‘Would you rather watch the same guy win?’ Settling the great F1 vs NASCAR debate


Over the past few weeks, the debate of which form of motorsport is best has been taking over social media.

Respected journalists, such as Chad Neylon and Simon Chapman, and even Scott McLaughlin have seemingly taken the side that NASCAR is more entertaining to watch.

So, what sparked the great debate?

In late February 2024, NASCAR saw one of the greatest finishes in motorsport history, with a three-wide photo finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway between Daniel Suarez, Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch, with Suarez taking the win by just 0.003 seconds.

The footage of the finish was trending on social media all over the world, with fans in awe of just how close it was.

Thus, the debate. ‘Would you rather watch this, or watch the same guy (Max Verstappen) win 23/24 races in a year?’

Max Verstappen. (Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Formula 1 fans defended their sport, but the support for NASCAR was so much stronger.

In 2022, NASCAR introduced it’s ‘next-generation’ car, which saw a whopping 19 different winners in a 36-race season, the most in the sport’s history, while F1 in 2022 saw just five different winners, and in 2023, three different winners.

While NASCAR is a sport that can be difficult to understand, a lot of motorsport fans across the world overlook just how difficult it can be, with lots of people saying, ‘they just turn left’.

To a small extent, this is true. But what most don’t understand is the complexity of drafting, aerodynamics, setups, and general race craft.

One major thing F1 lacks is the use of the drivers’ race craft, and the ability to pull off a clean move without help.

The sport uses DRS (Drag Reduction System) that helps the cars go faster in a straight line, by opening part of the rear wing and reducing the amount of drag on the car.

You don’t get racing like this anywhere else. pic.twitter.com/4DBYFwRkvD

— NASCAR (@NASCAR) March 6, 2024

Drivers have the ability to use this when they are within one second of the car ahead in the DRS zone.

A lot of the time, the drivers can push this button, see a little bit of resistance from the car ahead, and fly by without a second thought.

The use of this tool was actually brought up by the pair of Daytona 500-winning teammates Joey Logano and Austin Cindric whilst commentating the NASCAR Xfinity race in Las Vegas this weekend.

“He’s (Riley Herbst) got a chance with this thing, as long as he stays within one second, which is Formula 1 DRS range…”, Cindric said as Logano laughed.

“What? We’re not doing that!”, Logano said.

“This is so much better!”

This comes off the back of Verstappen winning the first F1 race of the year in Bahrain over teammate Sergio Perez by a whopping 22.45 seconds.

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It may take a while before ‘the pinnacle of motorsport’ baton is handed over to NASCAR, but the real question is, can F1 really improve?

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