Passing is so passé

Posted by Iannucci | 2/20/2009 | 12 comments »
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This quote may seem look some kind of satire but apparently it's very real. Here, straight from the mouth of Formula One driver Mark Webber, may be the predominant reason why F1 struggles to have much cross-over audience with Americans who stubbornly demand passing in their racing events.

"If you're talking about overtaking in terms of someone just passing someone else on the straight, then that is an overtaking move but it's not very exciting. If that's what we want and we want people to not get held up behind other drivers and be able to pass on the straight then that might well happen, but we see in IndyCar racing that there are some times where they pass people six times per lap - and that's not that exciting either.

"Whether we have exciting overtaking moves because we can pass people on the brakes and with good slipstreaming remains to be seen, but I don't think it's going to do much for the racing, no."

(MORE from Yahoo! Sport)
Well, so much for any rumors of that guy racing in the IndyCar series.

(Thanks to reader Edmund for finding this.)


  1. Anonymous // February 20, 2009 3:53 AM  

    I first watched Mark race at Laguna Seca in 1998 in an FIA GT race and thought that he was a hot-shoe. So I've followed his career, and he's puzzled me at times, as with that interview excerpt.

  2. Justin // February 20, 2009 4:27 AM  

    Aren't cars following each other with out passing a parade????

  3. Anonymous // February 20, 2009 5:28 AM  

    Um...yeah. That's a fail on his part. Not quite epic, but close.

  4. Anonymous // February 20, 2009 6:07 AM  

    In a lot of ways, he's right. Who cares if cars can go around an oval flat out all the time a good 50mph down on where they SHOULD be. Call me crazy, but when cars are difficult to drive, fast, and they pass each other THAT is exciting. Eff F1, that is a boring parade, the only attachment I have to it now-a-days is support for my favorite manufacturer. However, Mark does have a legitimate point about the kind of "passing" seen in IndyCars. But here's the deal, the solution in IndyCar is an easy one, tear the air restrictors and rev limiters off of those damn Hondas and let the racers race! In F1... shoot... fingers crossed you get some slip-streaming and passing this year fellas.

  5. The American Mutt // February 20, 2009 7:34 AM  

    Wonder what that guy does find exciting in races.

  6. Anonymous // February 20, 2009 8:03 AM  

    "Personally, I prefer watching wheelchair basketball. It's WAY awesome. I mean, the speed and athleticism and non-parapalegia of NBA basketball is okay, I guess. But it's just not nearly as exciting as the Wheelchair League, frankly."

    —Mark Webber

  7. Matt Chamois // February 20, 2009 8:26 AM  

    He must still be on some sort of drugs from his broken leg.

  8. Anonymous // February 20, 2009 8:46 AM  

    I think he must've whacked his head a lot harder than they thought when that car hit him.

    Mark, do me a favor. Just shut up, stand around and look pretty. That's when I like you best.

  9. pressdog // February 21, 2009 4:32 AM  

    Pretty obvious Mark hasn't paid to watch a race or invested two hours on the couch to watch one on TV in a long time.

  10. Pat W // February 21, 2009 5:02 AM  

    If he's talking about road tracks then a) he clearly hasn't seen an IRL one lately because there hasn't been much passing, and b) I agree with him.
    The whole point of overtaking on a road track is that it takes skill to set up and execute, it's the sort of thing that gets talked about for weeks afterwards. Both F1 and IRL need to find the balance between making it difficult, and making it impossible. So far they've leaned *way* too far to the latter. Lots of reasons for that, for another time.

    Now - if he's talking about ovals that's a whole different game and he looks like an idiot.
    Meaningless non-exciting passing on ovals happens in that N-word thing, not IndyCar.

  11. pressdog // February 21, 2009 1:44 PM  

    I can agree with Too Much, but we gotta seriously outlaw "defending" then. F1 actually celebrates the block. That's just wrong. A guy works for 10 laps to set someone up, then he just blocks him and no penalty.

  12. Pat W // February 22, 2009 5:48 AM  

    Pressdog, that 'culture' came into F1 20 years ago with Senna. People (journalists, fans) complained about it then and nothing was done (read anything by Nigel Roebuck).

    Schumacher took over and people complained about it, so we got the 'one move rule'. Move across the track once and return to your line (can't repeatedly move over). Schumi practically ignored it and got away with it.
    I agree with moving once to defend, but you shouldn't then move back to the racing line - that's a block.
    If anyone from the IRL does read this, now is the ideal time to set some firm rules on what is and is not acceptable.