Always a pleasure to see ‘Smoke’, even when he’s on best behaviour, and it looked like they enjoyed themselves.
Lots of good-natured tribalism in the States as a result, hopefully more of the same once everyone’s had their Corn Flakes on this side of the pond (other breakfast cereals are available).
The NASCAR journos seem particularly tickled by Lewis constantly referring to ‘a NASCAR’ rather than ‘a stock car’. Always a pleasure to see proof that enjoying one needn’t preclude enjoyment of the other.
Joe, I’m glad you posted the youtube here, as the link on the e-mail seems to have expired. The flip side of the coin was that I had seen it last night on Speedtv, I was just really looking forward to seeing it again! It was plain that both drivers had a fantastic time and really enjoyed each other as well, on a personal basis. As a fan, I was smiling ear-to-ear throughout. A lot of cool things with the swap, one of which was seeing an F1 car lapping the ‘Glen once again! This was without question, the most entertaining non-race event in motorsports this year, bar none. As a matter of fact, in my book, it was better than most of the races, from an entertainment standpoint. I’d love to see something similar done again next year, with the new 2012 2.2L Turbo INDYCAR and an F1 car.
They should do something like this at every 2nd or 3rd GP. Invite another series over with driver, select one of the current F1 pilots and send them around the track in the opposite cars. Would improve the show and make Fridays worth visiting.
Kudos has to go to Mobil for organising this event, it looked like both drivers enjoyed one anothers machinery.
I must say though that Watkins Glen looks to be a really nice track, good elevation changes, challenging corners and a long flowing back straight…..why was this not reinstated as the US GP and simply refurbed upto F1 standards?
In light of the financial situation the US faces it would be far cheaper than building an entirely new course down in Austin….
And jeez check out the state of Tony Stewart that guy would need to lose 50 pounds just to be fully fit enough to last an entire GP!
We need more of this here in the US. Aside from my own selfish reasons (the chance to see F1 cars on American tracks) the seat swapping idea brings the two formulas into direct contact. If F1 is going to rekindle it’s US fanbase, it will absolutely have to tap into the NASCAR market. The return for NASCAR would be better driver recognition in other markets, so maybe they could start popping up in other venues. American DTM/BTCC drivers inthe future? Why not…
I never knew about the construction of the F1 carbon brakes taking so long to produce. However, Steve Machett has been an F1 racing expert for decades and I’m sure if he says it takes six months to produce a brake disc, he’s right on target.
Attended the USGP at the Glen each year from 67 to 79 with 3 versions of the track. GREAT to see F1 cars back at a real road course. (They still need to get rid of that chicane at the end of the back straight. It wasn’t there when F1 last raced there.).
I’m skeptical that the raw material would be manufactured in-house by the teams. I could be wrong but it’s my guess that the material has uses other than F1 brake rotors, and that they’re simply stressing that the machine-ready material takes a long time to process (by outside manufacturers).
FANTASTIC! Was just thinking, with Le Mans 24 Hours, Indy 500 all in a space of a few days, wouldn’t it be great if the respective series owners and governing bodies could break their differences and create a race series with a mammoth number of races at the following circuits :
Albert Park, Melbourne – AUSTRALIA
Laguna Seca – USA
Long Beach – USA
Sepang – MALAYSIA
Istanbul Park – TURKEY
Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo – MONACO (corresponding with Monaco Grand Prix)
Indianapolis Motor Speedway – USA (corresponding with Indy 500)
Le Mans Circuit de la Sarthe – FRANCE (corresponding with Le Mans 24 Hours)
Watkins Glen – USA
Spa-Francorchamps – BELGIUM
Nurburgring Nordschleife – GERMANY (corresponding with Nurburgring 12 Hours)
Montreal Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – CANADA
Brands Hatch – GREAT BRITAIN
Silverstone – GREAT BRITAIN
Monza – ITALY
Taupo – NEW ZEALAND
Algarve, Portimao – PORTUGAL
Motorland Aragon – SPAIN
Jerez – SPAIN
Bathurst Mt. Panorama – AUSTRALIA (corresponding with Bathurst 24 Hours)
Phillip Island – AUSTRALIA
Surfers’ Paradise – AUSTRALIA
San Luis – ARGENTINA
Interlagos – BRAZIL
Talladega – USA
Marina Bay Circuit – SINGAPORE
Suzuka – JAPAN
Kyalami – SOUTH AFRICA
Joe Saward – Yes, Steve Matchett has been doing the F1 live broadcasts for Speedtv here in the U.S. for years now with Bob Varsha (also on this particular broadcast) and David Hobbs. What they do is get together in the Speedtv booth, here in the US and report the race off of the live feed. That will explain why you’ve not seen him in years, yet at the same time, he’s still up to his waist with F1 ! Chris
You are not telling me anything I do not know about SpeedTV. The same crew has been working together for years, Hobbs and Varsha go back 20-odd years but we have not seen them at all. Just as we do not see Star TV or others like them. I have long battled for the press to be taken seriously only if they actually do the job properly. This is not the usual case of self-appointed fans declaring themselves to be experts – which is rampant since the Internet became available. This is the case of people who DO have a clue not being allowed to do the job as well as they could because the TV station in question is doing it on the cheap. I am sure that Steve would love to be at all the races, but he is not and while they get fed information by Will Buxton they cannot hope to be on the pace as much as those who are there and having breakfast with the heavy-hitters. It is not just my view of the world. If you analyse the way that the FIA grants passes, you will see that these are granted on the basis of the number of races that one attends. This is the right way to do things. Being there is not a luxury. It is an essential element in doing the job properly and there are a large number of frauds out there conning the public .
Last F1q driver to do this was Juan Pablo Montoya with Jeff Gordon and a Williams/Chevy. So how long before Hamilton is making left turns, eating corn dogs and talking about “having a real strong top 20 race car”?
It would be great if F1 returned to the Glen but it is too remote in upstate New York for Bernie to be interested. I also assume the owners (NASCAR) are too smart to get hosed by Bernie like Tony George and Indianapolis were.
Thats one sick calender, I would love to leavbe all the flat boring Tilke-Dromes behind and use some of those sweet sweet tracks you’ve listed there….
I mean how freakin awesome would it be to see an F1 car around Circuit de la Sarthe, or Laguna Seca, or Taupo NZ (I’m a Kiwi so for sure, the most amazing scenery of any F1 track I can guarantee you) or Bathurst in OZ, or anywhere thats not in the middle east or asia…..haha it’s the old monster tracks we all lust for as F1 fans, the one’s that would truly seperate men from boys
I enjoyed watching this event and a couple of item in particular caught my attention.
1) It was raining at the Glem, as it almost always seems to do
2) Hamilton has made no mention, that I have seen, of if he liked, or disliked, the track. Strange, I would be interested to know his thoughts. Obviously he was leaving plenty of room on the exit of the corners.
3)Its obvious that a modern day F1 car would be incredably quick around this circuit if it was run competitivly, so the limitations on run off areas is quite noticable, I wonder if there were any simulations done by McLaren as to what lap time they could have done?
4) I was at the Grand Am race at the Glen a couple of weeks ago, yes, it rained, but there was nothing like the crowd that were at this event. Ok, so the people got in for free, but just goes to show the pulling power of an F1 car on a world class track. Clearly the crowed did not just come from the Finger Lakes area!
Full marks to Mobil for such an event, only needs a few more things like this and teams might actually want to return to racing on “real” circuits, but then again, I suppose its tracks such as this that made Bernie want to have Tilkie tracks!
Matchett never travels to an F1 race because Speed broadcasts from Charlotte. According to his commentary, hr speaks to team staff frequently. This, by far, is Speed’s most glaring problem with F1. Their theory – that commentators would not be trackside during a race – is ludicrous.
“It is an essential element in doing the job properly and there are a large number of frauds out there conning the public .”
I agree with you wholeheartedly.
One of the reasons I follow your blog is because you seem to get the inside stories, which can only be got by talking to people in the know. There are no end of sites that just seem to repeat press releases.
I forgot. Should have added Daytona 500 or the Daytona 24 Hours and the Macau Grand Prix too. I’ve heard Jarno Trulli say during last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed that Macau is in fact tougher than Monaco.
Yeah mate, I agree with you. The Tilke tracks are really boring but the reason I included Turkey was because of Turn 8 and Sepang was because of the long straights – just some technical elements. Speaking of Taupo, I’d only seen that track once on TV during the A1GP round there in 2008 but loved it instantly. I like the name too – Taupo – different from what we’re used to hearing. And San Luis – it’s just awesome and that would be an understatement.The mountains and hairpin turns – scenic and challenging. Looking forward to the GT1 race there.
Really dreaming someone would build a track in Kerala, India (where I stay) – there would be no shortage of scenic views for sure, unlike the manufactured scenery of otherwise dry places such as New Delhi where the Indian Grand Prix will be held.
Don’t know about a Grand Prix of Utopia, but how about a Grand Prix of Antarctica? Would depend on the financial muscle of the penguins!!
Since you mentioned Star Sports, I thought I’ll give vent to my frustrations. It may not affect you in any way, Joe but there is quite a large number of F1 fans in India who are forced to bear the sick commentary and presentation by Star Sports to whom Bernie finds no problem granting exclusive license. I personally believe NEO Sports would do a better job.
When Start Sports hired Gary Anderson to commentate along with the babbler Steve Slater, I thought things might change. But they don’t give him much opportunity. Technical matters and in-depth opinions are almost always given by Slater and Alex Yoong. Why? Slater’s commentary is childish and getting worse than ever before. He often misses important moves on the track. In fact many fans would do better than him.
Secondly, motor racing is only a side sport for ESPN Star. When certain cricket matches take place qualifying coverage is totally left out. They had live coverage of Indy 500 but many would have missed it because they never advertised it. Le Mans is never mentioned at all. During the Canadian GP broadcast I thought they might mention something about the exciting Audi vs. Peugeot duel, but sadly not a word. I doubt whether the “experts” Steve or Yoong would ever have known what happened there.
Finally Star Sports thinks that girls with skimpy costumes would make good presenters. Crazy people, they have no idea that we don’t tune in to F1 coverage for babe watch but for watching motor racing. We want more in-depth reviews, technical coverage, insight into other major motor racing series, and insight into F1 heritage. All that is absent. I seriously wish someone else would be given the rights to broadcast F1 races in India. This is just hopeless.
Joe, if you could only represent our cause in some way…
Hey Joe! I’m with you 100%. I’ve been following F1 for well over thirty years and in years past I recall when ESPN, here in the US, always had a team covering the races in person. I remember when SPEEDTV picked it up and eventually sent the broadcasters stateside,it seemed like such an underhanded cheap shot. I couldn’t agree with you more as well, that the broadcasters would be best at the track for the entire weekend, soaking in the atmosphere and mingling with the teams and officials. As it is, it’s quite sterile, which is no reflection of the broadcasters themselves, but rather the environment they are cast into. Ironic that the USA is on the cusp of hosting a Grand Prix again and this is the best coverage we can get. If this cheap ass/arse coverage continues, I can’t see the USGP lasting more than a few years. Again, no reflection on Varsha, Hobbs, and Matchett as they do a great job with the pathetic tools they’re given.
I wouldn’t be at all suprised to see Hamilton in a stock car some time during the February racing at Daytona. He really seemed to be enjoying himself at the Glen and Stewart offered to buy him a new dirt car if he would come and run at his charity event; their would be a line of people offering him ARCA or Nationwide cars for Daytona.
Hamilton going well in the NASCAR wasn’t such a surprise but I’m impressed with Stewart in the McLaren. He never locked a brake and was hustling it around The Glen like a pro. Looks like they both had a blast.