Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

March 31, 2011

Formula 1 Migration to NASCAR

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:01 am

Parts of the NASCAR world are abuzz over news a former Formula 1 World Champion will try to make a move to NASCAR later this year. Former Juan Montoya teammate Kimi Raikkonen intends to hop in a truck and go roundy-rounding.

The more obnoxious of the fendered brigade are using phrases such as ‘moving up’ and other such ignorance. A question many ask is why non-oval centric drivers used to the highest tech in the sport would choose to move to NASCAR. The answer is probably simple:


-Slower speeds and less perceived danger.

Let’s face it. The recent crop of Formula 1 drivers have not faired that well in Indy Cars. Robert Doornbos has already washed out and Takuma Sato has taken a season to figure out how not to crash and bring a car home in one piece. There are simply no more Nigel Mansells or Emerson Fittipaldis who are willing to put fear aside and race in the most diverse series in the world.

Their track records in NASCAR are not promising, either. Jacques Villeneuve tried and failed, and many other open wheel crossovers who have not serves any sort of apprenticeship are sidelined as well (hello, Sam Hornish).

My thought is that they all should try after they retire from Formula 1. The less seats that are available in NASCAR means more potentially talented Americans will be looking for seats. Once we get Indy Car owners all the way beyond their Euro or South American centricity, perhaps the next generation of Jeff Gordons will not find open wheel doors slammed in their faces.



  1. I think Kimi is coming over for the beer and the strip clubs.

    Comment by Gary — March 31, 2011 @ 5:12 am | Reply

  2. Not sure moving from Indycar to nascar is much of a step down, though it might be a bit since nothing can top open wheel racing at Indy and on the ovals, but moving from F1 to Nascar is a big step up in my opinion. The F1 drivers, or most of them, struggle with oval track racing. Listen to how many of the Indy Car drivers complain about the dangers of oval racing. I don’t think there is less perceived danger.

    They are considering moving to Nascar for the same reason Danica is. Perceived opportunity for fame and fortune.

    Comment by Bob F. — March 31, 2011 @ 12:44 pm | Reply

    • Moving from F1 to NASCAR is a step up? Seriously? Sorry, Bob, but that’s stupid statement #1. I’d be willing to bet the farm that if you take a top F1 driver and put him on a top team (Hendrick, Roush, Gibbs) in NASCAR he’d do a hell of a lot better than if you took a NASCAR driver and put him in a top F1 drive.

      ‘They’ (and I assume you mean Kimi Raikkonen) moving to NASCAR for ‘fame and fortune’? That’s stupid statement #2. Fame? F1 is the most popular form of motorsports on the planet. Without debate or discussion, it’s a fact. Kimi is a former F1 world champion, and is known to most every racefan on the planet. Fortune? Kimi’s contract with Ferrari from 2007-2009 paid him $150 million. Every season he made more money than the ENTIRE IRL field did. COMBINED. Let’s just say he’s set.

      Kimi’s trying NASCAR for the same reason he’s racing WRC and for the same reason he races powerboats. He likes to race. There’s a break in the WRC schedule. He’s doing it for fun.

      Try losing the myopia and watching motorsports outside Marion county, why don’t you?

      Comment by Steven Kornya — March 31, 2011 @ 2:54 pm | Reply

      • Gee, you know Steve I might, but life is too short to watch something as boring as F1. And I have never been able to explain the Europeans. I’m just glad my ancestors came to America. They like soccer too.

        Comment by Bob F. — April 1, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

  3. I think, these guys fear to come from a series like F1 to IndyCar and be pwned by IndyCar guys. Specialy if you did well in that series as Kimi did, that’s why I admire Sato, he is learning and already did well in St Pete. And I agree with you, NASCAR is slower and safer, you don’t need big balls to drive there as you need in IndyCar, the most diverse series in the world.

    Comment by Kalinin — March 31, 2011 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  4. Dear Defender:

    Gee, you are really perceptive in figuring out why no more F1 stars are coming to Indycar…because American Open Wheel has fallen off the face of the earth and NASCAR took over about a decade ago as the principal form of American motorsport…forget which side caused this fiasco (TG’s failed vision v. CART ineptitude), the bottom line is that foreign drives and series view NASCAR as the premiere form of racing in the US…had American Open Wheel not destroyed itself since 1996 with poor decisions and second rate racing, we could have had more F1 stars come over here for a shot at Indy 500 glory as did Nigel in 1993….we will never again see a reigning F1 champ leave the series to join Indy car because there is not enough $$$ or exposure. As for Montoya and is F1 legacy, he should have won a title or two at Williams but his junk BMW engine (plenty of straight line speed but none in the corners) could not keep up with Schumacher’s Ferrari juggernaut of the early 2000’s…as for more Americans like Jeff Gordon joining Indy Car instead of heading for the NASCAR cash, you can keep dreaming of the way things were pre-1996…

    Comment by Neil Rubin — March 31, 2011 @ 6:25 pm | Reply

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