Friday, October 24, 2008
Ever since F1 dropped the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this month, that's been the multi million dollar question. Since the fiasco at the 2005 United States Grand Prix, F1 in North America has slowly dropped off in popularity and stature, eventually leading to its removal in 2007 from the Formula 1 World Championship. The Canadian GP is a bit of a different story, as bad promoting and unpaid claims between promoters and F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone, head of Formula One Management.
All this makes me wonder...Is Bernie that spiteful of N. America? he even went on saying "Formula one doesn't even need America", shortly after the Indianapolis demise. Some time after that, the FIA has expanded to other tracks around the world - China, Turkey, Bahrain, and most notably Singapore and Valencia, Spain. Basically ignoring the US & Canada entirely
I believe that the continent deserves a race somewhere, anywhere!, personally. Its a global sport, and to take out a major continent, deprives all of the fans of F1 of actually wanting to see a great series around the world. Also, the series is based on manufactures, there's no denying that. Mercedes (McLarren), Ferrari, BMW, & Toyota all have a major automotive market here in N. America, and with the recent dropping out of Montreal, I believe it has irritated the manufacturers just a little bit more, to say the least.
"It is a problem that must be dealt with seriously by Ecclestone. F1 is a global sport and we must be in North America,"
Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari Team President speaking on the issue, after Canada's demise
Recently, the mayor of Montreal, Gerald Trudeau, says its "still possible" to save the Canadian GP. I hope so, to be honest with you, and bring back the U.S. while you're at it, because we're not all huge fans of NASCAR, like many would believe. F1 is very different, as I know, watching a ferarri scream by me at 150 miles per hour and I was 5 feet away from the rumble strips. Don't deny the North American fans of something as exciting as that, Bernie.
Photo Credit: F1 Fanatic.co.uk
Aussie native, Will Power, has set the fastest practice time in the IRL Indy Car Series, Thursday - clearly becoming the favorite (along with fellow natives Ryan Briscoe, & Scott Dixon) for the Nikon Indy 300, an exhibition race at Surfer's Paradise, Australia, and the final race of the 2008 season. Despite setting the lap time of 1:34.8, he's still knows its not the fastest practice time that matters:
"It's still early and qualifying isn't until tomorrow.........That and Sunday are all that matter to me. I am glad we are quick, but we still need to improve the car a bit. This is a very competitive field and we will have to be faster (during qualifications)."
Helio Castroneves, who received clearance to leave the U.S., after being indicted earlier this month for federal tax charges, set the second fastest lap with a 1:36.1 on the 2.796 mile street circuit. Fresh out of his NASCAR ride, and back in the series that gave him a series championship in 2007 - Dario Franchitti of Target Chip Ganassi Racing has set the 3rd fastest practice time, only being .10 seconds behind Castroneves.
Despite this race being an exhibition only event, this race is very well known in size and stature throughout Australia, sometimes being likened to Indy, and for this reason, I have started calling it the Oz version of the Indianapolis 500. In fact, a majority of the field that raced the 500 this year, have raced in years past at Surfers Paradise in the CART/Champ Car days of competition
"That will not make one inch of difference when it comes to race time. This is one race every serious Indy Car driver wants to compete in and win." - Dario Franchitti
The Nikon Indy 300 starts this coming Saturday, at 10:30pm, Eastern Time
Photo Credit: Indy Racing League