How to become an F1 champion

Illustration for article titled How to become an F1 champion

Every parent wonders just what their children are capable of, usually for good and occasionally — like when they climb on countertops and start waiving knives around — for not-so-good. Here's some handy infoporn showing traits shared by Formula 1 champions. Step 1: Move to Europe.


While some of this makes common sense, the stat concerning wealth is the most surprising, since many seats in race cars now must be lined with piles of the driver's cash. Here's the graphic via Carbuzz:

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Ash78, voting early and often

The US has the talent, just not the exposure—we're too busy convincing our kids to play football and basketball because that's our exposure. Most people's knowledge of motorsports here is the fiery crashes and off-track soap opera called NASCAR. Seeking out quality, sanctioned races is a lot tougher here due to distances and much lower per-capita participation rate in the general population. It's analogous to why Top Gear would never become huge in the US—we just don't have that kind of driving culture.

There's a lot to be said for national/local/tribal culture in cultivating a sport. Look at strongman competitions...most winners are Northern Europeans. North Americans and Oceanians have many of the same people with similar genetic potential, but we don't have a widespread culture for such esoteric competition. If you're 300# and strong as an ox, you play football (or maybe Rugby in ANZ). How about basketball—while there are arguments for genetics in West African descendants, a lot of it comes down to who is putting in the work—and that's often urban kids who don't have the space (or exposure) for other sports. The fact that many of them are black is mostly coincidental.