The allure of Formula One

Every other weekend throughout the racing season, millions of people tune in to watch a Formula One Grand Prix. Thousands come to the track for each race. What is the allure of F1 that draws so many fans either to their televisions or race ...

Every other weekend throughout the racing season, millions of people tune in to watch a Formula One Grand Prix. Thousands come to the track for each race.

What is the allure of F1 that draws so many fans either to their televisions or race circuits, more worldwide fans than any other racing series? Why is it the most popular form of motorsport in the world? Here's what selected F1 drivers had to say as they head to the United States Grand Prix on Sept. 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

"It starts with the fact that most human beings love cars, and F1 is the ultimate speed for car racing, the highest competition you have in car racing, and I guess it is the main reason why it is loved so much. It gives very entertaining races over many years, as I remember, and it has grown in popularity." -- Michael Schumacher, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, five-time World Champion, 2000 USGP winner

"There is nothing that can compete with a F1 car. F1 is at the top of the ladder, and anything else is a step down." -- Jacques Villeneuve, Lucky Strike BAR Honda, 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner, 1997 World Champion

"The speed is the number-one thing. For technology, you don't have anything more than we have here. It attracts the best drivers in the world, the best teams and many big car manufacturers. People like to see the competition between all of these." -- Cristiano da Matta, Panasonic Toyota Racing, 2002 CART champion

"It's the pinnacle of motor racing. It's the attention to detail that goes into it, the pressure that's involved, the speed. You watch an F1 car go through Becketts (corner at Silverstone), and it's different (from any other car.) The F1 car is awesome to watch: We have great TV, which makes it look nice, as well. It's a different type of action in F1; you've got the pit stops, and you can never bet on (the outcome of) motor racing in general because nothing's ever going to be certain. We here don't know who's going to win this weekend. We've got an idea, but we don't know who's going to win. That's why the fans are going to watch it." -- Mark Webber, Jaguar Racing

"Most people like to drive and the freedom that driving gives them. The knowledge that F1 is the fastest cars with the best technology and the most gizmos and the high speed, all make these things make it exciting and interesting. We all know that there are other formulas of racing that give closer and better racing. But people don't aspire to race a sedan in a touring car race at some remote track. Some people dream of doing that, but you aim for the top in your wildest dreams. And F1 is the top of motorsport." -- David Coulthard, West McLaren Mercedes

"It's the speed of the cars. The competition. The fights between the drivers. To see cars on the limit on such a high level. I would recommend everyone who likes F1 and watches it on TV to go to watch it live on a circuit because it looks like a different thing again. If you see it live, you think it is even more incredible." -- Nick Heidfeld, Sauber Petronas

"F1 is the top of four-wheel motorsport. There is nothing better than F1. F1 is technology, money, nice girls ^Å We have to show the people that this is something really special. At the end of the day, the people watching on TV see all of us, that we are living in a fantastic atmosphere and in a fantastic world. It is not really like this, but they see F1 as the most beautiful world." -- Jarno Trulli, Mild Seven Renault F1 Team

"It is the top category in motorsports. The people like to see the maximum, the biggest event. When I watch swimming on TV, I prefer to watch the world championships than to watch the Spanish championships. Because F1 is so big in motorsports, people like that. We have the big budgets, maximum technology, big companies here, and that attracts the people. The biggest events are always the most exciting for the people." -- Fernando Alonso, Mild Seven Renault F1 Team

"First of all, because everybody likes the speed of the F1 cars. They like the life of the F1 drivers. They like the ambience. But I think most of all, they really like the cars. A lot of people want to feel the risk. It makes it exciting for the people because the risk is a key point of F1." -- Olivier Panis, Panasonic Toyota Racing

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Michael Schumacher , Mark Webber , David Coulthard , Olivier Panis , Jacques Villeneuve , Nick Heidfeld , Fernando Alonso , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Toyota Racing , Renault F1 Team , Jaguar Racing