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There are some in F1 that do appreciate America

NEWS STORY
24/06/2006

Understandably, Americans have not taken too kindly to Bernie Ecclestone's declaration that F1 does not need their country and that all the United States is good for is "aggravation".

Pitpass has received numerous e-mails following Ecclestone's interview with The Times, while Formula One forums and message boards bear witness to the offence his comments have caused.

"The USA didn't need Bernie before, we really don't need him now!" writs Dave Kane from Indianapolis. "Dell, Intel, EMC are America companies... yet Bernie said there are no American sponsors? Am I missing something?

"I'm now seriously considering not going to the race. Bernie is an idiot and any American company that sponsors an F1 Team is an even bigger idiot!"

"Upon hearing Bernie's remarks regarding the US F1 and the US in particular, please remove my e-mail address from your newsletter data base," adds Jeff Dorsa. "I no longer give a damn what happens in F1 and I have attended every F1 race at Indy!"

"As far as American sponsors go, I have just one word that should get him to shut his ignorant trap..." writes Dan Garvey, "Marlboro!"

Another man who would surely disagree with Ecclestone's comments, particularly the claim; "we have never got any sponsors out there", is Sir Frank Williams.

In an interview with Caroline Reid in 2005, Williams said: "Accenture is fundamentally a USA company. And HP who are retiring from Formula One is an American company. FedEx, American company, Reuters, founded in England but part American, I think much of its revenue is in the USA. Budweiser.

"So presently we have more funds coming out of the USA than anywhere else."

Meanwhile, talking at the Friday press conference Mario Theissen (BMW) and Norbert Haug (Mercedes) both admitted how important America is to their companies, indeed, much like the old days, both men would like to see more than one Grand Prix in the USA.

"It is important for manufacturers," said Theissen. "The US is the only big country in which Formula One does not play a predominant role."

"We should not give up on this," he added. "Indianapolis has had the biggest attendance of all the races and it would be worth following up on this, maybe having a second one."

Haug went a little further: "If I could wish I would like to have at least two races in America," admitted the German, "and I would love an American team if we could encourage a guy like Roger Penske.

"We want to support America," he continued, "and we all need to explore America further in Formula One in the future. My wish would be an American team, driver and probably engine manufacturer... that would be great."

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