Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Take Two: Young Americans in F1

Alright, this is a bit ‘O a stretch I realize, but last week’s “Kindergarten F1” (according to a STR Press Release) or better known as the Young Driver’s test saw the arrival of not ‘Juan, but two aspiring Americans participating in Formula 1 for the first time since 1983; when Eddie Cheever was racing against “Mr. Hollywood,” a.k.a. Danny Sullivan, who departed for greener pastures in CART the following year, before a certain Spin ‘N Win episode at the Brickyard…

And it’s even more interesting to note that in the past five years, there’s only been one American to compete in Formula 1, (Scott Speed) while the last American to test an F1 chassis was Townsend Bell way back in 2004 for the floundering Jaguar Team.
Thus it was great to have J.R. Hildebrand and Alexander Rossi both participating in the test, as Rossi was behind the wheel of a BMW Sauber F1.09, while Hildebrand was at the keyboard of a Force India VJM-002; as J.R. also PPenned” an interesting piece for SPEED about how he landed his Formula One testing Gig.

HILDEBRAND: Life in the Fast Lane

And although it’s a fairly good look at what Keith considers the Top 10 of American Gran Primo Piloto’s in his story Ten of the Best American F1 drivers; I’d have to disagree with the Scott Speed choice, as I feel that “Boobie Ray-X,” (Bobby Rahal) which Meesh likes to call him… Is a far better choice then Scott “Nose” Speed; HELL! Even Mikey Andretti was far MORE successful then Speed was, eh? Not to mention Barber, Bondurant, Bucknam, Ginther, Penske and Shelby to name a few.

10 of America’s best F1 drivers

And while I don’t expect to see any Americans at the keyboard of any F1 racecar’s this coming season, hopefully the two drivers above, or others such as John Edwards and Jonathan Summerton can find their way into the confines of an USF1 cockpit in the near future. And don’t forget Open Wheel Racing standouts Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden, although I believe the latter four drivers above (Edwards, Summerton, Daly and Newgarden) DON’T have the said FIA Super license needed to participate in Formula 1 at the time being…
In my haste to get the story posted, I inadvertently missed the fact that Marco Andretti was the LAST Americano to test in a Formula 1 Landshark for entertainment over the winter of 2006-07; having been preceded by Scott Speed’s “Marketing exercise” for Red Bull racing in 2005 before graduating into the F1 limelight as Vitantonio Liuzzi’s sidekick at Scuderia toro Rosso… And thus becoming the last Americano to race in Formula 1 for the time being. Thus please continue reading below: