Formula One moved to Miami for the inaugural Grand Prix earlier in May. The event was an initiative to attract a new generation of F1 fans in the US. There, the attention toward motorsport has rapidly increased after the release of Netflix’s behind-the-scenes series Drive to Survive. While Red Bull and Ferrari put on a great show for the American crowd at the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium, Lewis Hamilton pointed out that the sport will require an American driver on the racing track if F1 needs to establish a permanent fanbase in the country. However, his Mercedes teammate George Russell has made a contradictory student against Lewis Hamilton, claiming nationality should not be a factor when F1 racing teams consider hiring new drivers.
Russell’s contradictory statement has created an impression that there might be internal rift brewing between the two British drivers. Geroge Russell has performed shockingly better than the seven-time world champion. And almost everyone in the F1 fraternity is aware that hamilton does not like to finish behind his teammate. At Miami, Russell started far behind Hamilton, yet he ended up finishing ahead of the former world champ. While Mercedes continue to struggle with their W13, there could be a possibility of a rift between them.
Only a couple of American drivers have been a part of F1 racing since Micheal Andretti’s horrible season with McLaren in 1993. Scott Speed and Alexander Rossi were the only ones who made it to the F1. However, they did not possess the required talent and determination to last in the circuit for more than two years. Lewis Hamilton pointed out that the people of the US might need one of their own on the racing track to get them hooked on the motorsport.
Hamilton Feels Ferrari Needs An American Driver
The Mercedes driver thinks that F1 should prioritize finding the next American top-tier driver to capitalize on the sport’s newfound popularity in America. Talking about the absence of American drivers, the Briton said that it did not surprise him. Lewis thinks that it might be more of a cultural thing. Moreover, Lewis Hamilton pointed out that Americans are big fans of sports like the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, and IndyCar. The British racer added, ” And I mean, in my 16 years of coming over here, it’s been such a slow build, trying to bring awareness of the sport.”
Lewis believes that it is time for F1 to start focusing on how they can include more people from a diverse country like America in the sport. The Mercedes driver was sure that there were some amazing talents in the country as the country has got so many legendary sporting talents. Thus, Hamilton felt that it would be a good mission for F1 to find the next American driver.
Apart from the inaugural race in Miami this year, F1 has planned to organize the Las Vegas Grand Prix during the thanksgiving weekend in November 2023. Thus, F1 will organize three races in the US by 2023 with the Circuit of the American in Austin, Texas, since 2012. However, George Russell feels that adding an American just for the sake of nationality is not what Formula One needs to do.
Russell Thinks F1 Should Not Bring In A Driver On Basis Of Nationality
The British driver who joined Mercedes this year told that he did not have an experience with American drivers. As far as he could remember, there were one or two American drivers that George came across during his karting days. Russell thinks that Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsport. And the racing body should not have a driver on the grid based on their nationality. The 24-year-old feels that F1 should have drivers the best drivers who earn it and prove themselves worthy of being in the racing circuit. The Briton added, “So I think we don’t live in a perfect world. But this is the pinnacle and it needs to stay like that.”
Further, Russell pointed out that F1 has the best engineers and venues. Thus, George feels that F1 needs to “filter down” the drivers as well. The British racer said that the show becomes much better when you have got the best in business. Russell further added, ” So yeah, I’d say that’s where I stand on that.”