JANUARY 20, 2014
F1 not always best option for Brazilians
The president of Brazil's auto racing federation is not sure it is true that "F1 is always the best option" for the country's rising drivers.
Confederacao Brasileira de Automobilismo (CBA) president Cleyton Pinteiro's comments follow the criticism of well-known F1 figures like Felipe Massa and Rubens Barrichello, who have said more should be done to support new Brazilian drivers on the road to formula one.
Brazil has a rich history of F1 drivers, with Ayrton Senna considered perhaps the sport's all-time great, Nelson Piquet and Emerson Fittipaldi also winning titles, Barrichello holding the record as the most experienced driver and Massa also enjoying a long and successful Ferrari career.
But with that seat now taken by Kimi Raikkonen, Massa has moved to struggling Williams for 2014, and he will be alone in flying the green, yellow and blue colours around the F1 calendar this year.
That's because burgeoning drivers like Luiz Razia and Felipe Nasr have stumbled at the final hurdle to F1, as despite the strong Brazilian economy, both were priced out of the market for race seats in the past couple of years.
Pinteiro, however, insists that F1 is not the be-all and end-all of top motor sport.
"Today, Brazil is a reference in almost all of the categories worldwide," he told Globo Esporte.
"We have strong national motor sport, which pays well and gives the drivers a return for their sponsors.
"Luiz Razia and Felipe Nasr are not absent (from F1) because they lack talent. F1 is not always the best option," Pinteiro argues.
"We have several Brazilians racing in several global categories, which unfortunately is not properly recognised.
"Do a search for who is the current vice-champion of the (German touring car series) DTM. Did you know it is Augusto Farfus?
"A Brazilian won the Indianapolis 500 and another (Brazilian) driver fought for the (2013 Indycar) championship until the very last race," he added.
"The world of motor sport is not limited to F1," Pinteiro insisted.
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