June 20, 2024


Automotive pure lust

Formula 1 is in its Golden Era of Drivers Like the NFL is With Quarterbacks

BMW Sauber F1

Formula 1 is captivating with growing popularity thanks to a Netflix documentary. The elite racing series has been around for more than half a century, yet it is finally seeing a balloon in the United States. That is helping the popularity of the sport as it gives those who like and football watching an appetizer most Sundays.

The Netflix series is complementary to the actual races. It takes fans behind the scenes of the races they’ve already watched to see in greater detail what decisions were made, how drivers changed seats, and other storylines not apparent on race day.

The best part is both American football, and Formula 1 fans are a global enterprise. Not only are there but also Formula 1 betting and daily fantasy sports opportunities. But also, like the NFL, there is a passing of the baton in terms of a golden era of quarterbacks and drivers.

The Drivers

Lewis Hamilton is of all time, and there isn’t anyone in the conversation with him. Hamilton, 37 years old, has 103 checkered flags to his name, far greater than anyone, and is the only driver to reach triple digits. The next closest active driver is Sebastian Vettel, who has 53 wins and was one of the greatest racers before Hamilton’s dominance began. Vettel is third on the all-time wins list.

The emerging racer, however, is Max Verstappen. He won the driver’s championship a season ago and has clinched it once more already in 2022. His 32 wins already are good enough to tie for sixth with active driver Fernando Alonso, who signed with Aston Martin for 2023. But Verstappen is only 25 years old and figures to be the face of Red Bull for many years to come.

Up and Coming

Next in line figures to be George Russell, the 24-year-old English star seated alongside Hamilton with Mercedes. The constructor elected not to re-sign Valtteri Bottas, who has ten career Grand Prix victories and is now with Alfa Romeo.

Russell has yet to break through with his first victory, but he does have seven podiums, one pole, and one fastest lap in his young career. He’s shown plenty of promise for Mercedes team principal and CEO Toto Wolff.

Perhaps Alexander Albon, a 26-year-old also from England, has three podiums racing for Williams. Fellow 26-year-old Pierre Gasly, who had a brief stint with Red Bull, has a win, three podiums, and three fastest laps.

NFL Comparison

The NFL is going through a transitional period, too. Tom Brady has the most Super Bowl wins of any quarterback and, at 45 years old, is looking to wrap up his stellar career. He retired, but that lasted 40 days before he decided to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have good on winning another Super Bowl.

He had a great rivalry with Peyton Manning when Brady was with the New England Patriots and Manning with the Indianapolis Colts. But there is a new wave of quarterbacks for fans to support.

The best comparison is Patrick Mahomes III of the Kansas City Chiefs and Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills. The two have already had an incredible playoff matchup, and another phenomenal regular season game was played in 2022.

Those two certainly will carry the league forward. But there are other blossoming stars, like Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.

Now the NFL also has its aging stars who will soon retire. Think Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers, good enough to win MVPs but not lead his team to Super Bowl victories, and Matt Ryan, who was with the Atlanta Falcons and is now with the Colts.

The same can be said for Formula 1 with some legendary drivers – including Danny Ricciardo, if only for his quick-witted humor – to make way for a newer wave of fresh faces who could lead the constructors forward in their championship desires.