Slashdot linked up this New York Times article detailing how technology has affected Formula-1 racing. In a nutshell: this sh*t is expensive, but it works.
However, the article gives short shrift to the drivers, who play a larger role than a casual observer would imagine. Ferrari are dominant, especially this season, not just because they have a fast car, but because they have arguably the best driver who's ever lived on their team. When the other teams are on the ball, Schumacher's teammate Rubens Barrichello has his hands full holding them off, while Schumacher simply walks away. When he drove for Benneton I watched him dominate a race so thoroughly that even driving a car stuck in 4th gear for half the race he managed to come in 3rd.
F-1 is Top Gun. NASCAR may be fun, and IRL may look the same, but there's nothing quite like the very best drivers pushing the very best engineering to the absolute edge of what either can do. There really is no substitute.