Another day, another quote from someone at Haas F1 bashing American drivers. Team Principal Gunther Steiner came out again this week to say no American driver was currently capable of competing in F1. A blatant lie and one that speaks to his ignorance toward American open-wheel racing.
Here is his quote in its entirety.
“It’s on top of our list if there’s a good one. Obviously, we want one.
“But then maybe, if there is a really good one, would they come to us?
“Just having an American driver who maybe cannot compete at a certain level is maybe not good for the sport.
“[Signing an American driver] would be an ambition, but at the moment there is nobody ready for F1 in the United States in my opinion.”
If it was at the top of their list they would test an American driver, a capable driver, in the preseason or young driver’s test. Instead, they have bent over backward to appease Ferrari. Meanwhile, America has a handful of guys that can easily compete in F1. This isn’t American soccer, Gunther. American drivers can compete.
Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsports, there is no denying that. The talent level of F1 isn’t always on par with the level of prestige F1 likes to carry itself out. There has been a systematic effort to keep Americans out of F1 while promoting mediocre at best drivers from European countries and Brazil.
To say Josef Newgarden can’t compete in F1 is ignorant. Same goes for Alexander Rossi, Conor Daly, Graham Rahal and others. All of them are completely capable of turning in the same results Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen turned in this season in F1.
Steiner seems to be basing his judgment of American drivers off of the failed Scott Speed experiment, Rossi being relegated to a backmarker and a poor Marco Andretti test with Honda back in the day. No American has been given a fair shake at an F1 ride. Not in the same way a British driver does. Keep in mind this is a guy who was Team Principal at Jaguar and Red Bull when both teams massively underperformed. Steiner leaves and Red Bull becomes a power, coincidence?
Haas F1 has done nothing to convince American open wheel fans to support the team. It’s a wild strategy to push away the fans by criticizing the drivers from the domestic series.
IndyCar drivers could 100% compete at a level above Joylon Palmer, anyone at Toro Rosso, Lance Stroll, K-Mag, Marcus Ericcson, etc. Don’t say they can’t compete, that’s a weak argument and an uninformed one. Driving is driving, give someone a shot.
This isn’t a Chinese national wanting to come play in the NFL, that would ludicrous and deadly. This is a Japanese baseball player wanting to come to the MLB. You give one a shot and the floodgates will open. Until then you keep bashing the home country drivers and no one will care about you.
Follow us on Twitter @Apexoff