Vettel vs Alonso for the title but does anyone in the United States care?

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari on the podium. Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday 22 July 2012.

Sebastian Vettel versus Fernando Alonso moves to Texas

Nov.15 (Reuters) The eyes of the motor racing world will be riveted on Texas this weekend as Formula One makes its return to the United States. The stage has been set for a grand prix weekend of high-drama worthy of a Hollywood Western.

NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 28: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium after winning the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 28, 2012 in Noida, India. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sebastian VettelClinical German Sebastian Vettel and fiery Spaniard Fernando Alonso engage in their own version of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral at the new $ 400 million Circuit of the Americas, but it is unclear if Americans will be watching even with a driver’s championship on the line.

The penultimate race in a title chase that has taken the glamour series to the four corners of the globe could well be decided in the distinctly unglamorous scrublands of south Texas, as F1 tries again to establish a presence in the U.S. following a five-year absence.

Vettel, who will be making his 100th career start in Austin, will have an opportunity to complete a hat-trick of titles at the U.S. Grand Prix and join Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio and Germany’s Michael Schumacher as the only drivers to win three titles in a row.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 battle. Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday 9 September 2012.“I think we were not always fast enough this year but for the last couple of races we were, so [I am] looking forward to the next two races,” said Vettel, cautiously assessing his position following a third-place finish in Abu Dhabi earlier this month. “The fans got the best F1 for a long time. I personally would have loved it to be a little bit more boring at some stages. The tyres keep results up in the air until the very last metres of the race. When you are in the hunt you still can turn it around – and when you are in the lead you can still lose it.”

A 27th career win in his Red Bull would move Vettel into a tie with Sir Jackie Stewart on the all-time wins list but it still may not be enough to clinch a championship. Vettel, who tops the standings with 255 points to Alonso’s 245, must finish with 15 more points than his Spanish rival in Sunday’s race, to wrap up the drivers’ championship.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari on the podium. Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Sunday 26 September 2010. BEST IMAGEA sixth victory of the season would give Vettel the title if Alonso places outside the top four. Should Alonso fail to score a point, Vettel must still finish at least third. One thing is certain – the Spaniard will not go down without a fight. Ferrari‘s Alonso has stood on the top step of the podium three times this year and will be determined to take the championship down to the final race in Brazil.

“I am confident, we will fight until the end,” said Alonso, who would move into a tie for fourth on the all-time win list alongside former-champion Nigel Mansell by notching his 31st career victory on Sunday. “We are not fast enough, this is true and we are honest with ourselves, we know this. We need to accept this. We have some strong [features] which we will try to use.”

Race winner, Kasey Kahne (USA) Dodge Dealers leads the field. NEXTEL Nascar Cup, Samsung Radioshack 500, Fort Worth, Texas, USA, 4 April 2006. DIGITAL IMAGEThey like big things in Texas and there is nothing bigger in motor racing than the crowning of a new F1 champion but for many Americans, Vettel and Alonso could just as easily be field goal kickers in the NFL as the world’s leading drivers. There is a good reason their names are not familiar. There has not been an F1 race in the U.S. since 2007 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and there will be no Americans on the starting grid.

While Sunday’s race could be the pinnacle of the F1 season, America’s motor sports fans do not view the U.S. Grand Prix with as much anticipation. In Texas, NASCAR is king and it is likely more eyeballs and television remotes will be focused on Homestead, Florida where the Chase Championship will also be decided on Sunday.

This is also football country, where Friday night high school games can attract crowds of a size that some English Premier League teams would envy. Saturday’s belong to college gridiron and the Texas Longhorns, while Sundays are dominated by the NFL with Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys taking the local spotlight.

Subbed by AJN.

  • michaelprescottmacarthur

    I care. I’m only one person, and my work schedule has not allowed me to do any traveling this year, but I care.
    Now here in the States, Drive fast and turn left will always be number #1. Open wheel only counts when it’s Indy.
    There are many of us here but we are spread out.
    When I was younger I would watch racing on the CBC. Now it’s Speed. I really hope that NBC doesn’t screw this up.
    the last comments about the Dallas Cowboys made me laugh. I know tons of Texans that can’t stand that group of thugs.
    Go IceMan.

  • hillside

    Americans would still care if the race is still in Indy

  • Butterfly

    All F1 fans care, for sure.

  • Disgusted with 2012

    The US market does not follow open wheel racing as a general rule. NASCAR is the nations motor-sport, with NHRA just behind it. Ask anyone interested in racing if they know who Petty or John Force is, and they know, and likely have a story to tell. Ask who Andretti is, and most will know, but associate him with the Indy 500, not F1. Other than a few standouts like Schumacher, F1 is a non-entity in the USA. Attendance at Indy was tanking, so the venue has little to do with it. If F1 wants to gain attention here, it will take effort beyond throwing up a race, it will take a campaign to increase awareness and capture the imagination of motor sports fans. To date, this has no happened. F1 failure in the USA is F1′s fault. We in the USA have plenty of other great racing to watch, from outlaws to drag cars, we really don’t need F1 here, beyond serving a small community of F1 fans, like me. If F1 wants to change that, they need to make the effort and not expect it to happen by magic.

  • fools

    I care. See you at the race

  • fools

    this whole F1 GP is pretty much all sold out. Hotels are sold out.

    What idiot goes to a race not knowing whose fighting for the championship. “umm im going the the football game, whose playing though?” come on…everyone who goes to racing events knows whats going on or whose in it for the WDC. There are many F1 fans in America. Indy never went well because its a NASCAR track. not a freaking circuit like COTA. Thats why marketing and fans seem skeptic if any feel that way on purchasing tickets. However this is in Texas..Bigger place. New circuit, a real circuit not a rented oval track set up for turns. Boring!

    This will be great for the U.S. and people already are very excited like myself and others im talked to already. Its all over…sky rocketed prices. You people who think F1 doesn’t live in the U.S. are morons. It is huge here. We just have alot more going on in the U.S. which makes it difficult to grab everyone’s attention just for F1. There is football, basketball, soccer, hockey, NHRA, NASCAR, college football, college basketball all going right now. This season…Not everyone can afford F1 and have time to go. Simple as that. Europe has alot going to but not as much as the U.S. in one given weekend. I can tell you that much for sure.

  • Butterfly

    @fools:

    Damn right!