We’ve reached the point now where I am honestly pretty tired of American bosses or American teams entering Formula One with the intention of marketing to an American audience… by totally refusing to entertain the notion of hiring any American racing drivers. Sure, Haas as a concept is cool and all, but I’m fairly certain the one thing that would have attracted Americans out to Haas Hill in droves at the Circuit of the Americas would have been an American to serve as the cherry on top of the whole deal. And if Michael Andretti isn’t going to bring me that, then he can go ahead and keep his money in IndyCar.
As we reported yesterday, Michael Andretti is looking to get back into Formula One, either by buying out or partnering with an existing team. It’s very much the Haas model, where the other American team purchased the remnants of the former Manor F1 program and built something from the ground up.
The main difference is, Andretti wants a team that’s already vaguely successful, that has a history, and that will come with some experience. According to Racer, he’s looking at Haas F1, Alfa Romeo Sauber, and Williams Grand Prix Engineering — all solid choices, all of whom could use a little extra help to get them into a truly competitive spirit.
But I, along with countless other American fans, are ready to see some American talent taking on the best drivers in the world. It’s not that we have some lack of talent. Drivers like Colton Herta and Patricio O’Ward could easily make waves in an international realm, and while I’d hate to see them leave IndyCar, I can also realize that there’s some serious benefit to F1 competition. This is a serious chance to capitalize on a burgeoning American market that has been inspired by the Drive to Survive docuseries; if Andretti could bring an American driver to accompany his team, he could easily become a de facto favorite for a passionate fanbase.