While I won’t get too worked up over the news that Porsche/Audi might take a serious look at joining Formula 1, I know one group of people who should: the USGP organizers.

Now, first, I have to ask that if you’re a long-time F1 fan, and especially one in Great Britain and Europe, please, please remain calm. The things I’m about to write reflect badly on average U.S. motor sports fans. Y’all are the standard to which we need to compare ourselves.

OK. Here goes:

The Williams F1 team doesn’t mean much in the U.S. Neither, I hate to break it to you, does the name McLaren. Red Bull is still a drink and not a “racing” team. Force India? Forget about it. Sauber? Maybe less than nothing. Lotus? If you are knowledgeable enough, you know Lotus — maybe.

The point: None of those names in big letters on the side of the Austin grand prix track are going to pull people away from the University of Texas football game.

But Ferrari might. And Mercedes? Everyone knows Mercedes.

And everyone knows Porsche, and knows it is makes sports cars. You know that even if it is just because you rode in one one time and still remember how it made your fillings rattle.

A Ferrari-Mercedes-Porsche battle would be one that the USGP could sell to the masses. (Heck, members of the [fill in the blank brand] Clubs from all over Texas could help fill the grandstands.) A Lewis Hamilton-Fernando Alonso-Sebastian Vettel fight? Not so much.

In other words, while we fans can argue the pros and cons of having manufacturers in F1, the folks who want the USGP to succeed can’t. They need these known brands to be on the track so the mildly interested become the fairly curious. And then maybe become regular viewers and repeat attendees.

Having Porsche on the grid — if not the first year, then in year two or three — would be just the ticket. It might not be great for F1, but it would be great for the USGP.

  • Big Theo

    how would porsche on the grid not be great for f1?

    • Well… if you’re someone who thinks manufacturers aren’t good for the sport, I guess.

  • Noddy93

    “Y’all are the standard to which we need to compare ourselves.”

    um… I take offense to that… and every time I get up between 1am and 6:30am to watch a race I’ll remember how the Brits cried and cried about having to get up at 6:am a couple times a year.

    • George M

      It wasn’t the Brits that cried. Bernie thought it would be a better idea to have F1 on times that suit Europe because on those weird times they weren’t all tuning in to watch the race. Plus, bear in mind that Europe has the most amount of F1 fans than any other continent by far.

      And you seem to be crying yourself about waking up early, so perhaps be a tad less hypocritical?

  • I guess having a manufacturer start its own team could solve this issue
    (worked for Toyota, didn’t it?).

    Or if they bought into a smaller team it’d have a fighting chance with a working model, (really worked for Honda too!).

    But are we on about getting people through the gates in year one? Not caring if Porsche are that competitive. Or would it be a continuous thing, with Porsche actually needing to be up there pushing that red Ferrari all the way to the flag year after year?

  • Maybe you won’t believe me when i say that we can find people in United States that don’t even know Renault or peugeot brands, especially in mid-west states. They hardly know F1, but in some states where they have had F1 GP’s in the past perhaps they do. For example, nearby Watkins Glen and Detroit, older motorsports fans can have some memories from those years when F1 used to go there, but in general americans don’t like F1 (or don’t know it).

    Fine, probably Porsche brand could be known in USA, but let’s imagine a GP in USA with a Porsche Team, it wouldn’t make any difference.

  • There are a rather large number of people that have no idea about car racing that know who McLaren are. Their street car was iconic….and made them a rather house hold name…

  • Steve Calvert

    Texas football sucks right now so getting people from the games won’t be a problem. But seriously, having a name like Porsche or even Audi, on the fence somewhere around the track will bring people to the races.

    Let’s get it built…