Press Esc to close
Tuesday 30 August 2016
News updated at 4:10 PM IST
Weather
Max: 21°C
Min : 25°C
In Bengaluru
Cloudy sky

Targeting the American market

Nov 18, 2012, Reuters :

With the US Grand Prix taking off again, Formula One is keen to spread its wings

Driving through: The new circuit in Austin, Texas, has impressed all the teams.

Once a Formula One wasteland, the United States is suddenly being viewed as a land of promise for the world's glamour circuit with F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone calling for up to three races in the US.

After a five-year hiatus, F1 made its long-awaited return to America this weekend, resurrecting the US Grand Prix and along with it hopes that the series may finally be ready to conquer a market it has long coveted.

With the newly constructed $400 million Circuit of the Americas providing the spectacular beach head, a successful race in the Texas capital could pave the way for even more grands prix in the US with possible races in New York and Los Angeles.

F1 teams up and down the Austin paddock could not hide their delight at being back in the US while Ecclestone gushed a new found enthusiasm for a market he had once dismissed.

"The Americas are probably big enough to have five or six grands prix," Ecclestone told reporters. "We're trying to get something sorted out in New Jersey/New York, we've had a lot of requests.

"Maybe we can do something in LA (Los Angeles) in the future. It's a shame it (New Jersey) didn't go through as planned, it won't happen in 2013 and hopefully we can resurrect it in 2014."

Unable to find a permanent home, F1 has barnstormed its way around the US with Austin becoming the 10th city to host the series after Sebring (Florida), Riverside (California), Watkins Glen (New York), Phoenix (Arizona), Dallas (Texas), Detroit (Michigan), Las Vegas (Nevada), Long Beach (California) and Indianapolis (Indiana).

But with the country's first purpose built F1 track already drawing rave reviews and a 10-year contract in place, the series appears ready to take up residence in Texas while looking to spread the F1 gospel to the rest of the country.

"It is imperative to stay here a long time and consider this as a starting point," Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali told reporters. "We have the duty to teach the American public the sport.

"For me the most important thing from now, this weekend forward, is to make sure our American friends speak about Formula One every day."

Teams would not be against three stops in the US, which is the biggest market for many outfits, including Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes Benz.

"It's crucial for Formula One to be a true world championship you've got to have a race in America, said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. "For the first time ever we've got a circuit that's been specially made to bring out the best and showcase Formula One cars.
"It's a crucial race for Red Bull. America is Red Bull's biggest market."

Certainly, F1 will have to produce more than one good race weekend if it is to stake out a place on the ultra-competitive US sporting landscape. Ecclestone admits he does not know why F1 is so popular in some countries yet virtually ignored by others, including the US.

"It's a strange thing I don't no, no idea," said Ecclestone. "When I arrived here the guy at customs said, he had not heard of Formula One."

In Texas, NASCAR is king and it is likely more eyeballs and television remotes will be focused on Homestead, Florida where the Chase championship will also be decided on Sunday. Forcing their way into the US sporting spotlight will not be easy but it is fight F1 teams say they are up for.

"We have to make sure, as Formula One as a whole that we put on a show this weekend and over the coming years we build this into a fantastic event, which clearly the foundations are here," said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

"This is the country of the automobile and we've never come here and done a good enough job to create interest. We have a very different product from NASCAR, I see NASCAR reaching their exciting finale this weekend which is an unfortunate coincidence but I think we have to work very hard to be as commercially smart as NASCAR to compete. We've got to now work very hard we sell it (Formula One) in America in a way we haven't done in the past."


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar with Hollywood actor Will Smith during a party in Mumbai...

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar with Hollywood actor Will Smith during a party in Mumbai...

An artisian paints the idol of Lord Ganesha ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi at Beawar in Rajasthan...

An artisian paints the idol of Lord Ganesha ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi at Beawar in Rajasthan...

Kareena Kapoor showcases a creation by designer Sabyasachi grand finale show of Lakme Fashion Week..

Kareena Kapoor showcases a creation by designer Sabyasachi grand finale show of Lakme Fashion Week..

Alphorn musicians perform in Nesselwang, southern Germany, Sunday...

Alphorn musicians perform in Nesselwang, southern Germany, Sunday...

Britney Spears performs at the MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden....

Britney Spears performs at the MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden....

Awardees at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2016 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan...

Awardees at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2016 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan...

MNS party members staging a protest against ban on sale of meat for four days during festival...

MNS party members staging a protest against ban on sale of meat for four days during festival...

Bollywood actor Zayed Khan during a promotional event in Jaipur on Monday...

Bollywood actor Zayed Khan during a promotional event in Jaipur on Monday...

Women attack a fire vehicle after death of two persons in a fire due to alleged negligence...

Women attack a fire vehicle after death of two persons in a fire due to alleged negligence...

Siddharth Malhotra and actress Katrina Kaif share a light moment at Sabarmati river...

Siddharth Malhotra and actress Katrina Kaif share a light moment at Sabarmati river...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523