400,000 people watched the Brickyard 400 live, fewer than 150,000 watched the US Grand Prix at the same track.
No F1 event in history has ever sold 400,000 tickets.
Picture yourself doing 120 in car entering a 180 degree turn over no more than 250 feet.
Would you prefer to be in a 3500lb car with steel brakes, a 6" spoiler and 9' wheels or a 1400 lb car with carbon fibre brakes, a front wing, a rear wing that measures around 18"x72" and tires over 12" in width?.
Now, throw in 42 of your best buddies and have them join you two and three rows wide.
You will not see that in F1.
NASCAR® VS F1
I take a lot of heat over this page so if you are a rabid F1 fan please read the yellow part at the bottom before you read the rest of the page.
For the uninitiated here are some of the difference between NASCAR® and F1 according to Bart.
At Bristol Motor Speedway the difference between the pole position and the fastest non qualifier is routinely in the area of 10 feet on a 1/2 mile track. Everyone makes the show at an F1 event, to bar someone after they showed up with a car and all would be quite impolite I suppose.
The following is
an excerpt of my review of the fall 2000 Charlotte Winston Cup Race.
Dale Earnhardt's crew stole the show again this week, making a mockery out of what those "in the know" call a fast pit stop. I'm reminded of Tiger Woods in a tournament this year hitting a Pitching Wedge out of deep (very deep) rough 185 yards to the green and rolling to within 8 feet of the flag to Birdie a hole. The announcers were speechless - the man was redefining what is and is not possible before our very eyes and there was not much to say beyond - wow. Breaking the 13 second barrier is an unbelievable athletic accomplishment.
It makes me laugh all the harder when the stodgy British announcers at an F1 "event" rave madly over an 7 second pit stop. Have you ever seen an F1 "event" (they don't call them races because they aren't). Here's a play by play. (top)
. Decision is made to pit
2. Thirteen (that's right 13) men go over the wall and take their position in the pit box (2 at each wheel, 1 in front with a "jack", 2 to handle the gas, 1 for the rear "jack") and one to hold the cute little STOP GO sign for the driver (colour coded in case of a language issue I suppose)
3. The driver enters the pit box and stops on his marks. Fuel fill hose is inserted.
4. Each of the FOUR men holding one of FOUR air guns removes THE nut securing the tire directly in front of them while the front and rear jackMEN slip their little dollies under the front and back of their LITTLE car and tip them back to lift it.
5. Each of the FOUR men standing beside the FOUR men holding one of FOUR air guns and ONE nut grabs the old tire off of it's SINGLE stud and replaces it with a new one and sets the old one down beside him to watch as his job is done now.
6. Each of the FOUR men holding one of FOUR air guns and ONE nut tightens THE nut.
7. By this time the PRESSURIZED fuel delivery system is done and the hose is removed.
8. The car is dropped, everyone steps back one pace and the sign is politely flipped from STOP to GO
The second 125 mile qualifier for the 2000 Daytona 500 had 4 photo finishes in the top 18 positions. The margin of victory was 4/1000'th's of a second or just under 4 inches and the 10'th place car was less than a second behind the leader.
In an F1 "event" if the lead cars are within sight of one another the announcers become painful to listen to.
F1 cars are the most amazing pieces of technology ever to hit a closed course of any shape and F1 drivers obviously have tremendous talent and courage. The sheer speed will take your breath away even on TV and the sound of the cars is like nothing else you have ever heard at a race track, but these points are not enough to make a good race and it does not make the participants superior in any way to the teams and drivers of stock car racing.
I watch many F1 events and every time a race breaks out in the middle of one I enjoy it immensely, but far too many of them are won by the polesitter and far too many passes for position are due to pit stops, pit strategy or mechanical failure. The FIA needs to address the rules to eliminate the huge gulf between the haves and the have nots before it will ever come close to competing with Winston Cup for excitement or fan appeal.