NASCAR drivers warn that transition won't be easy for F1 imports

Full story: CBC News 66
Formula One drivers like Canadian Jacques Villeneuve and Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya can have success in NASCAR, but it wouldn't come overnight, warn Greg Biffle and Adrian Fernandez. Full Story
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Death Bredon

Evansville, IN

#1 Aug 8, 2006
Give me a break. The NASCAR drivers are full of it. In NASCAR, 40 drivers between 19 and 65 routinely drive three abreast in the turns, which are only in one direction after all. So, it can't be that hard.

Winning, of course is another thing, and winning regularly even harder. But the idea that Montoya and Villenue can't jump in a Cup car next Sunday and drive around is absurd. That's like telling a jet fighter pilot that flying a Cesna is a bit more difficult than it looks!
Steven

New Almaden, CA

#2 Nov 23, 2006
That is not cool.
mindy

Scotts Valley, CA

#3 Nov 23, 2006
Death Bredon wrote:
Give me a break. The NASCAR drivers are full of it. In NASCAR, 40 drivers between 19 and 65 routinely drive three abreast in the turns, which are only in one direction after all. So, it can't be that hard.
Winning, of course is another thing, and winning regularly even harder. But the idea that Montoya and Villenue can't jump in a Cup car next Sunday and drive around is absurd. That's like telling a jet fighter pilot that flying a Cesna is a bit more difficult than it looks!
poco a poco se anda lejos...:)
Steven

New Almaden, CA

#4 Nov 23, 2006
Sure.
markl5

United States

#6 Nov 24, 2006
Driving skill is driving skill but becoming a stock car driver after you come from a world full of controlled handling, and computer assisted everything, can be quite the shock. You find yourself suddenly driving a car twice as heavy on narrower tires. There is no traction control, no advanced aerodynamics, and much fewer downforce. The azz end of the car can betray you at any moment and because these cars have fenders, contact is the norm, not the exception.

It is a whole different world.

Add to this the fact that F1, and ChampCar settup is dictated by data that the car gives you via onboard computer system monitoring. In NASCAR, the DRIVER is that computer, and the guys that do it best have years of experience in a stockcar. Some of them built stocks, some of them have been driving them since they were old enough to jump in one. An open wheels guy that jumps into one of these things in his 30's or even mid-twenties is at a big disadvantage, but that has nothing to do with his ability to drive a car.

I would be kind of interesting to see what a good Cup driver would do behind the wheel of an good F1 car. To bad Jeff Gordon didn't get the itch.
Steven

New Almaden, CA

#8 Nov 24, 2006
F1 cars love them!
Zap - Pittsburgh

Du Bois, PA

#9 Dec 29, 2006
Nascar needs some new blood. Am I the only the only one tired of the same drivers winning over and over again? Danika, Villeneuve & Montoya will give the sport a nice new look. I,m sure they can adjust quickly.......Ask Tony Stewart!
Pletch

Mooresville, NC

#10 Dec 31, 2006
Death Bredon wrote:
Give me a break. The NASCAR drivers are full of it. In NASCAR, 40 drivers between 19 and 65 routinely drive three abreast in the turns, which are only in one direction after all. So, it can't be that hard.
Winning, of course is another thing, and winning regularly even harder. But the idea that Montoya and Villenue can't jump in a Cup car next Sunday and drive around is absurd. That's like telling a jet fighter pilot that flying a Cesna is a bit more difficult than it looks!
Wait a minute-How much money did Jimmie Johnson earn last year? A few F1 drivers may have decent contracts, but if it's so easy why haven't more F1 drivers tried to cash in? Money talks and maybe you're right-JPM jumped right in and won, how many races?, How many top tens-how many did he even finish? no,as you said, he jumped in and drove around. I enjoy F1, they have all kinds of exciting elements in their series, but I do enjoy passing, wheel to wheel, hand in hand - driver vs driver, not just pocketbooks vs engineers, but I do enjoy both, and that's OK, that's why we have chocolate and vanilla.
Pletch

Mooresville, NC

#11 Dec 31, 2006
Wait a minute-How much did Jimmie Johnson earn last year? A few F1 drivers have great contracts, but if it's so easy why haven't more drivers come east and tried to cash in? Money talks and maybe you're right-JPM jumped right in and won how many races, How many top tens, how many did he even finish? Well, none. But JPM did just what you said, he jumped right in and drove around. I enjoy F1 they have many exciting elements in their series, but I do enjoy passing, wheel to wheel racing, and driver vs driver, not just pocketbooks vs engineers, but I do enjoy both, that's why we have chocolate and vanilla.
nevada

Decatur, IL

#12 Dec 31, 2006
Death Bredon wrote:
Give me a break. The NASCAR drivers are full of it. In NASCAR, 40 drivers between 19 and 65 routinely drive three abreast in the turns, which are only in one direction after all. So, it can't be that hard.
Winning, of course is another thing, and winning regularly even harder. But the idea that Montoya and Villenue can't jump in a Cup car next Sunday and drive around is absurd. That's like telling a jet fighter pilot that flying a Cesna is a bit more difficult than it looks!
I agree with you! It may take a little bit of a transition period but if given good equipment they will compete and soon will be winning races. Count on it. If Tony Stewart and Robbie Gordon can run both open Wheel INDY cars And stock cars then you better believe that Montoya and any one of those Formula cats can drive a stock car. What makes you think Nascar has better Drivers than Formula 1? It may not be popular in the USA but that is like ulimited Budget racing by some of the best car builders in the entire world! Do you think Nascar drivers could step in and compete in a Formula car? Hell no! They would be out of their league. AS for doing it for the money ,I doubt it. Michael Shumacher was a few years ago was "The Highest Paid Athlete In the World. Look it up. Dont cut these guys short. They are badass drivers. I am a Die hard Nascar fan but I am realistic enough to Know these cats can drive. One more thing, Watch out for them on the two road courses. They just might dominate. That's what they do.....
markl5

United States

#13 Jan 3, 2007
Death Bredon wrote:
Give me a break. The NASCAR drivers are full of it. In NASCAR, 40 drivers between 19 and 65 routinely drive three abreast in the turns, which are only in one direction after all. So, it can't be that hard.
Winning, of course is another thing, and winning regularly even harder. But the idea that Montoya and Villenue can't jump in a Cup car next Sunday and drive around is absurd. That's like telling a jet fighter pilot that flying a Cesna is a bit more difficult than it looks!
Montoya will struggle, Villenuve would struggle, any
F1 guy would struggle in their first few years at least in the Cup series. Just because a NASCAR stockcar is less in the way of technology, does not make it easier to master.

F1 is the ultimate car because of tons of downforce, the stickiest tires in racing, the stiffest chassis in the sport and computer assisted EVERYTHING.

Do not confuse talent with talent assistance.

A stockcar at stockcar's highest level is a greater driving challenge than F1. The fact that only a handfull of teams have won in F1 over the last ten years shows you that you are what you drive in F1. That you think that any F1 moe can get in a NASCAR stockcar and win shows that you really don't know that the driver and a greater part of the performance equasion than in F1. A driver must understand settup, he must manage tire wear, he must manage braking a car that weighs three times a much, on tires not as wide, with much less downforce.

Who in the world SLIDES an F1 car into a turn?

The differences between the two types of cars dictate that the NASCAR stockcar is the harder animal to get the most out of. That makes the NASCAR driver that wins, the best the business has to offer.
Brad

Plymouth, MI

#14 Jan 4, 2007
markl5 wrote:
<quoted text>
Montoya will struggle, Villenuve would struggle, any
F1 guy would struggle in their first few years at least in the Cup series. Just because a NASCAR stockcar is less in the way of technology, does not make it easier to master.
F1 is the ultimate car because of tons of downforce, the stickiest tires in racing, the stiffest chassis in the sport and computer assisted EVERYTHING.
Do not confuse talent with talent assistance.
A stockcar at stockcar's highest level is a greater driving challenge than F1. The fact that only a handfull of teams have won in F1 over the last ten years shows you that you are what you drive in F1. That you think that any F1 moe can get in a NASCAR stockcar and win shows that you really don't know that the driver and a greater part of the performance equasion than in F1. A driver must understand settup, he must manage tire wear, he must manage braking a car that weighs three times a much, on tires not as wide, with much less downforce.
Who in the world SLIDES an F1 car into a turn?
The differences between the two types of cars dictate that the NASCAR stockcar is the harder animal to get the most out of. That makes the NASCAR driver that wins, the best the business has to offer.
I agree with much of what you say but....the real reason only a handful of teams have won in F1 is because the FIA/F1 doesn't necessarily want teams to be even. In the NFL back in the 70's only a few teams won Super Bowls (Pittsburgh,Dallas). Today every year we get different winner. That's not because the player or teams do anything different,it's because the league decided to go for parity and changed the rules. That is what NASCAR does. They what parity. F1 let's the teams spend whatever they want. If some team ,like Ferrari, gains a competative edge it is up to the other teams to catch up. In NASCAR they will change the rules to prevent any team from getting an edge.
The drivers in both sports are very good....but are different. That's why Jeff Gordon and Boris Said are always good on road coarses-it's their background.
markl5

United States

#15 Jan 8, 2007
They may want parity, but certain teams few teams win races, and fewer win championships.

Bill Davis Racing
Evernham Motorsports
DEI
PPI
MB2
Morgan McClure

These guys win races but do not win championships.
Parity only goes so far.
Larry

Ravena, NY

#16 Jan 9, 2007
markl5 wrote:
They may want parity, but certain teams few teams win races, and fewer win championships.
Bill Davis Racing
Evernham Motorsports
DEI
PPI
MB2
Morgan McClure
These guys win races but do not win championships.
Parity only goes so far.
Because of the amount of just plain dumb luck involved, any team can win any given race. Think of Derrick Cope wining Daytona. Sometimes dumb luck will win a championship. Remember Kurt Busch & the runaway tire? Right now though, because of the points structure, constitency is what wins championships. Most teams don't have it. One season Rusty Wallace won 10 or so races but not the championship because he also had a lot of bad finishes.
Several of the teams you mention will certainly win championships. Several never will. NASCAR can strive for parity in the cars, but it is up to the teams to come up with the right people in the right places at the right time. It ain't easy!
Brad

Plymouth, MI

#17 Jan 9, 2007
markl5 wrote:
<quoted text>
Montoya will struggle, Villenuve would struggle, any
F1 guy would struggle in their first few years at least in the Cup series. Just because a NASCAR stockcar is less in the way of technology, does not make it easier to master.
F1 is the ultimate car because of tons of downforce, the stickiest tires in racing, the stiffest chassis in the sport and computer assisted EVERYTHING.
Do not confuse talent with talent assistance.
A stockcar at stockcar's highest level is a greater driving challenge than F1. The fact that only a handfull of teams have won in F1 over the last ten years shows you that you are what you drive in F1. That you think that any F1 moe can get in a NASCAR stockcar and win shows that you really don't know that the driver and a greater part of the performance equasion than in F1. A driver must understand settup, he must manage tire wear, he must manage braking a car that weighs three times a much, on tires not as wide, with much less downforce.
Who in the world SLIDES an F1 car into a turn?
The differences between the two types of cars dictate that the NASCAR stockcar is the harder animal to get the most out of. That makes the NASCAR driver that wins, the best the business has to offer.
I guess I just don't buy the argument that NASCAR is "the highest level" and a "greater challenge to drivers than F1". Racing in Spa in the rain or racing through the narrow streets of Monaco has to be every bit as challeging as anything NASCAR drivers do.
Driver assistance or not it still comes down to talent. That's why Alonso beat Fisi like a dog the whole time they were mates. On top of that, look at how hard it is to get into F1 and then keep your ride. The drivers must keep themselves in absolute peak condition or they are gone. By the time they are in their late 30's...goodbye. There are no Sterlin Marlin's or Mark Martin's in Formula 1. Hell, JPM is only 30 and no top team was interested in him, partly because he was on the backend of his F1 career. By his own calculation, he would only be in F1 a few more years. In NASCAR, he's talking about 10-15 more years!!!
Totally different animals.
Race Fan

Sterling, VA

#18 Jan 9, 2007
Let's be honest: F1 and NASCAR drivers are different animals.<br>
F1 cars are capable of tremendous acceleration and deceleration -- as an example, an F1 car can accelerate from 0 to 150 mph in 6 seconds and decelerate even quicker. Moreover, in high speed turns, F1 drivers can experience loads of up to 5 g-forces.<br>
As a result of the g-forces, F1 drives must be in top physical condition to have the stamina to endure an entire race. Their stamina, coupled with the their lightening fast reaction times, clearly differentiates them from other racing drivers. Not many humans are gifted enough to drive an F1 car.<br>
F1 cars are the pinnacle of development -- Ferrari, McLaren, and Toyota spent about $400M each to race in F1 last year. There is absolutely a ton of assistance to make the cars as fast as possible, but winning in F1 truly requires a rare breed.<br>
I'm not saying anything negative about NASCAR drivers. They're ability to draft, bump-and-run, and manage equipment is completely different from the skill-set of a F1 driver. It will take Montoya time to make the adjustment and learn the idiosyncrasies of a stock car, but eventually he will. That said, he may not be a NASCAR champion as he has a hot temper (one of the reasons he was not terribly successful in F1, but that's a different story).<br>
But to say a NASCAR champion is the best racing has to offer is a ill-informed statement. Look back to 2003 when Montoya and Gordon swapped cars at Indy. Gordon ran a respectable time that was 5 seconds slower than Montoya's. 5 seconds is a lot, and Gordon is probably the only NASCAR driver that cold have transitioned to F1 (in his prime). Here's a link to the article: http://www.usgpindy.com/news/story.php... ;
NASCAR and F1 are both talented, but F1 drivers are clearly a different breed.

“LOVE JIMMIE AND JEFF!!!!!!!!!!”

Since: Dec 06

St. Louis

#19 Jan 9, 2007
Race Fan wrote:
Let's be honest: F1 and NASCAR drivers are different animals.<br>
F1 cars are capable of tremendous acceleration and deceleration -- as an example, an F1 car can accelerate from 0 to 150 mph in 6 seconds and decelerate even quicker. Moreover, in high speed turns, F1 drivers can experience loads of up to 5 g-forces.<br>
As a result of the g-forces, F1 drives must be in top physical condition to have the stamina to endure an entire race. Their stamina, coupled with the their lightening fast reaction times, clearly differentiates them from other racing drivers. Not many humans are gifted enough to drive an F1 car.<br>
F1 cars are the pinnacle of development -- Ferrari, McLaren, and Toyota spent about $400M each to race in F1 last year. There is absolutely a ton of assistance to make the cars as fast as possible, but winning in F1 truly requires a rare breed.<br>
I'm not saying anything negative about NASCAR drivers. They're ability to draft, bump-and-run, and manage equipment is completely different from the skill-set of a F1 driver. It will take Montoya time to make the adjustment and learn the idiosyncrasies of a stock car, but eventually he will. That said, he may not be a NASCAR champion as he has a hot temper (one of the reasons he was not terribly successful in F1, but that's a different story).<br>
But to say a NASCAR champion is the best racing has to offer is a ill-informed statement. Look back to 2003 when Montoya and Gordon swapped cars at Indy. Gordon ran a respectable time that was 5 seconds slower than Montoya's. 5 seconds is a lot, and Gordon is probably the only NASCAR driver that cold have transitioned to F1 (in his prime). Here's a link to the article: http://www.usgpindy.com/news/story.php... ;
NASCAR and F1 are both talented, but F1 drivers are clearly a different breed.
TOOK THE WORDS RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH!!!! Well, actually, the only words I would have come up with is that both types of drivers are different breeds..thanks for your detailed response..intesting.....LILGCA T
Larry

Hudson, NY

#20 Jan 10, 2007
Race Fan wrote:
Let's be honest: F1 and NASCAR drivers are different animals.<br>
F1 cars are capable of tremendous acceleration and deceleration -- as an example, an F1 car can accelerate from 0 to 150 mph in 6 seconds and decelerate even quicker. Moreover, in high speed turns, F1 drivers can experience loads of up to 5 g-forces.<br>
As a result of the g-forces, F1 drives must be in top physical condition to have the stamina to endure an entire race. Their stamina, coupled with the their lightening fast reaction times, clearly differentiates them from other racing drivers. Not many humans are gifted enough to drive an F1 car.<br>
F1 cars are the pinnacle of development -- Ferrari, McLaren, and Toyota spent about $400M each to race in F1 last year. There is absolutely a ton of assistance to make the cars as fast as possible, but winning in F1 truly requires a rare breed.<br>
I'm not saying anything negative about NASCAR drivers. They're ability to draft, bump-and-run, and manage equipment is completely different from the skill-set of a F1 driver. It will take Montoya time to make the adjustment and learn the idiosyncrasies of a stock car, but eventually he will. That said, he may not be a NASCAR champion as he has a hot temper (one of the reasons he was not terribly successful in F1, but that's a different story).<br>
But to say a NASCAR champion is the best racing has to offer is a ill-informed statement. Look back to 2003 when Montoya and Gordon swapped cars at Indy. Gordon ran a respectable time that was 5 seconds slower than Montoya's. 5 seconds is a lot, and Gordon is probably the only NASCAR driver that cold have transitioned to F1 (in his prime). Here's a link to the article: http://www.usgpindy.com/news/story.php... ;
NASCAR and F1 are both talented, but F1 drivers are clearly a different breed.
The 5 seconds you mention was the difference between Gordon's best lap, with less then an hour total time in an F1 car, and Montoya's qualifying lap of the previous year. Vastly different circumstances. By their own admissions both drivers were being cautious and both cars had conservative set-ups. What impressed both teams was how quickly both drivers got up to speed and got comfortable in the cars. Gordon's time that day was actually within a second or so of Montoya's time in the same car earlier in the day.
Trying to say that any one driver or any one group of drivers is the best in the world based on what they drive is foolish. There are far too many variables. It's like saying that fighter pilots are the best pilots in the world because they are physically fit and fly hi-performance, hi-tech planes.
There are great drivers in every series, and great drivers who have never had a chance to race.
By the way, JPM's temper will probably serve him well in NASCAR, rather then hurt him. Should be fun.
Speechless

Wake Forest, NC

#21 Jan 10, 2007
I think most people look at drivers coming into NASCAR much the same way I do in order to form their opinion. First I think there is a certain potential some people have that when developed allows them to be much better at driving a racecar than the ordinary person. Secondly, people that start at a young age with go karts or motor bikes and progress up usually are better drivers than someone that decides at 18 or 20 that he wants to be racecar driver. Drivers that jump from one form of racing to another often rarely become a champion in all the forms of racing they participate in. Some are talented enough that they do. Historically, the drivers that have jumped to NASCAR after a career in another form of racing have not done well. Several prominent road racer/Trans Am drivers have tried and gone home. F1 car technology is light years ahead of a cup car but sometimes simpler isn't easier. Three years from now let's look back and see how the drivers from other forms of racing have done and have this discussion again.

“LOVE JIMMIE AND JEFF!!!!!!!!!!”

Since: Dec 06

St. Louis

#22 Jan 11, 2007
Speechless wrote:
I think most people look at drivers coming into NASCAR much the same way I do in order to form their opinion. First I think there is a certain potential some people have that when developed allows them to be much better at driving a racecar than the ordinary person. Secondly, people that start at a young age with go karts or motor bikes and progress up usually are better drivers than someone that decides at 18 or 20 that he wants to be racecar driver. Drivers that jump from one form of racing to another often rarely become a champion in all the forms of racing they participate in. Some are talented enough that they do. Historically, the drivers that have jumped to NASCAR after a career in another form of racing have not done well. Several prominent road racer/Trans Am drivers have tried and gone home. F1 car technology is light years ahead of a cup car but sometimes simpler isn't easier. Three years from now let's look back and see how the drivers from other forms of racing have done and have this discussion again.
Good Point...

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