Category Archives: F1 cars in America

Red Bull’s American Formula 1 Team

A recent Economist article on Bernie Ecclestone and F1 mentioned Red Bull’s interest the formation of an American F1 team with US drivers – a timely startup for any group willing to develop a team and spend the dollars to do it right with two new races arriving shortly in Austin and New Jersey.

The article covers several other key points about F1’s current state of affairs, but the second sentence in the quote below is absolutely on the mark.  One question for US fans might be that given the team’s origins in an Austrian drinks firm, what would they need to feel the team is a truly American effort?

Red Bull . . . is said to be looking at launching a new “Stars and Stripes” Formula One team with American drivers. Local drivers boost audiences.

F1’s return to the US this November makes for an exciting time for fans here, and news along these lines is certainly an encouraging sign for things to come…

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Filed under American F1 drivers, brand strategy in F1, F1 cars in America, F1 in America, Uncategorized

NASCAR’s Tony Stewart and F1’s Lewis Hamilton to Trade Rides for a Day

News that F1’s Lewis Hamilton and NASCAR’s Tony Stewart will swap cars this summer sounds amazing, especially as we wait for the late season start – but one question – will ‘Smoke’ fit in an F1 car?

 

Stewart: A tight fit in Lewis Hamilton's MP4-25?

 

The last time NASCAR and F1 crews swapped drivers for a day was back in 2003, when a stocky (by F1 terms) Juan Pablo Montoya and a lithe Jeff Gordon traded drives to the delight of many who watched Jeff hit the brakes too early, and JPM hit them way too late, all in the name of appreciating different forms of racing on four wheels:

 

 
This time around, the choice of the two drivers is interesting as stateside, Tony Stewart commands a presence as the ‘all American driver’ – one who lives – and races – by his own rules.  Love him or hate him, he’s ‘an American original’ as they say.  He’s also a proven winner, and one who’s comfortable on an oval as well as a road circuit, so that’s handy given he’ll drive a competitive 2010 F1 car at Watkins Glen, former home to the US Grand Prix.

From the F1 side, Lewis has more than a few followers worldwide, and his participation brings with it a chance to gain the exposure NASCAR has been going for internationally.  A few moments on camera with Lewis reacting to the feel behind the wheel of a Chevy Impala (or something that resembles the shape of the production car) could be worth quite a bit of discussion online and off when he steps out of the car and smiles after a few laps around the Glen.

While less is clear from the Stewart-Hass strategy in appearing in such an event, Tony Stewart has for quite a while wanted the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a modern-day F1 car, so this just may be his one chance as a current racing driver.  From the McLaren side, it’s no secret Ron Dennis would very much like McLaren Electronics to win a contract with NASCAR to provide the series with a standard ECU when the non-carbureted version of the series comes on line.

Mobil 1 has put this event together, and is currently featured in both series as partner to Vodafone McLaren Mecedes, and official Motor Oil of NASCAR.  Interestingly, Mobil 1’s Facebook page shows they haven’t quite got the idea that this is exactly the type of event to build their fan base there.  The opportunities here are endless:  Who will be faster, in which part of the course?  Who will brake later first?  There are serious racing fans all over the world who spend hours discussing exactly these sorts of fantasy matchups, so let’s see if Mobil 1 can create a show of it for F1 and NASCAR fans alike.

One final question is, why put together this event now? Good timing and plenty of planning came together to make this happen, and F1 in America needs new fans – what better crowd to show off a modern F1 car to than the largest racing fan community in the country?  Watkins Glen is be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the USGP there this year, and while the new Grand Prix circuit in Austin will be bringing racing fans from all over the world in 2012, reaching out to fans Stateside means welcoming the stock car community with open arms.

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‘Senna’ Wins at Sundance 2011

The documentary ‘Senna’ has won the 2011 World Cinema Documentary Audience Award at the Sundance Festival.  ‘Senna’ took the Audience Award with 11 other films in competition, and tells the story of the late Formula 1 driver, Ayrton Senna, through archival footage of his life on and off the racetrack.

The final showing at Sundance was today, and many critics including The Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter have been full of praise.  In two previous releases in Japan and Brazil, both fans and newcomers to Senna and Formula 1 have found the film to be brilliant, a fitting tribute to the man so many admire on both sides of the pitwall.

Congratulations to Kapadia and the entire team on their work – news of the film’s official release will follow when available.

If you’d like to see the film in your area – please comment!

LA Weekly:  Sundance 2011: Tears and thrills from the Formula One track in ‘Senna’

The Hollywood Reporter:  SUNDANCE REVIEW: Brazilian Formula 1 Driver Is Remembered in Outstanding ‘Senna’

The Hollywood Reporter:  SUNDANCE: 2011 Festival Award Winners

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