Monday, February 2, 2009

UOWWBA: Weekly Question

Here’s another potential UOWWBA situation:
If Lewis Hamilton and Scott Dixon switched places for the 2009 season, how would each driver fare in the other's league? Who would be more successful in 2009?

I find this to be a very entertaining question, as let’s recall that our current “Kiwi” Indy Car Champion has previously put the wellie to a Formula 1 chassis.

Scott Dixon (March, 2004)
"I'm very excited about heading to Paul Ricard at the end of next week for my first taste of a Formula One car, although the real test will be in April in Barcelona,"

These words were gleamed from a 2004 BMW press release, as Dixon was given a brief taste of F1 By the Williams/BMW team, whom at the time were running the great Ralfanso, a.k.a. famous brother of Michael Schumacher, along with Juan “DON’T call me MAC!” Montoya... In which apparently Dixon didn’t do enough to impress the overly stiff lipped Sir Frank, as Scott would retain his employment for the Cheepster (Chip Ganassi) instead.

Yet, other notable Indy Car talent have tested for F1 over the years, with Willy T. Ribbs, Paul Tracy and Al Unser Jr. coming to mind, while I can think of four former CART champions who’ve had varying degrees of success in what is considered the pinnacle of motorsport. (Formula One)
These four drivers are none other then: Michael Andretti, Jacques Villeneuve, Alex Zanardi and Juan Pablo Montoya. (Although Zanardi had a previous stint in F1 prior to making the switch)

And as we know, Mikey didn’t have the best of times during his lone aborted season in 1993; after all he was teammates with somebody named Ayrton... Although he did finish on the podium in his final race at Monza, Italy; but obviously Jacques was the most successful of this quartet, by winning the 1997 F1 World Championship, with Montoya being second best, having notched up seven career wins, 13 poles and 30 podiums before making the audacious jump to URRGH! RASSCAR... Although his Sports Car career isn’t going too badly either, eh? While Zanardi never seemed to be in the right place at the right time in Formula 1, having less than stellar rides at Lotus and Williams.

And a long overused quote claims: “You can make an oval racer outta a road course specialist a HELL of a lot easier than the other way round!”

Just ask triple world champion Nelson Piquet about this, eh? Yet, I’m not certain that applies 100% of the time, as I’m guessing that Lewis Hamilton would adapt quite quickly, while I’m certain that Dixon would be no slouch Across the Pond, given competitive equipment, since the jury’s still out upon the MP4-24 after F1’s radical rules revision this year...

So, I’m guessing that both drivers would succeed in either discipline, but I’d have to give the nod to the young Messer Louise “Jaguar” Hamilton...

2 comments:

  1. That's interesting. I never knew that Dixon had a test in an F1 car.

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  2. I remember Williams being impressed with him and just checked back to the reports of the time. He ran at Paul Ricard to acclimitise, and then a full test at Barcelona.

    Go to autosport.com and do a search for 'Dixon F1 test'.I get this and several other links (I *really* hope this formats properly, sorry if it doesn't...)

    http://atlasf1.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/12987/.html

    Barcelona test, 9 April 2004

    Pos Driver Team-Engine Time Laps
    1. Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:15.079 73
    2. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:15.304 93
    3. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:15.625 76
    4. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:15.812 73
    5. Webber Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:15.886 120
    6. Gene Williams-BMW (M) 1:15.948 104
    7. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:16.268 61
    8. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:16.515 29
    9. Dixon Williams-BMW (M) 1:16.621 63
    10. R.Schumacher Williams-BMW (M) 1:17.191 5
    11. Fisichella Sauber-Petronas (B) 1:17.244 78

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