An independent report recently highlighted the British motorsport industry as a paragon of enterprise and innovation. Taking a global view of the business, the nation’s influence is indeed remarkable.
Although much of this success can be traced to valuable formative years in British national racing, where there are undeniably a vast range of opportunities, the fact remains that the proliferation of national championships around 120 at the last count, catering from everything north of the Citroen 2CV could actually be hindering a young driver’s chance to progress. If Britain wants its current level of F1 representation to be sustained in the future, then a clearer chain of opportunity must be established.
One cannot knock the support of manufacturers such as Vauxhall, Renault or Ford in providing viable single-seater series for young drivers, particularly when the current level of entries suggests that there is demand enough to support them. But the fact remains that it is becoming ever harder for the manager of, say, an F3 team to pinpoint the abilities of rising young stars, irrespective of their nationality, when they have not been competing against each other.
Surely, by the time a driver is ready for Formula Three, where there are limited places available, one should know whether or not they are truly fit to be groomed to international standard? S A