Disgust with North American speed after Formula 1 slam to drivers and teams

Disgust with North American speed after Formula 1 slam to drivers and teams

Huge anger in the North American automotive community. First it was a no to the team of Michael Andretti and now, more justified and rules in hand, to the pilot Colton Herta. This prompted a strong response from the new continent in the form of angry protests with one visible face: IndyCar driver Graham Rahal. The runner bellowed via his Twitter account without being touched, with an intense “It’s true. F1 is an elite sport. They don’t want us. Remember that. They want corporate American money, they want wealthy American money. But they don’t care about the rest. It’s always been that way, it always will be.” In their general and corporate culture, Americans aren’t used to being told no. It’s not that they act like teenagers or the new rich, but in their executive mechanics and usually when they want to do something, they do it without anyone giving them too much trouble But they came face to face with Formula 1, the FIA , the stables, and above all, certain regulations that they want to circumvent, while the rest must assume.

Rahal’s statement carries a certain charge of reason, but his reasoning dissipates when the circumstances are known. For the coming year 2023, the FIA, the teams and Liberty Media – the North American company which organizes the championship – have agreed on 24 races, the longest calendar in the history of the specialty. It caught the attention of many, although it was no surprise that there is a country with no less than three races while F1 is extraordinary to have more than one per country.. They are granted as local franchises by national demarcation, and to have Imola and Monza in the same season, or when they raced at Montmeló and Valencia, was and is a rarity. It is true that the company, just as its North American owners expected, finds itself in these regions and derives good returns, proportionally 12.5% ​​of the theoretical share of the debt.

On the credit there are two cooked dishes. The Andretti family, with the legendary Mario, his son Michael and his grandson Marco, are mad to step up to the top tier, but they have collided head-on due to the legal and regulatory framework of Formula 1. specialty is due to a kind of Constitution called the Concorde Agreement, a multi-year contract that governs the relationship between teams and sport. Participation commitments, sports obligations, acceptance of trading rules and the fundamental distribution of money. The current Concorde agreement, signed in 2021 and valid until 2025, is designed and agreed for ten teams. It seems unlikely or unlikely that all parties will agree to open this clause and allow one more team. One reason is that there would be the same money, so an additional guest would take their proportional share. That the Andrettis added their name to F1 would be a geological distinction in the effervescent North American market, but they paint enough for the Yankees. Your only option is, or was, to purchase existing equipment with your license added; however, no one wants to sell. Apparently, they were connected with various formations, and all of them gave them pumpkins. They claim money ain’t a problem, but in this business it’s all about adding zeros until the guy across the way smiles, and neither of them did . The most likely to sell seemed to be Sauber, an organization that lives on as Alfa Romeo as a trade symbol. Everything indicates that these have succumbed to the charms of Audi, which has a very long sporting tradition, has a project for the years to come, does not need financing because they have a pocket the size of Mont Blanc and are European; they are already in tune with the category and understand its idiosyncrasies. In short, it’s a better option.

On the other hand, the FIA ​​denied Colton Herta, a promising North American driver, the so-called Superlicense, a kind of Formula 1 driver’s license, without which you cannot drive one in competition. The way to access this license is normally to accumulate points based on achievements in the lower categories. The system changed a few years ago, during the time of Jean Todt as president of the FIA, to, curiously, favor the categories which were contested under the wing of the International Federation itself. Moreover, it has clearly and obviously disadvantaged organizations not attached to its scope. One of the victims of change has been one of the great benchmarks since the turn of the century: the World Series. This category organized by businessman Jaime Alguersuari has fallen out of favor. Guys like Fernando Alonso, Robert Kubica, Carlos Sainz or Heikki Kovalainen have been there to get to F1. The problem is that drivers pay teams in these categories to move up the ladder based on the points they rack up to reach the top. They have limited budgets and have to spend very well what little they usually have; being where it doesn’t help them get to the top is wasting time and money. This is why the field for this category, and others of the same ilk, has been depopulated to move on to “official” Formula 3 and Formula 2. In this kind of qualifying stone, and since the North American IndyCar is not an FIA category, it is deprived of the points package necessary to access the Superlicence. There are very few riders from these regions who end up triumphing in Formula 1. Since the 90s and until today, just Jacques Villeneuve and Juan Pablo Motoya, but despite this there is little doubt that Herta lacks this which is necessary to defend oneself with dignity in F1. . Quality houses, but the necessary points do not. In the FIA, they prescribed him to run for a year in Formula 2, to travel the European circuits and to accumulate what he lacks, which has not done an iota of grace to the driver and his environment. While it is fair to say that Colton has the required quality, it is no less so than those who ascended to his seat, even with a less sporting background, who made the journey that earned them the Superlicence.

In Formula 1, few things would be nicer than welcoming a team with the stars and stripes flag and an American driver; No one refuses, but you have to do it your way. What they don’t want is for each other to arrive, and for them to crash in their garden, because that’s what they want and that’s it. Such a move, twisted to make way for someone convenient, would write dangerous precedents, laden with connotations that could affect what is to come. Audi came in and did what it was told, Porsche is at the gates, but playing by the rules, and drivers like the emerging Nyck de Vries, who is in talks with several teams, has completed his documentation like the dictate the canons. Will it generate rejection from the North American public? Without a doubt, but Formula 1 will progress. Morale: ‘Do you want to come? The door is not closed, although you must follow the instructions”.

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