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are the yanks are coming back to F1?

News that two or three American outfits are looking at running an F1 team is good news, for if Formula One wants to retain its standing as the pinnacle of motorsport it ought to have more representation from the USA.

Over the years we have seen their presence decline; in my youth Phil Hill, Richie Ginther, Dan Gurney and Maston Gregory were all F1 drivers, Jim Hall did a season and later Mario Andretti became a regular performer. We saw unsuccessful efforts to get other USAC drivers involved, but having a Yank or three on the grid was common in those days.

Until Dan brought us his Eagles US cars were less common. Sure we had seen Lance Reventlow and Chuck Daigh attempt to wrestle their Scarabs around a few years earlier, but Dan was the first to make a serious effort in 1966 and then Roger Penske, Don Nicholls and The Vel’s-Parnelli attempts flared briefly in the 1970s (and did yield one win), but that decade was more about American drivers as we saw Peter Revson come of age and George Follmer did well in his first few races before Mario won a well deserved world title albeit 17 years after Phil Hill had won it first for the Americans.

Since then we have seen Michael Andretti take an ill fated F1 season with McLaren, and Scott Speed had some decent outings with Toro Rosso when they were a back marker team, but not much else in the way of US interest in what should be the premier motorsport, or auto racing as they might describe it. The magnificent venue of Indianapolis was lost to the F1 circuit and whilst Austin has given us a good circuit, it seems a shame that one of the existing venues could not have hosted the comeback USGP.

Ironically the last serious US effort in F1 was by the most serious of those currently thinking about it; Carl Hass and that was 30 years ago with the Beatrice Lola project. That failed when the primary sponsor had a change of management and pulled out, but there is no doubt that Mr Hass goes about his motorsport in a serious manner and to have him behind an F1 team again would, whilst not guaranteeing success, at least make it worthy of respect.

Are the Yanks coming back to F1? I do hope so!


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