"F1 is an elitist sport," declares IndyCar racer Graham Rahal


Graham Rahal, son of IndyCar legend, Bobby Rahal, has joined the debate over Colton Herta's failed bid to enter F1, declaring that the series is "elitist" and doesn't respect IndyCar.

His comments come as Red Bull motorsport consultant, Helmut Marko admits giving up on attempts to bring Colton Herta to F1, having failed to get the FIA to issue a special dispensation to the American in terms of the points required for his superlicence.

While F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali and a number of team bosses argued against making an exemption for Herta, others claim that the superlicence points system is weighted against IndyCar and appears to place more value on series like F3 and F2.

Rahal, who races in IndyCar with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, which is co-owned by his father, three-time IndyCar champion and 1986 Indy 500 winner, Bobby Rahal, who at one point managed the Jaguar F1 team, took to social media to respond to the claim that F1 is only interested in American money, not American drivers.

"Damn right," responded Rahal. "F1 is an elitist sport. They don't want us. Remember that.

"They want US companies money," he continued, "they want wealthy US individuals money. But they don't care about the rest. Always has been that way, always will be.

"And for those who want to say that Colton Herta didn't 'earn' the right. You're off base. He's as talented if not more than the rest.

"He's a proven winner. He came to the top, and has done exceptionally well. F1 has had ride buyers for years who don't hold a candle to (Herta). FACT!"

Whatever the rights and wrongs - and the superlicence system does appear to 'trivialise' IndyCar in relation to some series - F1 does need more American involvement especially in terms of drivers.

As it happens, Herta is likely to continue racing in IndyCar with Andretti Autosport, team owner, Michael Andretti having discovered F1's 'closed shop' attitude for himself having seemingly failed to secure an entry with his own team following opposition from the likes of Mercedes and Domenicali.

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Published: 20/09/2022
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