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Discussion Starter #1
Formula One can forget about putting an American driver on the grid.

That's what NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon said in Barcelona on Sunday.

"I've seen the growing demand but they don't just want an American," he said. "They want an American driver with a name - for the sponsors."

Gordon, who last year did a few laps in a BMW-Williams at Indianapolis, said most 'big names' in top US motor sports are 'not in open-wheeler' cars.

But if Ferrari came knocking, Gordon wouldn't turn an offer down.

"I'm sure my [NASCAR] car owner would understand," Jeff grinned.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
After he did the stint in the Williams car at Indy last year, he had said, "no way... he was happy where he was."

Now, that sure doesn't sound like an emphatic "no" anymore.

-Rich
 

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I wouldn't be so sure about that... I bet if Jeff Gordon went to F1 and failed as miserably as other US drivers have when they tried, then F1 fans might just throw some beer cans at him...

Quite frankly I don't think Jeff really has what it takes to compete in F1... Maybe if he had went down the path 10 years ago, he might have made it to the top of F1, or near the top, but to go from NASCAR to F1 at this stage would be damb near impossible I think...

Ferrari isn't likely to go knocking on Jeff's door as long as Mikeys around... and from what I understand, he's likely to be there for at least another two or 3 years... Jeff will be a old man by then...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think Jeff could do quite well. He's already proven he can be fast and win on road courses in general and vehicles besides his NASCAR rig. And, he used to race go-karts when he was younger.

On Dave Dispain's show on SpeedTV last night they were talking about this very topic (Jeff and F1).

The F1 leaders have already said they want to have a bigger presence in the American market. And, Jeff Gordon would be perfect. Whether he wins or not, he would be a big win for F1 in general because of the folks that would tune in to watch how he does -- whether they are Jeff Gordon fans or not. And, his name is known internationally.

Throughout Jeff's career he has always quickly picked up driving various types of vehicles. He proved that a few years ago when he and Jimmie Johnson went over to Europe and raced rally cars and took 1st against other top names in racing. Neither had driven those types of cars before.

-Rich
 

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Your probably right about F1 gaining some US viewers just to see how Jeff would do...

It'd be a tough row to hoe for any driver to come from another series into F1 right now, unless he happened to land on the very best team. Or on the team that was poised to be the best team in the next year or two... Right now, it'd be somewhat of a crap shoot as to what team is likely to be on top or near the top in the next few years. Ferrari would be a good bet to be near the top, but I don't really think they'd be looking for Jeff's services at this point in time. As for the next best team... well that could be Renault, BAR, Williams, or maybe Mclaren, and I wouldn't put any money down on either one right now, let alone my carrier.

Maybe if/when F1 dummies down their rules to force eveyone to run he same engine controls and other things that are currently being proposed... when the cars would be more like cookie cutters then they currently are... but if/when that happens I'll have almost no interest in F1... But then... maybe I'd tune in to see how Jeff would fair... Kinda like going to the circus to see the bearded lady take on snake boy... (not implying jeff would be either of those charactors)
 

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A driver like Jeff Gordon doesn't have to dominate or even win in F1 for the move to be a success. NASCAR fans are very driver and brand oriented and stand behind "their driver" regardless of performance. Gordon (or any other good NASCAR driver) could run for Minardi, qualify and finish last at every race but still keep the fans and grow F1 in the US.
 

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Don't forget about 'Mikey' Andretti. Big name, open wheel talent, great team
(McLaren). I think he was let go mid season. I think Jeff wouldn't fare any better. But....... I for one would watch with great interest regardless of how
he finished !
 

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If there is one type of car that requires a very unique and BRAVE driving style it is probably F1-the way they have to drive then to be fast is quite odd. I would describe it as unnatural. Again-for example- is Zanardi. He was a hot shoe when he left.-great skill-bad team. When he went back on grooved slicks-he quite honestly sucked.

But maybe this isnt the point then-eh? I would thk Scott Dixon (kiwi??) has a better shot at F1 now than Gordon.
Ray
 

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I think Jeff would be able to adapt to the cars well enough. However I don't think it would be a good move for him. Worst case scenario would be that he is involved in an on track altercation that takes an F1 star out. From what I have seen with F1 if you are in an accident and touch another driver it is frowned upon. I can forsee the media getting a hold of something like that and blaming Nascar driving for the altercation.

Not trying to offend any of the F1 fans on this site. Just that Nascar and F1 are completly different which is a great thing. Most F1 drivers are premadonnas, Nascar drivers, for the most part, are down to earth guys.

Phil
 

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Yea Dave despain said that Jeff was going to be made an offer that he couldn't refuse,by Bernie Eckelstone.It'd be interesting to see Jeff take a shot for a yerar or so at F1 just to see how he would fair.He's by far one of the best race car drivers in the world right now,and the best in nascar.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think if he wins the Nextel cup this year the chance of him going to F1 (if he gets an offer) would be very high.

-Rich
 

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Rich Chang said:
I think if he wins the Nextel cup this year the chance of him going to F1 (if he gets an offer) would be very high.

-Rich
Its pretty hard to turn down Millions of dollars-especially when the figure has all those 00000000 in it!!!!

Obviousley Bernie's got the money to do it. Why not? But isnt it sad all the guys coming up through the US feeder system who are willing to puteverything n the line to race in F1-dont get the offer? HOw mnay karters-turned Red Bull Challenge wont get a chance if BErnie puts Jeff in F1. Many of these kids have talent-no money!!But on the flip-side-maybe having Jeff in F1 will be the springboard for US money to help these US young shoes get a ride in F3, etc!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, the thing is, I am sure Jeff's driving talent is not the primary reason why Bernie is interested in Jeff. It's name recognition and pull to get folks to watch on TV and buy tickets to the races.

I am sure there are plenty of drivers in the US Feeder system who might do better than Jeff out-of-the-box, but their name recognition is pretty much non-existant. But, he sees the potential in Jeff and hopefully Jeff will fare better than Michael Andretti did. I think Jeff is one of the best in regards to public and media relations and also advertising. Morever, when he speaks he doesn't sound like Boomhower from 'King of the Hill.'

Bernie sees the immense popularity of NASCAR and how there are 2 big TV networks fighting to cover the races and TV is where the big money is made.

It's all about making money. :)

-Rich
 

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not even successful open wheel racers from the USA do well in F1. Montoya and Villeneuve did very well... but they aren't American and they come from a history. Andretti simply stunk.
 

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Saying Americans across the board don't do well is kinda hard especially after Mario won the WC. Granted it was a long time ago, but Mario started on dirt tracks in PA like a lot of oval guys. Besides, why subject yourself to years of hard work and little payoff when you can drive stock cars and make a nice living?
 

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I guess all you Gordon haters forgot when he drove Montoya's car and vise versa. He was .1/lap off the pace for the pole. This was after an afternoon of practice. I think that he would easily give Micheal a run for his money after a few seasons of experience.
 

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Are you sure Jeff was .1 off the pace for pole? Or was he .1 off Montoya's pace?

I don't beleive he would have literaly been .1 second off the pace of pole if all condtions were truely equal... maybe he was driving a car that was two seconds quicker then the previous pole, and he managed to get within .1 of the previous pole...

This year's pace is at least two seconds quicker then last years... cars are constantly improving in F1.

One thing Jeff would have over Michale Andretti... he doesn't have a family, and likely wouldn't insist on flying back to the USA every week. With no Concord(jet) flying back to the USA each week would be a major pain... even with the Concord, it must have been a major drain changing time zones so frequently.
 
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