The F1 fan engagement mentality that shocked a Daytona 500 winner - Motor Informed
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The F1 fan engagement mentality that shocked a Daytona 500 winner

However for Cindric essentially the most notable distinction will not be within the technical rules nor the utterly totally different sporting strategy. As an alternative, it’s fan engagement that stands out for him as the largest deviation.

Cindric attended his first F1 race in Canada final weekend and bought to see up shut how an actual life grand prix performed out. Having bought used to a sequence the place followers get totally up near the drivers, he was shocked at how totally different the connection was between the rivals and spectators.

“It’s possibly the mentality greater than the rest that’s the distinction,” he advised Autosport. “In contrast to most conventional NASCAR drivers, I suppose I have been uncovered to plenty of totally different types of motorsport and I believe it’s not the exclusivity, however that every little thing’s very structured, every little thing is sort of a bit tense, a bit severe. And possibly on a wet day like in Canada, it is in all probability been amplified.

“It is actually manner totally different from what I’ve turn out to be accustomed to as a driver, particularly so far as your business obligations are all through a weekend, versus what number of race followers you actually work together with.

“I am unable to say I’ve seen a single race fan after driving the pontoon boat over to the paddock right here. Whereas I am unable to stroll anyplace, inside in all probability a 5 mile radius of a NASCAR race, with out seeing a race fan and taking a while with them.”

This distance between followers and driver is, he reckons, a consider why the Netflix: Drive to Survive sequence has been such an enormous hit worldwide: as a result of it has lastly supplied a window for the surface world to see the true personalities at play within the F1 paddock.

PLUS: Why Netflix isn’t the sole reason behind F1’s modern-day boom

“I believe it humanises a considerably seemingly untouchable sport: even from a fan on the surface,” he stated.

“Possibly it is one thing that F1 desperately wanted, as a result of you’ve got so many individuals who’ve come to the race this weekend and you do not have the entry like a NASCAR fan does.

Cindric is used to encountering fans trackside at NASCAR events

Cindric is used to encountering followers trackside at NASCAR occasions

Photograph by: Tim Parks / NKP / Motorsport Images

“If I’ll a NASCAR race and I’ve entry to the storage, there’s a 90% likelihood you are going to see or meet your favorite driver. Whereas I assure you anybody carrying a Purple Bull hat right here might be by no means going to see the whites of Max Verstappen’s eyes till he stands on the rostrum on the finish of the day.

“That is only a distinction. Once you humanise these moments, which I believe is what they’ve carried out with this Netflix present, they’ve given life to who these persons are, and that is the place you get the connection.”

Because the son of Penske president Tim Cindric, Austin grew up surrounded by the American motorsport scene – however F1 was at all times there within the background.

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“I believe my earliest recollections are for me IndyCar,” he says. “I grew up round IndyCar racing: being in IndyCar races, being within the IndyCar paddock.

“In all probability my earliest recollections of F1 are exhibiting up at IMS, the morning of the Indy 500, and getting within the storage space. Everybody’s sort of bought their pre race jitters, and it was the engineering workers and the drivers all simply glued to the TV screens watching Monaco. So it is in all probability my earliest recollections.

“However actually, I’ve simply bought an appreciation for motorsport. Clearly, F1 is a totally totally different self-discipline to NASCAR. It is even simply how the security automobiles are: a yellow flag has a considerably totally different process with restarts and every little thing that we do in NASCAR, which I really feel makes our sport considerably totally different than plenty of different types of racing.

“Whereas, F1, it is extra in regards to the pure technique of the race. And the truth that you do not have to replenish gasoline within the race: the one technique you’ve got is tyre technique. So there’s plenty of variations, and it makes it a bit thrilling to look at.”


The attraction of F1 to Cindric is evident although, which is why he elected to spend a uncommon off-weekend from NASCAR not stress-free at dwelling, however as an alternative trackside in Montreal.

Cindric believes Netflix has helped F1 drivers become more humanised and revealed a different side to them which isn't easy for fans to pick up on

Cindric believes Netflix has helped F1 drivers turn out to be extra humanised and revealed a special facet to them which is not straightforward for followers to choose up on

Photograph by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

“That is my first time ever at an F1 grand prix, so it’s a fairly distinctive alternative,” he stated. “We have now one off-weekend in our schedule from February all through November, and I’ve determined to spend it at a racetrack!

“I bear in mind watching F1 qualifying not too long ago on TV and I questioned if there was a day trip of the 12 months that it really works out I may go: and it simply so occurred to be Canada. Clearly, it is pretty shut by, a fairly straightforward journey. So, I bought in contact with of us at Shell and Pennzoil. They usually bought me out right here. To have the ability to sort of expertise this, there are fairly cool views for certain.”

Beneath the possession of Liberty Media, F1 has made an enormous push to broaden its presence in america – and that may culminate with three grands prix within the nation subsequent 12 months.

And whereas the tradition of the vastly in style NASCAR sequence is a world away from the Eurocentric custom of F1, Cindric says there isn’t a hurt within the two classes being at totally different ends of the spectrum for the American viewers.

PLUS: How F1 finally cracked America

“I believe they are often embraced by the identical individuals in several methods,” he explains. “What makes me as a fan excited to look at an F1 race is totally totally different to what makes me, as a race fan, excited to look at a NASCAR race. So I believe that ought to each be embraced.

“I believe you see guys like Daniel Ricciardo speaking about how a lot he enjoys NASCAR and his appreciation for what we get to do on a weekly foundation. And I believe that the extra that may be embraced, and the extra you do not alienate, then the higher it’s.

“They’re two racing sequence however they are often so totally different. In America we’ve got faculty soccer diehards and NFL diehards. They’re each enjoying [American] soccer, however it’s two utterly totally different units of athletes. In racing, I believe it is much more totally different.

“You may have utterly totally different disciplines going to totally different racetracks, having totally different challenges. And the automobiles are clearly about as totally different as you may make them.”

NASCAR and F1 couldn't be more different in terms of their spectacle, but Cindric doesn't think that's a bad thing for US audiences

NASCAR and F1 could not be extra totally different when it comes to their spectacle, however Cindric would not suppose that is a nasty factor for US audiences

Photograph by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Whereas Cindric’s profession focus proper now may be very a lot on NASCAR, he isn’t shy to confess that he would love the chance for an F1 check in some unspecified time in the future.

“You possibly can say I am too tall, however individuals have been telling me that my complete profession,” he laughed. “I will surely like to drive one. I believe so far as ever hoping to race one? I believe the tradition simply would not assist that. You do not have one-off entries. That simply would not occur.

“However I am very keen about motorsports. I am very keen about my background and being versatile, and also you sort of miss that generally. I really feel like [Juan Pablo] Montoya was sort of one of many final guys to have the ability to try this, though you’ve got bought Kimi [Raikkonen] coming in to do a NASCAR race.

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“I will surely love the chance to drive one. It is massive respect for the equipment, the driving and what goes into it for certain. And definitely getting extra perspective on it from being right here in Canada.”

Cindric says he has much more perspective on F1 having seen it up close

Cindric says he has far more perspective on F1 having seen it up shut

Photograph by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

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