Aug 5, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT
Formula One’s second race at the Circuit of the Americas will show whether it can gain a foothold in the USA, says Alexander Rossi.
The Californian, who is set to drive for Caterham during practice in the Austin race, told F1 Fanatic that Formula One’s return to America last year was “a step in the right direction”.
But he added this year’s race will show whether F1 can sustain its popularity for the long-term in a market it has struggled to crack:
“How the turn-out is this year and how the response is this year I think is kind of the true test, to see if people enjoyed it enough to come back for another year.”
However he believes the sport has a core fan base it can tap into in America: “I think that the motor sports fans, the petrolheads, have appreciation for Formula One and the fact it is the highest form of racing, the best technology in the world and the best drivers in the world. I think there is an appreciation for that.”
F1′s new television package in America has also helped make it “more accessible”, he feels. “I think a lot of that is due to not only Austin but the NBC coverage as well because before it was an elite channel to watch F1 so people if people weren’t really interested they certainly weren’t going to pay money to do watch it.”
Rossi added he’s very keen to see next year’s planned race in New Jersey go ahead: “I think the plan that they have and the market they have would really get US blue-chip companies interested in it because it’s not only happening in their back yard, but I think they’d do a very good job with the event, the exclusivity of it and making it a very kind of corporate event.”
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