US needs more races agree drivers


Having produced arguably one of the best races of the season, it will be another twelve months before America hosts another Grand Prix.

The days of a United States West and East event a distant memory, though F1's American owners are seeking to expand the sport in their own backyard, it is looking increasingly likely that a race in Vietnam will be confirmed before a second US event is added to the calendar.

If F1 is to flourish in Liberty Media's backyard, the drivers feel a number of issues must be addressed, not least more races in the United States.

"To me the obvious answer is to get more races in the US," says Haas driver Romain Grosjean. "I think most of the time it's really hard for the audience to watch the grands prix, it's the middle of the night. It's not easy to grow the fan base.

"I think more races in the US," he added. "I think races a bit more exiting as well. If you look at NASCAR, you never know who's going to win the race. In Formula One I can tell you it's going to be the Mercedes or Ferrari winning. I think that could be improved - but definitely more races in the US to get closer to the fans would be the first thing.

"I agree," said Lewis Hamilton. "We do have the one race and this is a big, big country with a lot of sporting heritage.

"They love intensely-fought games but also have something to look forward to - because there's a build-up to multiple games. We only have that one race here, so the people, for example in this city or people in the close States that fly over for this one grand prix, which happens once a year, it's like a festival. You can't really get too excited about one festival in a season. So, that's probably something that Liberty will be working on for the future."

"More or less the same," agreed Fernando Alonso, whose profile in the US was raised significantly by his Indy 500 exploits last year. "Try to get more races here, hopefully one American driver into F1 soon, and that will help.

"I think it will take a little bit of interest into the sport and have a little bit more unpredictable races is more or less what they have here. To have people expecting the unexpected until the end."

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Published: 24/10/2018
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