Dario turns back on F1

IRL star Dario Franchitti has admitted that he has given up on any hope of securing a Formula 1 drive. The Scot, who switched from the ITC to Champ Cars in 1997 and has remained in US-based championships ever since, has in the past frequently hinted that he would like to race in F1

Dario turns back on F1

"I really think my time for Formula 1 has passed," he said. "Maybe four or five years ago, but not now. I wouldn't want to do it anyway."

The closest Franchitti came to grand prix racing was when he tested for the Jaguar Racing squad in July 2000. His name, along with that of Jenson Button's, was linked to a drive with the team, but the deal failed to materialise. Franchitti was again connected to Jaguar when Champ Car team owner Bobby Rahal became its CEO in the winter of the same year, but eventually the drive went to Brazilian driver Luciano Burti.

The Scot remained in Champ Cars through to the end of 2002 when he made the switch with the Andretti Racing Green team to the IRL IndyCar Series. But he broke his back in a motorcycle accident early in the season and was kept out for the rest of the year. So far this season he has taken a pole and a win for AGR and currently lies sixth in the standings as he seeks to re-establish himself.

"The IRL is the most competitive series I have driven in and I am with an excellent team," he said. "I think the Formula 1 door has been permanently closed. I might like to come back (to Europe) and do the DTM if I could, but not F1."

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