• 22

Some observers criticize F1 (and motorsports in general) for its racial homogeny. Aside from the notable exception of some Japanese drivers (and Williams test driver Narain Karthikeyan) the field of grand prix pilots is almost entirely white, with the majority of drivers coming from Europe.

McLaren protégé Lewis Hamilton, a Black British driver of West Indie origin, might add some color to the F1 grid if he makes the jump from GP2 to Formula One next season as many predict. Now Ho-Pin Tung, champion of the German F3 series, is looking to advance to GP2 (or alternatively Champ Cars) for next season with an eye towards F1 in 2008. Ethnically Chinese, Tung, who was born in Holland and tested for Williams in 2003, would be China's first F1 driver.

Should race be a consideration in racing, or should talent and capability be the sole factors? Does the fact that both Hamilton and Tung were born in European countries minimize the diversity they could bring to motorsport? Toss in your two cents in our comments section (and please, keep it tasteful).

[Source: F1i.com]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I meant there were very good race car drivers (racers)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ideally, of course, race shouldn't matter. But in todays corporate racing world, how much sponsorship a driver brings to the table materially affects his ability to get a ride. And the more you bring to the table, the better your ride is likely to be. Marketing is about getting people to identify with your product. The easier it is for them to identify with your spokesperson, the more likely they are to buy it/use it/wear it/smoke it. Tung and Hamilton could bring a whole new crowd with a whole new pocketbook to the races, which makes things better for everyone.
      At the end of the day, though, they still have to perform. Nobody buys anything from a perenial loser.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You tell us to keep the comments tasteful but you yourself are insulting many people with your uneducated comments.

      Excuse me but have you heard of Indian racer Narain Karthikeyan who raced for Jordan in 2005 and now a Williams test driver.

      Yes I know the ethnic balance in motor racing is extremely uneven but please do some research before you post on website viewed by millions of people worldwide on such a sensitive subject.

      p.s West Indie origin is that some type of new wave music(????)

      • 8 Years Ago
      Methinks the writer is mixing "ethnicity" or "race" with Nationality.

      Hamilton is a Brit.
      Tung is Dutch.
      As far as I know Tung does not represent the country China, or Taiwan.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Dan Drive (#2): Thanks for pointing out the omission of Narain. Of course I made that correction. But how can you call me uneducated when you think the West Indies is a type of music?

      Felonious Monk (#3): Chinese is an ethnicity, not a political affiliation. And for your information, I don’t live in America.

      Galapodor (#4): Leaving out Karthikeyan was an omission, not bigotry. So why don’t you just calm down. As for Hamilton, he is Black. I didn’t make it up. I don’t see the necessity for personal attacks, but if that makes you feel better, good for you.

      I’ll commend everyone else (save Shakeaaar Khan in #5) for addressing the substance and not the style. I’d tend to agree with “Spaceweasel” in our first comment: as a sport, race shouldn’t matter, but as a business, the diversity attracts more markets.
      • 8 Years Ago
      For me, in all sporting or athletic endeavours talent and capability is the only thing that matters. Period.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If Tiger Woods could drive like he golfs, he already would have won everything there is to win in motorsports.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey, why would Tung, who was born in Holland, be China's first F1 driver? He's not from China. For all we know, he's never even been there. However, he may be the first Chinese F1 driver. That would be interesting.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't care what colour he is, he's cute!

      Yeah yeah, you guys can cringe, but the fact remains that he has appeal with some of the undocumented female viewers.

      Almost as charming as drifting star Ken Gushi!
      • 8 Years Ago
      In a couple of generations, with all the inter-racial mixing going on, we'll only have one color!!! I wonder how the race cars will look like and what they'll say about my great great grandson, who I can only hope will become a great F1 Driver....'Here we have Steve ???? Part West Indian, part Caucasian, part Vietnamese, Part African/American, Part Hispanic.....
      Greg A.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Some observers criticize F1 (and motorsports in general) for its racial homogeny."

      While 'homogeny' is a word, I believe 'homogeneity' is the proper word in this context. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
      • 8 Years Ago
      lol the contributer must be trying to start a flame war!

      "Hamilton and Tung could bring some color to F1"

      what a stupid and deeply moronic title. Saying that the entire f1 field is made up of generic naziesque white crackers?! wrong, i cannot find another race series with such a diverse mix of countries.

      You do not mention past 50 years of nascar with the field of 30+ cars driven by WHITE AMERICNANS in AMERICAN "ONLY" BUILT CARS do you. I am sure you are trying to flame F1 for being white europeans, but it is nothing in comparison compared to overwhelming race bias in NASCAR.
    • Load More Comments