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Team bosses believe North America could support 5 races

NEWS STORY
29/10/2021

As F1 looks to take another gamble on Las Vegas, some team bosses are convinced that North America could support as many as five races.

Whatever the truth of the matter in terms of F1's supposed "boom", the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas is proving popular.

Thankfully, the organisers have found a way to balance the books, even if it meant bringing music acts on board, celebrity visitors and Spam eating contests - we kid you not.

Next season sees Miami come on board, and, as previously reported, a delegation from Las Vegas was given VIP treatment at COTA last weekend.

From the moment they bought the sport, Liberty Media made no secret of its desire to promote F1 in its own backyard, and the continued success of COTA, and now Miami, is clearly a step in the right direction.

While some of the circuits used by F1 in the United States in the past have been questionable, it is worth remembering that between 1976 and 1984, the United States regularly hosted two races a year, either in the form of The US East and US West Grands Prix, USW and Las Vegas, USW and Detroit or Detroit and Dallas.

Indeed, that brace of races in 1976, was the first time a nation had hosted two rounds of the world championship in the same year since Italy in 1957.

An ever-expanding calendar, combined with an increasing fan-base has team bosses feeling that the home of the automobile is ready to support more races.

"The market could definitely handle a third race," believes Zak Brown. "You know, it's very complicated to put these races together, so the obvious wish list would be... New York would be great, Las Vegas would be great, any of the big markets, so I hope a third race happens.

"Miami I think will be the hottest ticket in Formula 1 next year," he adds. "We've got Montreal, which is very successful, we've got Mexico, which is very successful, but then again we have got to find the balance of what is the right amount of races in the calendar and react accordingly."

Asked if there are any permanent circuits he would like to see Formula 1 race at, the response is emphatic.

"I don't think any of them currently, in their current construction, could handle a Formula 1 race," he replies, "either from a safety or a length of circuit.

"Certainly Laguna Seca is an awesome race track," he continues, "but I believe it is too short. And then you get into safety.

"We have some great race tracks here in America - Road America, Laguna Seca, Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen - but I don't think any of them in their current form are suitable for Formula 1."

"To give a number to what is the right event, I think you shouldn't take this season and last year's season where we more events in some places than others because of the pandemic but in a non-pandemic year I think for sure, North America can have up to five races in total." replied Guenther Steiner, when asked how many races the US could support."

"Formula 1 has to go where the market is," insisted Jost Capito, "but also Formula 1 lives through TV. I don't think it's that important where the races are, it's more important how the communication is, how the broadcast is and how interesting the races are.

"But I agree with Guenther, three to five races in North America and then in South America coming to this so in North and South America could end up in being five to seven races and I think that is fine.

"Also the races in the Middle East are fine," he added. "As Guenther said, you can't have this year and last year as a normal year because race locations had to be done because of the pandemic situation, where we had, in a couple of places, two races one after the other."

With 2022 featuring 23 races, Jost was asked if he feels the sport is nearing capacity, clearly the German thinks la=long the same lines as Franz Tost.

"Formula 1 has to grab the opportunities with both hands," he replies, "and it doesn't mean as many races as possible. I think they could have 40/50 races and for sure that's a bit too much but when you say that 23 races and compared to the races before, we have to see that when I've been in Formula 1 before there were 40 tests and there was part of a test team but also part of the race team went to the various tests and there was no curfew and the guys worked 24/7 and I am convinced, Formula 1, at that time, to work in Formula 1 was harder than it is now."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by The stogie, 05/11/2021 17:24

"I have attended F1 races on both sides of the pond since 1960. Mosport, Montreal, Long Beach, Detroit, Phoenix, Indy, Vegas, Monte Carlo and even Spa. I have see crowds grow and wane. But I have seen cars get faster and faster. In 1965 the pole at Mosport was 1'30". In 1992, my son in a CASCAR sedan, went 1'32". Today an F1 car would probably run a 55 second lap!! Technology reigns supreme!!"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by BritishBruce, 02/11/2021 10:57

"It seems that F1 is going to pivot around two hubs in the future.
Possibly five races in the USA + Canada and Mexico, if the definition is North America, (total seven) and then three races in the Gulf (starting this year and ten more from 2023) to conclude the season.
This is a total of ten races, or about half of the overall Championship.
Since I started following F1 in 1970 it is fascinating to see how the Championship has moved away from Europe, or in many people's phraseology "chased the money".
Great news concerning the ticket sell-out for Miami."

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3. Posted by kenji, 31/10/2021 23:54

"There is no doubt that the US is picking up steam in the F1 arena. I read two days ago that the Florida/Miami GP sold out in 40mins!!! Great result for F1. "

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4. Posted by Superbird70, 30/10/2021 12:26

"There are already 3 races in North America. Canada, Austin, and Mexico. Miami will make 4. Take your pick for number 5."

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5. Posted by Roli, 30/10/2021 10:39

"hate to sound sarcastic, but lets have all 22 races in the states! Dream on fellas, there should just one race per country."

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6. Posted by F1nerd, 29/10/2021 21:56

"5 races in the US if you must, but, retaining the existing European circuits is a must, also start them earlier so us in Europe can watch them at a half reasonable time, not like in Austin with qualifying at 23:00 and the race at 21:00 CEST."

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7. Posted by NS Biker, 29/10/2021 20:22

"5 races in North America ... dare to dream.
If someone can sell this and run successful and profitable events. Hats Off to them.
The hosting fees alone for up to 5 events would be ... considerable.
But then again, maybe we can find someone out there willing to purchase some existing civic infrastructure on the East River at Fulton Ferry."

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