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Video: Can F1 take hold Stateside?

Mar 8, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT

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Last season, the United States Grand Prix successfully re-launched deep in the heart of Texas, with Lewis Hamilton coming away with the victory at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas. But now comes the hard part — keeping it going.

A capacity crowd showed up at the country’s newest speed palace to witness Hamilton earn what was, at least for now, his final triumph with McLaren before he jumped to Mercedes this off-season. The on-track product at COTA was solid and a multi-day fan festival away from the track won good reviews from fans.

However, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn knew that one race wouldn’t be enough to grow Formula One’s presence in the States.

“The first year you come to a race at a facility like this, it’s great to see what fantastic support it’s had — but it’s about maintaining that support,” Brawn told The New York Times following last year’s USGP.

So what comes next? Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett discussed the matter as part of the season preview episode for NBC Sports Network’s “F1 Countdown.”

In case you haven’t caught the show yet, you can see an encore presentation on NBCSN this Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.

  1. icemanpjn - Mar 9, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    A successful race in the US isn’t enough to drive F1 here. Having an American team and/or driver would help, but only so much.

    Right now what we may need is time. This is still NASCAR country, and F1 is basically the opposite of NASCAR. NASCAR’s popularity resides mainly with older generations that will eventually die off as younger generations largely move to other motorsports, probably inspired by racing video games of which almost all, especially the most popular by far, have little to no oval racing in them. When NASCAR dies as its fans literally die off, then it fan be road racing’s time to shine in the US.

    • icemanpjn - Mar 9, 2013 at 1:05 AM

      (On my phone.)

    • PZ - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      I’ve been saying for a while that F1 needs time. 10+ years in Austin and more races in time zones friendly to TV viewing here (New Jersey, Mexico? , Argentina??) would go a long way to reaching that goal.

  2. winged warrior - Mar 9, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    I turned my back on F1 the day of the 2005 United States Grand Prix debacle. There has never been a more insulting day issued to American race fans in the entire history of all motorsports.

    • 91z07 - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:15 AM

      The rules didn’t ALLOW that new tires be flown in…if that turned you off F1 then you are a fair weather fan.

      Should they have ALLOWED the tire manufacturers to bring in another batch of rubber? Yes…but just because they didn’t has not diminished my admiration of the sport and the engineering involved. For the teams involved it was absolutely the best decision…the safety of the drivers should ALWAYS take precedent, and the only way to ensure their safety was to pull them out of the race.

      I didn’t LIKE it either…but I completely UNDERSTAND why they did it and agree with their decision. This isn’t NASCAR or IndyCar…where huge pile ups are “normal”…and that would have been the outcome IF they would have raced on faulty tires.

      You want to blame someone? Blame Tony George for having the track surface grooved AFTER the tire manufacturers tested their designs there! But it certainly wasn’t F1’s fault they take driver safety seriously…especially after the death of Senna. It’s been decades since an F1 driver has died on track…can’t say the same for IndyCar or NASCAR.

  3. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    Max Mosley is the individual who shares the greatest blame. And George offered a chicane. And it was refused.

    As someone who enjoyed the “restitution” the following race in Indy, I won’t complain too much.

    NASCAR doesn’t own the public and can eventually be unseated, especially given how dominant open wheel was for such a great time.

    I think it a cheap shot on driver deaths. Prior to Senna, death in F1 was far too common.

    • purplesectornet - Mar 11, 2013 at 3:31 AM

      I don’t really care all that much about 2005 Indy, F1 never belonged there in the first place. Austin is a much better track for F1.

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