If we looked back ten years ago, we would realize the magnitude of the problem that lies ahead for the Spanish fans, because the quarry has been exhausted and there are no candidates. In those years, we lived the final time of Pedro de la Rosa and Marc Gene, Fernando Alonso it was at its peak and behind it was an important contingent of very talented pilots. The clearest relief at that time was Jaime Alguersuari who had already debuted and shown enormous potential, but just behind they were stepping very hard Roberto Merhi, Dani Juncadella, Roldán Rodríguez, Adrian Vallés, Andy Soucek or Dani Clos.

All of the aforementioned had timely contracts as regular drivers or test drivers with Formula 1 teams, which gives an idea of ​​the brutal contrast between those years and the current situation. But the situation is even more worrying when we see that in the categories leading up to Formula 1… the absence of Spanish pilots is sadly the norm today.

Except for the presence of David Vidales Y Pepe Marti, In these years in the European Formula Renault and Formula 3, the arrival of kids with the potential to reach Formula 1 in the short and medium term is not seen on the horizon. In the Spanish Karting and Formula 4 championships, drivers such as Darío Cabanelas, Mari Boya, Alex Lahoz or Lorenzo Fluxá that they could have potential, but they still have a very long way to go before they can be considered future of the maximum specialty of motorsport.

talent everywhere

Ten years ago, not only did we have many pilots in orbit of the Formula 1, but in the lower categories the presence of Spanish riders was very common. There was a lot of quantity, but also quality. Today, perhaps, names like Marcos Martinez-Ucha, Maxi Cortés, Alvaro and Marco Barba, Félix Porteiro, Alejandro Nuñez, Victor García, Miguel Molina, Albert Costa, Borja García, Celso Míguez or Bruno Méndezbut all of them and some more competed and shone at a very high international level in single-seaters.

Of all this golden generation of our motorsports, so impressive both in number and in talent, only Roberto Mehri, Jaime Alguersuari and Carlos Sainz managed to debut in a Grand Prix. ‘Only’, of course, relatively speaking, because with just 20 wheels available, the mere fact of racing a Grand Prix must already be considered a feat. We don’t know if Alex Palou will make his debut in Formula 1 or not, but in any case, having already won the Catalan indy car championship and flirted with victory in the Indianapolis 500 milesit can be considered that he is a driver who has ‘arrived’ and succeeded in international motorsports.

The icon of a generation. (Reuters/Massimo Pinca)

What are the reasons for such a brutal change, in which Spain has gone from having one of the most flourishing quarries, to becoming the current wasteland? How can it be otherwise, there are several reasons that explain the disaster, but one of them prevails above all: money. The progressive impoverishment of Spain with respect to its surrounding countries at European level and with respect to Asian countries at a global level, has severely hit the aspirations of pilots who had talent, but lacked the financial resources at family or business level in As for sponsorships.

It must be remembered that in the years that this golden generation emerged, in Spain there was a healthy Formula 3 championship organized by the company GT Sport de Jesús Pareja and internationally, a Spanish promoter, RPM Racing of Jaime Alguersuari father organized the World Seriesa contest that for several years became the true prelude to Formula 1, even above GP2 (Today Formula 2). Both championships disappeared and with them also the presence of Spanish teamsthat as has always happened at an international level, the first opportunity is normally given to the home riders.

A difficult problem to solve

maybe Spain may be the European country where the drought of talent has occurred most abruptly, but countries with infinite more tradition and power in motorsports are no strangers to this problem, as is the case of France, Italy and even Germany. You just have to take a look at Spanish Formula 4 Championship(which is the only event that gives options to the best drivers from national karting), to realize that money today comes from the East and North America. The solutions are not easy, far from it, because if Formula 3 and the Formula 2 they were always very expensive, with current inflation the fee to access a flyer starts at one million and three million euros respectively. There is no pocket in Spain that can hold it.

Photo: Great atmosphere at the last Monza Grand Prix.  (Formula 1)
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RLC

It is true that the Spanish Automobile Federation could do something else by retrieving, for example, those programs ‘Racing for Spain’ that helped many riders from our country to break through internationally, but given market prices today it is frankly difficult to convince companies to invest in sponsorship in the categories prelude to Formula 1. As has happened in other European countries, most notably in Italy, the Public Treasury, today far from encouraging companies to invest in sports sponsorship, it is almost the other way around and those who patronize are suddenly targeted by inspectors.

What the Spanish Automobile Federation can do is pressure the International Federation, which together with Formula 1, is always willing to support the most varied causes, ignoring the main cause that really does depend on them. It is a cruel sarcasm that the sport’s leaders are filled with the term ‘egalitarian’ all day long, when Formula 1 is perhaps today more than ever the least egalitarian sport in the world, because talent is worth less and less and the money of a multimillionaire father or a country counts more and more. If the panorama does not change, the future is bleak.

If we looked back ten years ago, we would realize the magnitude of the problem that lies ahead for the Spanish fans, because the quarry has been exhausted and there are no candidates. In those years, we lived the final time of Pedro de la Rosa and Marc Gene, Fernando Alonso it was at its peak and behind it was an important contingent of very talented pilots. The clearest relief at that time was Jaime Alguersuari who had already debuted and shown enormous potential, but just behind they were stepping very hard Roberto Merhi, Dani Juncadella, Roldán Rodríguez, Adrian Vallés, Andy Soucek or Dani Clos.

Source: www.elconfidencial.com

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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

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