Speed - the next all American hero? 20 May 2005
The name says it all, but can Californian live up to it?
In Monaco this weekend, Scott Speed is arguably Americas greatest hope of a Formula One star in years. A Red Bull recruit, 22-year-old Speed came to Europe almost two years ago to race in the Formula Renault series, which he won last season. On Friday he makes his Monte Carlo debut in the GP2 series, possibly his final step on the motorsport ladder before a Formula One drive.
Q: Twenty-two seems to be the perfect age to move from the junior leagues into the big time. How do you feel about racing in this newly-created series, which, if you are successful, may well secure you a Formula One seat?
Scott Speed: Twenty-two only looks young. I have a dozen years of racing experience and that makes me almost a veteran. I started out in karting - as so many big names before me and won the national karting championship in the USA that put me on the road to become European Formula Renault champion. So far my career seems to be almost a blue print of a racing career.
Q: You are tied for the lead in the GP2 series. What would winning the championship mean to you?
SS: You can be sure that it would mean more than the addition of a trophy to the shelves of the family home. I am sure it would be the ticket to an F1 ride. Formula One should have an American driver. My father, who was racing himself, speaks very often about the times when Mario Andretti won the F1 championship how enthusiastic Americans were about Formula One - I want to do everything to get that feeling back. It would mean for the American audience to get a great show and for myself a dream come true.
Q: It is your first time competing in Monaco. How does it feel to race through streets - through the grandeur of the Monte Carlo scenery?
SS: It is awesome. There is not too much room for error - the get it right factor is extremely high.
Q: Winning here has started many a young racing career. Are you aware that millions of viewers around the world have their eye on the Monaco weekend?
SS: I am very aware of the impact that a victory on the streets of Monaco would make on my career path. And as Americans - due to history - are always watching very closely anything that goes on in Monaco I think an American winning in Monaco would also skyrocket the American awareness of F1.
Q: And your dreams for the future of Scott Speed, the racer?
SS: Oh yes - to drive a Formula One car at Indianapolis.
Lets hope that dream comes true