Scott Dixon, Ganassi, IndyCar, 2017

IndyCar’s Dixon deserves F1 chance – Chilton

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Max Chilton says his former Ganassi IndyCar team mate, four-times champion, Scott Dixon has been overlooked by Formula One.

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Comment of the day

Dom is our first Caption Competition winner of 2018:

Charles Leclerc, Marcus Ericsson, Sauber Alfa Romeo livery launch, 2017

After seeing the car with the Halo fitted, Ericsson and Leclerc decided to keep it covered
Dom (@3dom)

Thanks to everyone who joined in and special mentions go to Don Smik, Ruben, Steven Robertson, TFLB and Nick for their very good suggestions too.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dave!

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

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.

54 comments on “IndyCar’s Dixon deserves F1 chance – Chilton”

  1. Chilton is right. For me, Dixon is someone that should of been given a better shot at F1.

    The irony is, it is in the best interests of F1 to take on Indy Car drivers. If it is part of the “pathway” that a successful Indy Car driver can progress to F1 in the pursuit of higher honours, it gives off the image that F1 is in a higher echelon compared to Indycars. To average US person at present, they can’t tell the difference between the two categories.

    What market does Liberty want to crack again?

    1. Indeed. They should gibe him a chance to prove himself in the past because at 37 I don’t think he’s a good bet anymore but if a guy like Hartley managed to impress people I think Scott could do at least just as good.

      1. @jcost ”but if a guy like Hartley managed to impress people I think Scott could do at least just as good.”
        – Hartley is almost ten years nine years younger than Dixon, though, so not really a fair comparison.

    2. Very good point.
      I guess the difficulty is that a top team will not hire an Indy Car driver into their (main) team, and a top Indy Car driver is not interested (cannot risk) driving for a slower team.

      1. Part of the reason I want the cars to be cheaper to operate is for that very reason.

        How good would it be if Liberty was to pay the previous years WCC to build, maintain and run a car (not in their livery) that traveled to X number of GP weekends, and was tested by a different driver from outside of F1 for the three practise sessions?

        Maybe something along the lines of drivers have up until a month before that GP to declare their availability via social media for that weekend, Liberty put together a poll of 10 drivers for fans to vote on, with the driver announced two weeks before the GP weekend. That would generate a whole lot of new interest in the sport, each time bringing in new fans.

        Ambitious yes, but it has the potential for the whole fan base from another racing series to be following F1 for a weekend. To reel off a few names: Scott Dixon, Valentino Rossi, Sebastian Loeb, Jimmie Johnson, Scott McLaughlin, Jamie Whincup, Peter Solberg, Helio Castroneves.

        Dreams are free I suppose….

    3. Scott Dixon should have deserved a seat. But where would he go. A back marker? Mid field team?
      Mercedes wanted someone with F1 experience and someone that had established themselves at a previous team. Otherwise they would have given Wehrlein the seat.
      I also believe that since Indycar is so confined to the US (except For a one off in toronto) there is not much experience of these drivers on other world circuits. A F2 driver or F3 driver at least knows the european tracks. Most Indycar drivers have never stepped foot onto any of the european tracks.
      Since we dont have unlimited testing anymore, you cant even give someone a try.
      Even when Villeneuve and montoya came over, they had the opportunity of testing.
      But the only way one of the current Indycar drivers gets to come to F1 is if they are willing to drive in the midfield or the back.

    4. Exactly. And the IndyCar people should be saying that Lewis Hamilton deserves a chance in IndyCar, if they’re smart.

      1. Who’s keeping Hamilton from driving in IndyCar? Did they not grant Alonso the opportunity? Truth is, he doesn’t have the stones to drive the 500.

        Also, he would find it more than a bit uncomfortable with his competitors as he has openly criticized their skills (or lack of) on several occasions. Classless and arrogant!

        Alonso, as arrogant as he is, was humble and acknowledged the skill of the driver’s. When asked by the media if he thought a Indy driver could win in F1, Alonso answered, “in the right car, yes”. What he should have said was, “in the Merc, yes”. Hamilton’s titles have come by way of the best car and sub par teammates. Indycar’s are pretty equal – no such luxury.

        Although I wish he would try Indy car, it will never happen. He has a reputation as being one of the F1 greats. If he races Indycar, he will lose and be exposed. He will remain a F1 great, but not a racing great such as Mario and former F1 greats who raced in different series.

  2. From my point of view F1 has traditionally overlooked drivers from Indycar with very few exceptions. And even if they didn’t the desires of F1 teams these days fall quite far from searching for the fastest racer around. Dixon might be good after some adaptation, but there’s surely people racing outside America doing well enough with good backing. Why would Mercedes look for a guy like him when they could make a deal with Bottas?

    As for F1’s social media… Mercedes’ 10 million followers on Facebook is actually pretty good for an elitist sport far out of reach in 3/4 of the world. I think F1 new owners should understand what they are trying to sell… F1 will never be football.

    1. Correct. Football will outlast religion. F1 will not.

    2. Lennard Mascini (@)
      16th January 2018, 3:50

      To be frankly honest, most IndyCar drivers have some serious financial backing. This was shown most in 2011 when Dan Wheldon, at the time a one-time IndyCar champion and Indy 500 winner who had come second at Indy the previous 2 seasons, was dropped by his team and couldn’t find a drive, except for a one-off drive at Indy, where he won.

      1. YEah, they do bring solid backing. But nothing the like of the 6-10+ millions a year that is considered solid in F1 @leonardodicappucino.

        And I think it would be a step back for the drivers themselves as well. Proven top drivers like Dixon are used to earning a decent income from their team and sponsors. Without having to spend most of the year away from their families. Then there is also the aspect of how much time it is going to take to adapt. I don’t think the likes of a Mercedes or Ferrari etc can afford to have a driver adapting to F1 for the first 4-8 races in a season. And the smaller teams are often too reliant on sponsorship brought (or engine discounts in the case of Sauber, Williams for 2017 and FI) to be able to consider it.

        Then we have Haas who themselves are still learning about F1, so they need drivers who already know the sport, I guess. It would have been fairer if they had phrased it that way – they currently need F1 drivers who know the sport, although then Rossi would still be an option (be it, that he might want to stay in the US and get paid to work now)

    3. It goes both ways, F1 usually doesn’t search for talent in Indycar, but the Indycar drivers usually don’t show much interest in going to F1.

      These recent articles are purely based on Steiner’s comments, nothing else. If an opportunity arises things will be the same again

  3. Dixon is too good a driver for F1. I would appreciate seeing him annually at Mid-Ohio for the next ten years, thank you. :)

  4. I wish ferrari would leave F1 so we could get on with it already. The only reason their threats hold any water is the amount of money they big sharks would lose, because the sport itself would just improve. Big constructors and big names are a poison to racing. They may be necessary, but we should be wary of the downsides.

    If Ferrari is now bigger than F1, it’s time for F1 to let Ferrari go.

    1. “If Ferrari is now bigger than F1, it’s time for F1 to let Ferrari go.”


    2. Ferrari are not going anywhere. But if they did i would argue that Ferrari would leave a gaping hole that F1 would never recover from. They’re as much F1 as F1 is itself. Not saying i agree or like they’re complaining and threats all the time but i think F1 without Ferrari would be tragic for the sport.

      1. @johns23, it’s true that quite a few people are perhaps so motivated by a dislike of Ferrari and a desire to get rid of them, as is the case with the original poster, that they seem to be blinded to the consequences of their actions.

        By itself, Ferrari is virtually as popular as the next three most popular teams put together (Ferrari fans make up around a third of the overall fan base), so their departure would probably lead to a quite sizeable decline in the number of fans in the sport.

        It would have a knock on effect on the wider field too – Sauber’s close relationship with Ferrari means that they would probably collapse if Ferrari did withdraw, and given that Haas has been marketing his team in part on being associated with Ferrari, not to mention the technical support they draw on, it’s possible that Haas might wish to withdraw from the sport as well if Ferrari left.

        Equally, were they to leave, in reality it would effectively just mean that the largest of those teams which did stay put would probably end up with similar political clout – perhaps even greater political clout, since then you’d have effectively removed a potential counterweight to them.

        1. +1 Indeed were Ferrari to go, I doubt Mercedes would be far behind them.

          1. Agreed. I’d also expect that a number of sponsors would leave too.

    3. F1 and Ferrari are married to each other and it’s money holding that couple together, not love. Both sides are perfectly aware of the benefits they can reap from that arrangement but they disagree on whether the current status is balanced or not, they wil tussle and negotiate and will find a way to keep their marriage alive. There’s too much at stake for both sides.

    4. Ferrari quit threats are a bit like the Halo.
      It was unthinkable in the past, but after seeing more of it I’m getting used to the idea and by now have accepted it.
      Let’s move on (with or without Ferrari).

    5. The thing is, it is not just Ferrari that is bigger than F1, Mercedes, Renault and Honda are too, even more so, as all these three have went with periods without F1 presence and still managed expand their business, in fact F1 is doing more harm than good to Honda, and probably Renault as well.

      F1 needs as much teams and manufacturers as possible, if we adopt that philosophy what would we be left with?

      Even McLaren are having bigger sales numbers in a time their F1 program is an absolute mess.

    6. I would rather the little teams leave. Without Ferrari, Merc and Redull the cars would be slower and the aero and other tech second rate. Better to lose little teams and not ruin rules to accommodate other little companies like Aston Martin.

      1. Agree.

        But fear that Liberty are more keen to promote the Pinnacle of Motorsport Marketing than actual racing performance pinnacle. They have to get that $8 billion back – and the expedient way is through the raw power of ‘Murican Marketing Savvy. And even that power is waning.

        Turbulent times for F1, its fans and former great teams. Just like always in F1, but this time might the last.

  5. “Scott Dixon, who was my tea mmate last year, I think he’s one of the best drivers in the world and he could give anyone a run for their money in a Formula One car – but no one has ever given him a look-in, like when there was a seat going at Mercedes.”

    Dixon does have impressive stats in Indy, and he could probably have had a half-decent career if he’d taken the F1 path 10-15 years ago, but saying he should have been considered for the 2017 Mercedes vacancy is just comical and almost ruins the whole sentence.

    Indy and F1 are just different worlds… I think anyone with an appreciation of motorsport realised that some Indy drivers would be more than capable of getting a job done in F1, but the barriers to such a jump are huge. When we had unlimited testing and more teams on a half-decent financial footing it was probably more of a possibility, but not now.

    Now… unless there’s a massive wedge of cash involved, there’s only really Red Bull (via testing them in Toro Rosso) who could comfortably do it and not risk losing too much.

  6. Ferrari leaving F1 would hurt F1 a lot more than people like to believe.

    Ferrari sell more merchandise than any other team, There is traditionally more Ferrari flags & shirts in the grandstands around the world than any other team/driver & they have far greater name/brand recognition than any other team or driver for that matter.
    And you may as well not bother going to Italy as data going back decades is fairly clear that if both Ferrari’s drop out of a race the viewership immediately drops by about half (In Italy) & as was brought up recently TV viewership in Italy decreased by a fairly significant margin as soon as Vettel’s title hopes were over. In Italy to a big chunk of those that watch/attend F1 races F1 is Ferrari & if there was suddenly no Ferrari believe me F1 would suffer greatly there.

    Do Ferrari need F1, Not as much as people like to think because they already have name/brand recognition. Racing in F1 doesn’t hurt them obviously but they don’t need it & probably haven’t for a while now.

    Does F1 need Ferrari…. It doesn’t ‘need’ Ferrari but having Ferrari certainly helps a lot more than people like to think in terms of Prestige, History, Ratings/Attendance (In some regions more than others) & Merchandise sales. Ferrari leaving F1 wouldn’t be the death of F1 or anything that drastic, But it would be a big blow & anyone thinking it wouldn’t be is kidding themselves frankly.

    1. I do not believe Ferrari will leave F1 because Grand Prix racing was their original purpose, they started as a racing team and I do not think that they will just throw this important part of their identity away into the history books just because of some potential changes in the sports future. In my opinion leaving F1 will be easily the worst decision that could ever be made in Ferrari and it would damage them very much because they are much more famous for being an F1 team than for being a sports car manufacturer, F1 is far too important to them.

    2. Ferrari selling more merchandise than any other team does not help Formula 1 or the other teams in any way what so ever.

      I don’t see any great concern with dropping the Italian Grand Prix either. Aside from the high speeds, Monza doesn’t really produce interesting racing.

      In my opinion Ferrari benefit more from their association with Formula 1, than Formula 1 does from their association with Ferrari. What separates the marketability of a Ferrari road car from a Pagani or Koenigsegg? Their involvement in Formula 1.

      The fact that Ferrari get more prize money than any other team does, for essentially using Formula 1 as their marketing department, and are given influence in setting / vetoing regulations etc, is a stain on the whole sport, and in particular on the people who agreed to such terms.

      I like the look of Ferrari road cars, and if I ever had the money, owning one would be on my wish list; however saying that, in my mind Ferrari are a leech on the sport, and the sport would be better off without them. Ferrari and Italy are just not as important to Formula 1 as they like to think.

      1. @formulales

        Ferrari selling more merchandise than any other team does not help Formula 1 or the other teams in any way what so ever.

        Profits from merchandise sold at circuits & other stores licensed by FOM is put into the prize fund that is split between teams at the end of each year. So Ferrari selling as much merchandise as they do directly benefit F1 & other teams.

      2. Britain is also not as important to F1 as it thinks hence why Britain is actually going to lose its Grand Prix. Ferrari are more important than any single element in F1 but by no means bigger than F1. People forget loyalty, for all the threats (as Redbull and Merc have done as well) Ferrari has committed to every season of F1. Merc, Renault, Honda pick and choose, come and go. In this case one needs the other but better to lose Mclaren and Williams combined than Ferrari, those teams can be replaced by better names like Maserati and Alfa Romeo

    3. I really think it’s a situation where both would stand to lose a lot.

      Sure, Ferrari has the brand recognition. But they would have to stay racing to keep it up over time anyway. And F1, since it literally doesn’t cost them anything right now, is the best bang for their buck, even if they would get less and would have to pay something (although a budget cap etc, might mean they would still make a profit from F1).

      The same goes for F1. Without Ferrari, i am sure a solid portion of the fans would tune out – Ferrari is also a big lure for china, it is important in the middle east etc. And without competition, how long would Mercedes want to stay in.

      I can see it happening though, the current Ferrari top man is not tied to any sport if he feels he needs to make the point. But I really hope that more sensible discussions are ongoing and that everyone will in the end see the logic of cutting down on the endless spending and enjoy a better sport.

    4. @gt-racer Great points from you as always. +1.

    5. Ferrari leaving F1 would hurt F1 a lot more than people like to believe.

      Fiat is the owner of Ferrari, so it would be helpful if Isola had said “Fiat leaving F1 would hurt F1”, but he didn’t, he used one of Fiat’s brand names. We still don’t know what the words “Ferrari leaving F1” mean. Does it mean no cars branded “Ferrari” at F1 races? If Fiat rebrand their top team as Masurati or such like then that would mean “Ferrari” have left, but of course Fiat would still be participating. Or does it mean no cars and no engines branded “Ferrari” at F1 races? Again the cars and engines can be branded by one of Fiat’s other subsiduaries, and again that would mean Fiat haven’t left at all. Or does it mean a complete withdrawl of all Fiat subsiduaries and their products from F1? Haas and Sauber have contracts relating to the supply of products with the brand name Ferrari on them, so Fiat will need to compensate those teams, which I am doubtful about.
      Withdrawl of the “Ferrari” branded racing team from F1 is good news because it means Formula One management can give the bonus for long term participation to other teams, which will be welcomed by all the other participants.
      It would be good if Fiat were able to clarify exactly what “Ferrari will leave F1” means, but I’m not expecting an answer.

      1. That is because you mistakenly seem unable to distinguish between Ferrari and Fiat. I’ve read some garbage in my time but this….

        1. @asanator (and Gary) My thanks for correcting me. According to Wikipedia Ferrari is was separated from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles since 2016 and is now an independant company.
          My apologies for anyone hurt by my previous comment.

      2. Fiat does not own Ferrari.

    6. Good comment, @gt-racer.
      But I’m not sure about: “Do Ferrari need F1, Not as much as people like to think because they already have name/brand recognition.”
      Ferrari (road cars) used to be quite unique and aspirational to many. Now with supercars all around (and less aspirational people driving them) Ferrari is slowly becoming just another ‘bling car’. Ferrari DOES need something like F1 (and winning in that sport) to keep the name of a real ‘drivers car’.

      1. I don’t think many people believe Ferrari leaving F1 wouldn’t hurt both parties.

        I think a significant part of this conversation should be about what Ferrari needs to see in order to stay. According to Brawn, Liberty and Ferrari are not that far apart in their thinking and planning for the future. I expect that these occasional articles that keep popping up once again saying Ferrari is to be taken seriously, disregards that indeed they and all the teams are being taken seriously, and they are all in discussions about F1’s overall future and what it wants to be.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if what Ferrari wants are things other teams would want too, and I also think that if Ferrari wants advantages other teams are not afforded, well, that may be doable for them to some extent, like has happened in the past due to their historic and iconic presence in F1, but there is a line that must be drawn, and I’m sure Ferrari et al knows that. They may even still get away with some cache for their sentimental value to F1 above other teams, but I think Ferrari is also aware these are not the BE days, nor the days of a stronger global economy, so they will likely have to reasonably expect less than they got from BE.

        I think the last thing Ferrari will do is quit while appearing that the only reason they would stay is if F1 was skewed their way. They’d have to have a pretty solid and understandable argument as to why they are leaving if they don’t want to simply appear as spoiled sports not getting their way, their guarantees. If they appear to leave simply because the only way they can win is by having more advantages, rather than being able to win on a level playing field, then I think they will have little fan support, and could damage themselves with their next marketing venture wherever they go.

        I can’t think of what drastic move Liberty and Brawn would make, after much discussion with all the teams these days about 2021 and beyond, such that Ferrari could leave with their head held high and their principles intact, so righteous would be their offence and that of their fans at F1’s new direction.

        1. Aston Martin could replace Ferrari. Their biggest claim to fame is some real life guy called James Bond who is famous for driving them. They will build an engine when the rules are changed to accommodate their technical ability. I forsee a V6 using carburettors based off an old Ford Caprice motor they bought from a scrap dealer, that they modified to start with a crank handle.

          1. James Bond is no more real than Santa Clause. He’s totally fictional.

  7. I don’t know about quitting F1, but Ferrari should become an IndyCar engine mfg and go do some real racing.

  8. I’d continue watching/following F1 even if Ferrari were to leave from the sport someday in the future, so, i.e., it wouldn’t have any impact on me.

  9. F1 social media is much better but if their goal is football they are delusional.

    1. 10% of FCB is actually quite good; much better than I expected.

      check this page (
      Mercedes is there with the national football teams of Brazil and Mexico, and not too far behind NFL, Bulls, and Lakers.

  10. If wildcards were a thing in F1 Dixon would be one of the few I’d like to see race.

  11. agree with perez that this year is crucial for him. but rather than being quick at the start of the season, a lot of the signing decisions seem to get taken mid-season, so a strong run at the classics (monaco through to spa) is going to be the deciding factor for a lot of team principals.

  12. I don’t think there should be any payment based on long term participation to any team.
    I’d prefer a model where the overall pot of money should be divided into a participation payment that is the same amount for each team to be paid at the end of the season so long as they have competed at each round and a placing payment based on the team’s position in the Constructor’s championship.
    In this model teams get money towards costs and money based on performance.

  13. Yes please leave Ferrari and take Mercedes with you. This will enable Liberty to bring F1 back to being worthy of watching. The budget issue must be solved. Now we face great inequality and are stuck with mediocre drivers paying their way into a car. Please leave

  14. Buzzing about the caption competition. Cheers @keithcollantine :-D

  15. Formula One as a sport would ultimately survive a Ferrari exit. What would not survive a Ferrari exit is FWONK equity nor Librty Media bonds and bank debt; All of that would be a big, fat Zero.

  16. The one quote that really got my attention was this one

    Mercedes engine boss Andy Cowell has described the changes to engine rules for this year as “crazy”. Cowell said “It’s crazy, because the manufacturers will have to virtually redo many parts. We will build at least 80-100 engines and then test them on the bench and take the three or four that have the best reliability and power characteristics. That’s a huge cost that manufacturers will not be able to recover.”

    So the three engine rule is complete madness.

    1. The restricted engine use and gearboxes are stupid. They should use as many as they like.

Comments are closed.