion. But it could be the overexposure of Formula 1 that is ruining my love for it.

    When I started following the sport properly (in 2003), there were just 16 races. The most F1 had seen was 17. The winter break was over a month longer, 3 week gaps were common, and back-to-back races felt like Christmas had come early. Each race was a treat, I didn’t even care whether it was exciting or not. I’d look forward to each one from the moment the chequered flag fell at the previous race.

    Now admittedly, a lot of this Formula 1 overdose is not the fault of Formula 1 itself. There was no such thing as Twitter and the internet was usually limited to one device per household (at least among the people I knew) – I certainly couldn’t get my Formula 1 fix while lying in bed on a Friday night, like I am now.

    So I think for the most part, the hugely extended coverage of Formula 1 is what spoils it for me. If I wanted to get my F1 fix, I could only ever get it from watching the racing itself. News, speculation and discussion were only possible in the pre-race buildup — the whole show was must-watch stuff. Now, I own half-a-dozen devices connected to the internet. I check up on Twitter, Autosport, and, obviously, F1Fanatic multiple times a day. If something goes on in F1, I’ll know straight away. When it comes to watching the races, I no longer bother with the buildup, and I’ll often switch off during the podium.

    So that’s what I think. I’m overdosing on Formula 1. I can watch and read about it every day and, although I’ll always love it, it’s just not that special anymore. I can’t entirely blame F1 (aside from having more races). I just don’t know what it can do to become special to me again.

    1. I think it’s maybe a small part of it, but coming from someone that started watching around 97-98 (ie. a similar era), I think the bullet proof reliability is one that gets vastly overlooked.

      Seeing a driver have to wrestle with car gremlins was great, and obviously a blowout or ‘stuck in gear’ issue added to the unpredictable nature, something we’ve all but completely lost.

      While I see F1’s POV, I think it has hurt the nature of the sport. In all sports, things can and will go wrong, and while it’s impressive (F1’s reliability), it doesn’t exactly add anything to the procedings.

      All of these boring 30 place grid penalties which are meant to encourage stability and reliability have been a real passion killer for me.

      It also, in a funny way, bought out the true emotion and passion of a driver..

      But add to this the sheer lack of engine noise (I no longer get goosebumps on the opening 5 lights, because a hum doesn’t turn me on…), and lack of ‘edge of your pants’ driving, and finally butt-ugly cars are also huge contributing factors.

      One team dominance sucks, but taking away unpredictability and all the aesthetics makes it a true passion killer.

      Sure, all guys like the idea of a noble, loyal lady, but there’s a reason we still get the sultry, cheeky ladies in lad mags. Silly comparison to make, but you get the picture. We want some on the edge, crazy, but appealing stuff. Current F1 feels so sanitised and formal. I don’t like that…

      Ironically, the only things ‘out of control’ are winglets and tiny, ugly aero appendages, which are part of the route of the issue of modern F1 (millions spent on something no one cares about at home, and i’m an F1 geek!).

      A ramble, but hopefully you get my point.

    2. Louder cars may bring a little magic and good memories back. It sounds simple but this is year 3 of soft boring engine noise and I almost forget how loud the cars were in 2013 at the Montreal GP. I agree that the times and technology has hurt F1 as you and I can check this site as well as many others to get the scoop on the day on the hour sometimes on the minute.

      In my opinion F1 is going down the road NASCAR went down . Over exposure. In 2004 you could watch every on track practice, trackside shows every hour through out a weekend and multiple shows through out the week . NASCAR flooded its market with exposure and if you watch the sport it is slowly dying. F1 may be doing the same.

    3. +1
      I started watching F1 during the Luda era. Once a year on Wide world of sports. Later, I got a subscription to Autoweek, so I could read Nigel Roebucks excellent account of the last race. Then, too cheap to get cable at my parents house, I would wake my girlfriend who lived 10 miles away at god knows how early, to watch F1. We eventually got tix to go to Canada in ’92, 93. F1 was special then because it was the pinacle of motor racing, and so few Americans knew about it. Fast forward 20 years. I still watch every race, but there just seems to be less substance. Its like how Gilles Villenueve is revered, but Shumacher is not. You just dont get the feeling that its a niche sport anymore.

    4. Pretty much sums up my thoughts. I started following F1 pretty fanatically in 1996, seeing every race live since that year’s Japanese GP, but some years ago things changed. I think the largest single factor (for me) was the ability to watch every single session live. That meant basically that every other weekend was almost completely devoted to F1, as I of course had to watch every session and even the support categories. A few years of that and I suppose I simply got bored: I realised that there is nothing special actually in watching the practice sessions; a brief summary of the session and seeing the results was enough to satisfy my curiosity. The continuous access to the sport spoils something in it and it just doesn’t feel as special as it did previously.

    5. Counterpoint: “overexposure” hasn’t hurt EPL, or NFL, or NBA, or…

      The fundamental that I think gets overlooked is that the engineering that F1 cars now depend on to eke out advantages is so far beyond the average viewer that it might as well be science fiction, or magic. There is a reason people constantly lionize the “V8, V12 era”: mechanical grip, large displacement engines and limited aerodynamics are technical concepts just about everyone who has popped the hood of a pre-1996 car in curiosity can wrap their mind around.

      There is an incredible amount of exciting complexity at work in today’s F1, but the baseline of technical competence required to appreciate it has risen so high that people just moan about the “downsides”—”a hum doesn’t turn me on,” says Dan Selby, but what about engines that are hitting 50% thermodynamic efficiency?!

      It’s clear that Liberty/FOM/FIA will need to make certain, seemingly superfluous concessions to theatricality to bring the fans back. That’s all.

      1. COTD: I started watching 1986. Yes , back then i was just a kid who was drawn to anything going fast but I fell in love and haven’t missed more than one or two races per season since due to circumstances.
        However, now I no longer watch any pre- or post race programming, I watch the last 15 minutes of quali if i remember it’s on , and i switch channels the minute first three have crossed the line. I consider myself a fan, but 21 weekends a year is just too much.

        Re:recording? How on earth can anyone watch a sport “after the fact” is beyond me, I’d never even consider that.

        1. It’s pretty easy to watch recorded races, since most of the races happen in the middle of the night for me (Malyasia airs at 2:30 AM, for instance).

          With four (Canada, USA, Mexico and Brazil) exceptions, I watch qualifying and the race about the same time in the morning each race weekend, with minimal commercial interruption (ie, I skip them).

          I also invite a few friends over who are also fans, and we enjoy watching the race as if it were live. Sure, we could look to see the results ahead of time (and some do– but they keep their mouths shut!), but it’s not that hard to skip knowing for a couple hours.

  2. Damn Rossi!

    I’ll admit that I understand the decision, but you are too good of a driver to be in Indy. You deserve an F1 seat. Damn Rio. Although I’m noticeably biased because I think we need an American F1 driver; being American. If Indy is right for you, then give them all hell! That Indy 500 drive was impressive, can’t wait for your eventual championships.

    1. If F1 were even just a little competitive there might be more opportunities for new teams and drivers to keep things interesting, but as it is, there is none, costs keep rising, and the rhetoric keeps getting more annoying (along with the rules). Hope for a brighter F1 that embraces real opportunity/diversity and competition and doesn’t have people manning the rule book thinking they can save the world and make F1 in to something of a utopia.

  3. One of Schumacher’s best wins, that one. Alonso was faster in both wet and dry and that too miles faster (25 seconds over Schumacher in the first 17 laps that were wet and then overcame 20 seconds in the last 10 laps when it was dry). He had the pace to lap Schumacher that day. Yet, one strategy error and one pit stop problem undid everything.
    Michael on the other hand, maximised his car and tyres and even after that, he had just one chance to overtake Fisichella and he grabbed it with both hands. Wonderful race, loved watching it and it’s repeats on Star Sports.

  4. Is Friday a day off in Malaysia like it is in may mainly muslim countries? If so, that grandstand for FP1 is really sad.

    Shows we really need far better marketing of the sport, much as Zak Brown mentions in the 4/4 part of that interview Peter Windsor did with him ( by starting off on monday with marketing, signs etc. have some cars in town and a couple of drivers by wednesday to promote the event, maybe open up the track on thursday for fans and add more historic races, car displays etc, to give the fans more in the buildup to the race.

  5. Is Friday a day off in Malaysia like it is in some other Arab and Asian countries? If so, that grandstand for FP1 is really sad.

    Shows we really need far better marketing of the sport, much as Zak Brown mentions in the 4/4 part of that interview Peter Windsor did with him ( by starting off on monday with marketing, signs etc. have some cars in town and a couple of drivers by wednesday to promote the event, maybe open up the track on thursday for fans and add more historic races, car displays etc, to give the fans more in the buildup to the race.

    1. Oh, and that interview (especially if Zak is indeed headed for Liberty in a marketing position as he is said to be), clearly shows that the CoTD is wrong at least on the part of Liberty not being interested in the fans. What Brown mentions is exactly the approach F1 needs to take to get fans excited about an event, or rather to get them to know there IS an event going on for many races (all of the middle east ones, the autocrat races like Sochi and Baku, but also for Austin and even for Germany and Austria it seems.).

      I hope that prospect is a bit of a relief to you @hey, just as I see it, let’s hope they do go that route.

  6. Since a GP2 crown got denied, the only way he could get back into F1 is to win and Indy Car championship. But at the same time, Bryan’s son Colton is looking towards that goal that his dad never got a chance with: Become an F1 driver.

    And yes: Lets not forget the US Karter Logan Sargent. He could enter the F4 championships.

    And there is also another unknown in Bruno Carneiro. The Brazilian-American is by far the China Formula 4 series leader with 7 wins and is coming off from an 11-race podium streak going to the final event this November.

    We will never know who else will carry the Stars and Stripes who can make an impact in Europe.

  7. Good for Rossi!

    F1 didn’t want him, so he moved on like a man.

    1. His multi-year deal is temporary. They will watch him with interest. Someone F-1 team will pick him up.

      Herta deal extension is only for another year.

      1. Would you rather be a backmarker (or midfielder) in F1, or a race winner in IndyCar?

        That’s Rossi’s dilemma, and honestly, while F1 is “the pinnacle”, he’s getting a lot more recognition in his home country in IndyCar.

  8. Cheers! Dear friends!
    17 year old Bruno Carneiro from Riverton, Utah just clinched the 2016 FIA F4 Chinese Championship. He will be receiving his FIA Trophy this coming Friday from the hands of FIA President Jean Todt in Austria.
    He is working hard to move to F3 Japan or to Asian Formula Renault in 2017.

    Carneiro also won the 2016 Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear driving a 270 hp Formula ProMazda

Comments are closed.