Sunday 7 October 2007

Formula One vs. Champ Car

I've been a fan of Formula One racing since I was a kid. The fastest cars in the world racing at exotic locations all over the planet. Very cool, thought I. Especially the Monaco Grand Prix, with the giant yaughts, the topless blondes watching from the balconies, the long curving tunnel, and all. In recent years though, I have been losing interest in F1. My eye has been wandering over to other open wheel alternatives. Can Bernie Ecclestone ever forgive me?

So with the Chinese Grand Prix live on TV behind me, I think I'll review the pros and cons of F1 versus the other top-level open wheel road course alternative.

The fastest cars

Formula One is still the fastest race ciruit in the world. The fastest cars, the best drivers, and the biggest money. It is still the Elite racing series. On Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, the F1 cars ran about 6 seconds faster than the Champ Cars in qualifying. That's actually quite a bit in racing terms.

The start

The 25 fastest cars in the world drag racing from a dead stop is one of the craziest and most exciting things to watch in the racing world. I have never been a fan of the running start used in American racing. Advantage: F1

International element

Formula One wins here too. Champ has been getting more international each year, both with the racers and the race locations, but F1 still has the most ecclectic field and race courses.

Canadian element

Ever since Jacques Villeneuve left Williams in 1999, there has been no real Canadian threat in F1. Now there is no Canadian in F1 at all. With Alex Tagliani and Paul Tracy both threats to win (and get into fist fights) any given race, Champ Car definitely gets the nod here. And that's a big nod also ... I need somebody to cheer for to really get interested in something. (2 points)

Yellow flags

One thing that has always bugged me about any American racing series is that the pussies pull out the pace car and stop the race any time there is a spot of oil on the track. As a result, you end up watching 1000 HP cars circling a track at speeds my grandmother might drive. With F1 however, they won't pull out the pace car unless something is seriously wrong. They will have a local yellow in the area of a crash (meaning no passing in that area) but the race goes on.

Pit stops

F1 has the fastest pit stops by far. It is pretty exciting to watch a car get a tank of gas and new tires in 6 seconds.


A few years ago Shumacher and Ferrari were winning every race, and most teams couldn't get a sniff of the podium. It is a little better now, but Champ car still has way more parity. One reason for this is the use of the full course yellow, which smushes the field together on a regular basis so the fast guys can't build up a lead. Another reason is the massive amounts of money that certain teams in F1 are able to spend to work around the silly restrictions that Ecclestone and the F1 governing body dream up each year.


Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, Alain Prost, Aryton Senna ... need I say more?


Formula One: 6 points
Champ Car: 3 points

F1 still kicks ass.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

u fulla shit - champ car is better - canadians better stick to hockey, not car there...ok ...bye for now.

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