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Horner: No American talent in the pipeline

NEWS STORY
05/10/2016

Christian Horner admits Americans need a local hero to cheer but there is nobody in the pipeline.

Days after Alexander Rossi committed himself to IndyCar again in 2017, having won the 2016 Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport, and as Haas prepares to become the first home grown team to contest a Grand Prix on American soil since 1986, Christian Horner has poured cold water on hopes of fans having a local hero to cheer on any time soon, certainly as far as his team is concerned.

"There is nobody in the pipeline," he told the official F1 website. "Our system is purely focused on talent and at the moment we haven't discovered any young protege from the US that fits the system.

"Of course we hope that will come in time," he added, "but right now there is nobody on our radar."

All of which will impact the sport, the Briton admits, as new owners seek to expand the sport in America.

"Formula One, as the pinnacle of motorsport, has to have a strong presence in the US," he admitted. "And my fear is that unless we have an American hero - a driver competitive enough to win races - then it will be difficult to galvanize any support."

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1. Posted by sumpnz, 05/10/2016 19:59

"Only way to get American drivers into the "pipeline" on anything like a regular basis will be to have feeder series that are based in America. Otherwise all American racing talent will go into NASCAR and Indy Car feeder series and wind up in those top line classes rather than F1. They might look kind of similar, but Indy and F1 are quite different beasts and drivers that do very well in one don't usually translate well to the other. A couple have, but those are the exceptions that prove the rule.

And if F1 really wants to capture the American market, beyond a few nerds like me, they need to have a lot more than 1 race in the USA, and they need to be relevant to the American consumer. Red Bull sells plenty of their swill here, but most of the sponsors are European focused. No huge surprise there as it's currently a Eurocentric series. Get some distinctly American brands involved, with a good crop of American drivers (say 2-4) and 4-5 races between the USA, Canada and Mexico and Americans will tune in much more than they do now. Bonus points for greatly simplifying the rules rather than trying to be all technocratic with the rules."

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2. Posted by GrahamG, 05/10/2016 17:32

"What's in it for any American driver?. F1 may consider itself "the pinnacle of motorsport" but most American race fans have barely heard of it and aren't interested in a manipulated and inward looking branch of "European" motorsport. They can earn more than a decent living in the sport without leaving the Americas and having to shell out millions for a short ride on Friday morning."

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3. Posted by nonickname, 05/10/2016 17:08

"More Americans watch Nascar in a month than watch F1 in a year."

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4. Posted by edllorca, 05/10/2016 15:28

"And why would there be? Rossi was there did well and was discarded because he IS a good race driver and NOT a driving bankroll."

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