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Domenicali hoping F1 teams will look at American drivers

NEWS STORY
09/05/2021

Determined to increase the sport's popularity in its own backyard, having secured a second Grand Prix in the United States, F1 now wants to see an American driver on the grid.

It's fair to say that the United States has enjoyed a difficult relationship with the United States, with most of the blame lying with the sport itself.

While there have been two American world champions, Phil Hill and Mario Andretti, the sport has never shown the respect to American fans that it should.

Ignoring the debacle that was Indianapolis 2005, over the years the sport has almost appeared to mock its supporters in what many consider to be the home of the automobile, particularly in its choice of venues. While ignoring the likes of Laguna Seca, instead fans were treated to cars 'racing' around a Las Vegas casino's car park.

Like drivers, American teams were few and far between, and even then, for the most part, treated with the arrogance that Europeans do best.

However, since Liberty Media took control of the sport, the company has made no secret of its desire to expand the sport in its backyard, and having added a second American race to the calendar, is looking to encourage one or two 'home boys' to the sport.

The last American driver to compete in F1 was Alexander Rossi who drove for Manor Marussia in 2015. Shunned by Haas when it entered the sport a year later, Rossi headed to IndyCar where he finished runner-up in 2018.

Speaking to investors, F1 boss, Stefano Domenicali has made clear that one of his next objectives is to encourage the teams to look at American drivers.

Asked if an American driver lining up on the grid in Miami would give F1 the boost it needs in America, Domenicali said: "With regard to Miami with the American drivers, it is important. The answer for me is very clear, it's yes.

"You know, we are working with teams," he continued, "trying to understand what is really the possibility for American drivers to come to the attention of F1 teams in the short term.

"This could come," he added. "I don't see that, being very pragmatic and realistic, coming in the next two or three years. But maybe after, yes.

"I know that there are teams watching other good drivers, that if they're ready, will be a big boost for the American fans. Because as we know faces, drivers, they put enthusiasm, passion, the people want to see these guys.

"Therefore, the hope is that we have is that very, very soon, we have American drivers competing against all the others in the F1 championship."

Referring to the race in Miami, which finally got the green light last month, he said: "The good news is that we are talking about another race in the US, with different culture, with a different philosophy, with the different way that we're going to structure the show around it.

"And the incredible news is that in just a couple of weeks after our announcement, the attention with regard to this event is really massive, and the expectation of getting the level that we want.

"This is the reason why we are building a good series of communications with the American community, because we want to maximise everything out of it.

"I can anticipate, for example, one thing that will be fantastic. We're going to share with the stadium of Miami Gardens and with the Miami Dolphins, the race in Monaco, because they want to start living the atmosphere. This will provide us the right platform in order to be ready to make sure that the value that we're going to generate from the US will be even higher.

"And that's really the fundamental strategical thinking behind the fact that we're going to have two races in the United States."

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1. Posted by Rock Doc, 04/06/2021 16:49

" " ... It's fair to say that the United States has enjoyed a difficult relationship with the United States, with most of the blame lying with the sport itself. ..."

I'm not sure F1 can be blamed for January 6th but I could be wrong here :).

"

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2. Posted by Wokingchap, 09/05/2021 17:33

"So the main reason is money then........ don't get me wrong i'd love to see more races in the USA especially Laguna Seca."

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