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Carey: American expansion not at Europe's expense

NEWS STORY
03/05/2018

For as long as most European F1 fans can remember, Bernie Ecclestone appeared determined to take the sport further and further afield, while claiming that the continent was now essentially the new third world.

Ironically however, many of those new additions to the calendar were forced to adapt to Europe’s TV schedule, Ecclestone always insisting on having his cake and eating it.

And yet, in his final year as F1 supremo, Ecclestone brought France back into the F1 fold while refusing to take Vietnam's money, feeling that other than having too many existing races in south-east Asia, Vietnam would be a step too far.

A year into its first full season in control, F1, under its new owners, looks set to confirm its first new race, assuming the City of Miami Commission gives it the thumbs up next Thursday.

Since buying F1, Liberty Media has made no secret of its desire to expand the sport in its backyard, with talk of races in New York and Las Vegas as well as Miami.

Ahead of next week's crucial vote, which will see Liberty realise at least one of its dream events, Chase Carey is at pains to assure European fans that the sport has no intention of turning its back on them, even though the future of a number of events is in doubt, not least the place where it all began, Silverstone, which at present has two more Grands Prix before its contract runs out after owners, the British Racing Drivers Club, pulled the plug in the days running up to last year's event.

"We have been very clear from probably the day we came in about our goals and ambitions to grow the sport in the US, and grow the sport also in Asia," said Carey, according to Autosport.

"We are very proud of the race we have in Texas, but we have talked about destination cities and I guess the three we have thrown out most often have been New York, Miami and Las Vegas. So it fits with what we have been talking about and saying.

"To be clear, it is not at the expense of the sport in Europe, which is the foundation of this sport, the home of this sport and this sport will always be built, as far as I am concerned, on its foundations," he insists.

"This is a strong sport in Europe, but we believe there are opportunities to grow the sport in places like in China and the US, the two biggest media economies in the world," he admits. "We have announced some initiatives in China recently when we were there in Shanghai and have taken some steps to do that. We are likewise looking to do that in the US.

"There are obviously steps we have to go through, we are engaged with other cities in the US, but we think Miami would be a wonderful city to host a race.

"We are working through the process to determine if that is something we can put together with the city in a way that works for both of us."

While appearing to deliberately avoid mentioning Vietnam, which is said to be a done deal, it's worth noting that though "proud" of the event in Texas, organisers there are clearly struggling, and as a result of being unable to agree a more acceptable deal are having to continue to get punters through the gates by relying on pop concerts.

Furthermore, if rumours that Miami, much like ESPN, is to get its F1 for free, the move is unlikely to go down well with other venues or indeed the teams.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Ro, 04/05/2018 19:33

"Obviously Media Liberty just doesnt get it! There is an old saying : "If it works, dont change it". The only reason they want to change it is greed, not the fans, not the racing, just greed"

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2. Posted by Liam III, 04/05/2018 18:35

"It doesn't matter how many races you have here if the TV coverage is not there to back them up no one will see them. Does Liberty plan to use the ESPN Indycar announcing crew here? "

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