With Tracy testing for Benetton, there has been some, aahh Heated Discussion, over
the difference between Indycar drivers and F1 drivers. Since I was not castrated
over my post about the difference in the series themselves, I will try to
compare the drivers.
If I wanted to drive a Ferrari in F1, I would have some idea of what I would
have to do, other than lose a few kilo's. After placeing very high in a Formula Junior series,
( like Formula Ford or Vauxhall or Opel )it is on to F3000, and then F3, possibly
with a few stints in a Touring Car series. (They still have F3 don't they? I get no news here in
Of course one has to do very well, to bring in sponsorship money, so normally you get very
top rate drivers in F1, who have some idea of who their competition is. If you keep an
eye on who leads the F3000 and F3 series, you will have an idea of who will next be a
Formula 1 machine.
Indy cars are quite different. There is an Indylights series, and a CanAm series,
along with IMSA and SCCA. There is also Formula Ford. However, the series almost
ignore each other, and most are prohibitively expensive, except for F-Ford and SCCA,
which are done more for fun than profit. I know Robby Gordon, who is one of the best
young american drivers to come on the scene, came from off-road racing.
Unlike most other american sports, there is no "ladder" to get to IndyCars. I would
say that it is detrimental to the sport, but does not neccessarily reflect on the quality of
the drivers. Indycars used to be "do it your self-ers", with cars made by small firms
or private individuals up into the sixties. Because the IndyCar drivers don't have to come
with a pedigree, the best ones are the ones who will be good at finding the limits of the car.
On a more opinionated level...
I was amazed at Michael Andretti's performance in F1. Since he did make it to third
once, I think he would do better if he had a chance to do lots of testing etc. with the
car. I do think that F1's standing starts take a lot more skill than the rolling starts
of the Indycars. Going to Indycar, in that respect, is much easier to do than the other way around.
If Tracy, or Villeneuve (? sorry for the spelling) were to come to F1, I think that the
start is where they will have the most trouble.