RIDE SWAPS? HOW ABOUT RIDE ADDS?
Monday, December 3, 2018 at 08:51AM
Editor
Editor's Note: Peter will return with a new Fumes next week. -WG
By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. I've always been amazed at how inept the brain trust in F1 is. They're good at lining their pockets and perpetuating "the circus" for their own edification, but they're absolutely worthless when it comes to promoting opportunities that they leave on the table. Case in point? The recent ride swap between Fernando Alonso and Jimmie Johnson, with Alonso trying out one of Johnson's stock cars and Johnson having a crack at a four-year-old McLaren F1 car was nice and everything, but what's the point, exactly?

So Alonso gets to keep his "brand" in the forefront of racing news and Johnson has the opportunity to experience an F1 car. It's all good, except it could be much better. My suggestion? Have the top five teams on the F1 grid bring an additional car to the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, in Austin, Texas. Imagine if Johnson, Kyle Busch, Scott Dixon, Will Power and Ricky Taylor (this is just a sample list of drivers for now) got the opportunity to actually compete in F1 cars in front of a home crowd. The promotional bonanza would be huge, and the interest from around the motorsports world would be genuine.

I realize that this goes completely against the grain of the F1 executives' mindset, which states that only two cars are eligible from each team in their convoluted, sterile, regimented way of doing things, but imagine the excitement if the top racing drivers competing in America's top racing series got to compete in current F1 cars.

I would definitely watch.

And that's the High-Octane Truth for this week.
French Grand Prix, Reims, July 4, 1954. Juan-Manuel Fangio (No. 18 Mercedes-Benz 196R "streamliner"); Karl Kling (No. 20 Mercedes-Benz 196R "streamliner") and Alberto Ascari (No. 10 Maserati 250F) on the front row. Ascari did not finish the race due to a blown engine; Fangio and Kling stormed to a dominant 1-2 Mercedes sweep.
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