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Is F1 heading back to North America?

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F1 Mole | 12:25 UK time, Thursday, 6 August 2009

Formula 1 looks to be heading back to North America, possibly as soon as next season, after commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said the Canadian Grand Prix could be reinstated in 2010.

The Montreal race - which was popular with teams and fans - was shelved for 2009 after a financial disagreement between Ecclestone and the race promoters.

But now Ecclestone has told Swiss magazine Motorsport Aktuell that "we'll be driving in Montreal again in 2010" and further reports have suggested that a seven-year deal to stage the grand prix is on the table.

"We have an in-principle agreement of how we're going to make the race happen," Ecclestone told CBC Radio.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the last US Grand Prix in 2007

Ecclestone did not mention Canada in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live commentator David Croft this week - but he did say that there might be a race in the USA in 2011.

Both bits of news will be greeted warmly by the F1 teams. They - especially the ones linked with car manufacturers - are anxious to get F1 back into the North American market as soon as possible.

The teams were angry that the Montreal race was axed especially over what they saw as a relatively trivial financial row.

That decision, coupled with the loss of the US Grand Prix the year before, meant that there was no grand prix on the North American continent - the biggest market for the road-car makers in F1.

The teams have called for a return to North America as quickly as possible, even if that means staging a non-profitable race to ensure that F1 cements a place in the competitive landscape of sport across the pond.

Ultimately, they want a race in Canada and one on both the East and West coasts of the United States.

They point to races such as this year's Turkish Grand Prix, where a relatively sparse crowd gathered to watch Jenson Button's win, as evidence that F1 needs to stage races in traditional motorsport heartlands to stay connected with its core audience.

The last US Grand Prix was won by Lewis Hamilton in front of 125,000 fans at Indianapolis in 2007.

The F1 Teams' Association, Fota, released a statement on Wednesday to welcome the signing of the new Concorde Agreement, the document that sets out how F1 is run and its revenues distributed.

The statement concluded by saying that: "Fota's attention will now turn to other issues we believe to be in the long-term interest of F1: racing at the best tracks, in front of the biggest audiences and expanding F1's reach."

It's a safe bet that we haven't heard the last of this story.

Comments

  • 1. At 1:45pm on 06 Aug 2009, jovialStelladave wrote:

    At last common sense prevails! Every sport needs a strong North American interest, and F1 is certainly no exception.

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  • 2. At 2:00pm on 06 Aug 2009, dyrewolfe wrote:

    Well, the teams were always going to be keen to get back to Canada and the US. Wonder if the new Concorde Agreement allows them to have any say in the matter? Maybe the penny's finally dropped (both figuratively and literally)with Bernie too?

    Quibbling over race fees, when you consider the attendances at Montreal and Indianapolis, not to mention the potential sponsorship deals, always seemed daft to me.

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  • 3. At 2:08pm on 06 Aug 2009, ozza33 wrote:

    I am absolutley delighted about this news, Canada always produces great races and it is always compelling viewing. I hope this starts a trend (although I doubt it will happen) of going back to traditional circuits, which excite teams and fans alike, rather then going to the highest bidder in countries which are not really interested in racing and often produce boring races with low attendances.

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  • 4. At 2:08pm on 06 Aug 2009, CorazonLatino wrote:

    I would love to see F1 back in North America and Montreal in particular. The Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve is great and the fans care deeply about the sport, unlike in some of the newer countries on the calendar.

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  • 5. At 2:10pm on 06 Aug 2009, cordas wrote:

    Well who would have thought it.... 1st Bernie back pedals about The British GP / Silverstone, and now Montreal. All I can say is thanks for small mercies, hopefully this isn't just because someone has waved huge bundles of cash under Bernie's nose! Hopefully its because Bernie is starting to listen to the fans, the teams and others who have a passion for this sport.

    I am not going to knock the new circuits that have come onto F1 over the last decade or so as there are some cracking tracks like Turkey (yeah the crowd maybe non existent but the track is awesome), Malaysia, Singapore and its night race.... but Bernie has to realise that its not just about stuffing your pockets with money from new tracks, the sport is built on its history probably more than any other sport i can think of, and many of us fans love our old tracks and GPs and want to keep them!

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  • 6. At 2:24pm on 06 Aug 2009, Qwerty_uk wrote:

    We've already seen a lone Toyota do it, but I'd love to see a whole field of F1 cars tackling the corkscrew at Laguna Seca. That's probably a long shot though.
    How about a Manhattan street race to really grab the attention of the US audience.... even more unlikely!

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  • 7. At 2:52pm on 06 Aug 2009, sadisticend wrote:

    That's good news I love the Canadian GP, I wouldn't say it's my favourite but it's definately better than a few circuits on the first half of the F1 calender. My favourite tracks are all from Spa onwards except Monaco and Melbourne.

    9,000 at Istanbul that's real bad lol, I wonder how much they lost in cash.

    I thought Idianapolis was a good track, nothing special though. I would love to see them put the Phoenix street race back on the calendar.

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  • 8. At 3:07pm on 06 Aug 2009, kujawak wrote:

    Brilliant news if it turns out to be true. I had my doubts about the Americans warming to F1, but the turnout at the last one showed they certain have an interest, even if it's not as popular as other motorsport there. But for me the important news is getting the Canadian GP back. It's a course everyone just seems to love, and I don't remember a race there that hasn't had some form of entertainment. Although it's been a few years since anyone ended up in Champions Wall!

    And from a personal point of view, it's the one track I know better than any other - I've logged who knows how many hours on it when I was younger on the computer!

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  • 9. At 3:19pm on 06 Aug 2009, vertigo_timbo wrote:

    Can't wait to see racing at the graveyard of champions again. Canada was always an incident filled race and probably my favourite track after Spa. Great to see fota setting the agenda and some common sense prevailing canda should have never gone in the first place.

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  • 10. At 3:24pm on 06 Aug 2009, Czar-Orac wrote:

    F1 should go to new territories and popular territories, both of which rule out the USA.

    Although I'd like to see a race in the states, they really need to build a circuit (or update one) worthy of an F1 race, but as the US economy is in such high debt I doubt this will happen ... ever.

    Canada on the other hand is a vibrant and F1 friendly country.

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  • 11. At 3:25pm on 06 Aug 2009, flatbeat69 wrote:

    In the last few years, Bernie Ecclestone has begun to ruin the sport. All he's interested is money money money! He always talks about wanting the best entertainment for the fans... well he clearly doesn't. Getting rid of the Canadian GP was a huge mistake. Not only was it hugely popular with the teams, it was always pretty much sold out. Now we have tracks like Turkey where only 9,000 fans turn up. Harldy great entertainment taking a sport somewhere where no even cares about it. Good to hear the Canadian GP will be back.

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  • 12. At 3:44pm on 06 Aug 2009, FreddyOfGreggs wrote:

    This is (potentially) good news about Montreal.

    But it seems the Mole has missed out on another bit of information Bernie's been spouting this week.

    Mr. Ecclestone says that because Nurburgring and Spa are 60 miles apart, the two circuits should be on a rotation.

    So, enjoy the Montreal news, but remember since this is Bernie we're talking about, common sense is grabbed with one hand and let go of with the other.

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  • 13. At 3:51pm on 06 Aug 2009, MrNeutron wrote:

    We've already seen a lone Toyota do it, but I'd love to see a whole field of F1 cars tackling the corkscrew at Laguna Seca

    ******************************************

    No thanks. Overtaking's rare enough in F1, without taking them off to a track as twisty as that. Even the pit straight isn't straight! Great for bikes, tedious for F1.

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  • 14. At 4:20pm on 06 Aug 2009, Scharfschutze wrote:


    I agree with some of the above comments re: Formula 1 not being popular in the US. As an American, I feel it is a shame that the majority of Americans would prefer watching a car, driven by an over-weight hillbilly, go in a circle rather than watch finely-tuned one execute both left and right turns on a road course. Bernie had his chance to improve the popularity of F1 in the US. After the 2005 tire debacle many thought F1 was doomed in the US, but fans came back in 2006 and in 2007 they came back even stronger. When the USGP was taken off the calendar but the Canadian GP wasn’t, I personally took it as a slap in the face. Why have a race in Canada and not the US, the equipment was already be over here? The US is the largest market for many automotive manufactures. The bottom line is, if you aren’t willing to pay the “Bernie fee,” forget about having a GP in your country. Who cares about the fans!

    If F1 wants to repair its reputation and gain a fan base in the US, it will need a US race on the schedule for several years. Only planning a race for a couple of years and then pulling the plug will only insult American race fans further. I personally would love to see an F1 race at Watkins Glen, but any US race venue would do at this point.

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  • 15. At 4:26pm on 06 Aug 2009, Carlonso wrote:

    YeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!

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  • 16. At 4:36pm on 06 Aug 2009, 355gts wrote:

    A return to Watkins Glen would be great! Personally, I am not wholly against the move to new markets by F1, but they've gone too far too fast. Bahrain and Turkey could easily make way, and I'm against having two race in any country, so the European GP ought to be defunct.

    I really hope that the US GP will return soon, it would make a great run in to the season to have Grand Prix in Canada, US then Brazil. Prime time viewing for Europe!

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  • 17. At 4:39pm on 06 Aug 2009, RedSoxGooner wrote:

    Oh yes. I agree about the 'Bernie Fee'. He and Sepp Blatter are cut from the same cloth. If you don't pay them enough money, you can forget it. Pure and simple.

    How can you possibly justify a race in Turkey with only 9,000 attending, and not the U.S. where last time there were 125,000? Absolute nonsense.

    Ah, Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!

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  • 18. At 4:40pm on 06 Aug 2009, Chilli_Burger wrote:

    What a shame that Bernie wants $175M whilst Montreal are only willing to offer $75M. Still, what's $100M between friends?

    Don't believe anything Bernie says about circuits until after the race.

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  • 19. At 4:46pm on 06 Aug 2009, Carlonso wrote:

    It was stupid to take Montreal out in the first place - it's one of the most entertaining tracks on the F1 calender.
    To have two races in the States could work if one is held in Las Vegas on a night-time street circuit...(8 hours behind GMT) - it'll have to start at 12 midnight to get the European audiences watching though...

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  • 20. At 4:52pm on 06 Aug 2009, Gaz wrote:

    Great news we could be back to Canada. It's by far one of my favourite tracks.

    F1 needs a presence in the Americas. It's meant to be a worldwide sport, not just Europe and some rich Asian countries. Going back to Montreal is a good start, now we need a race in the States, and really, one in South America

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  • 21. At 5:06pm on 06 Aug 2009, ahmedjeffersontyke wrote:

    As a global sport it makes sense to head back to North America, about time!

    http://www.loserscomesecond.com/

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  • 22. At 5:14pm on 06 Aug 2009, tj wrote:

    We just want the tracks that have good races, have gd F1 history and places were F1 is liked and watched. Why does Bernie want to go to places like Turkey were it is watched by just 9000 people and for years he has been saying it no loss to not have a British race (although he seems to be saying the opposite at the moment) which is a near sell out every year and has an amazing atmosphere!

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  • 23. At 5:46pm on 06 Aug 2009, midwestdharma wrote:

    A return to Montreal would be nice. Was there in 1988 and found it to be a great experience.
    For the USA - would be nice to hold the race at a proper course. Update Watkins Glen? Hold the West Coast race at Laguna Seca, the course I grew up with? The finest course in America, perhaps, is Road America, though, it is not up to F1 safety standards. (Jacques Villenueve called Spa the Road America of Europe. Long straights, sweeping corners, 4 miles long, coursing through the beautiful countryside of Wisconsin.) Indy is OK, though, somewhat rinky-dink. Long Beach was great, while it lasted. The original course, with Linden's Leap....
    Looking forward to seeing Schumi back in the Ferrari in Valencia.

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  • 24. At 5:50pm on 06 Aug 2009, Carlonso wrote:

    What are the chances of the race calender being extended to 20/22 races?
    Then you wouldn't have to juggle Spa, bring back Hockkenheim, have 3 North American Grand Prix including Mexico,rotate Bahrain/Abu Dhabi,rotate the European Grand Prix more,re-introduce a Grand Prix in the African Continent, have one in Moscow...

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  • 25. At 6:26pm on 06 Aug 2009, WisCheeseHead wrote:

    Not a minute too soon for F1 to get back to N. America. Indy was the most fantastic venue for fans. Friendly mid-western workers. Cheap tickets! Downtown was fun. If not Indy ... F1 should come to Road America! 4 miles of track the Europeans wouldn't believe.

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  • 26. At 7:35pm on 06 Aug 2009, AntonBear wrote:

    @ 24

    I'd vote for 22 races a season. God damn it I'd have 48 a year. Just giving a break for Xmas New Years and 2 weeks for me to go abroad and not worry about missing a GP!

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  • 27. At 7:35pm on 06 Aug 2009, Jeff wrote:

    At 4:52pm on 06 Aug 2009, SimplePlan2k8 wrote: "and really, one in South America"

    News Flash...............

    Brazil has moved to the continent of South America!

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  • 28. At 8:09pm on 06 Aug 2009, TheDirePuppy wrote:

    It would be great to see F1 back in the US. Although I would like to see races here and Canada, as well as the European GP being rotated to various circuits. These are very large geographic areas with many fine tracks and interesting cities. (Personally, I find the brickyard kind of boring- like watching Indy cars at the Burke Lakefront airport in Cleveland.)

    I would, however, like to see a decision like this also hinge upon better media coverage in the US. It is scant, to say the least.
    (At least we didn't have to put up with ABC and Daly this year!)



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  • 29. At 8:47pm on 06 Aug 2009, niceMike1987 wrote:

    its gr8 that we mite be heading bk 2 north America :)
    just leaves the legendary European tracks 2 get on the calendar, like imola, portugal, france

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  • 30. At 9:58pm on 06 Aug 2009, mike wrote:

    If you want a glamorous street in the USA, Las Vegas would be a major spectator draw. Las Vegas has hosted a street race before, and in the present climate I can see the casinos willing to close the Strip to do F1.

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  • 31. At 9:59pm on 06 Aug 2009, MGUK82 wrote:

    Three races in North America and two Stateside sounds optimistic on FOTA's part. I do think the Asian races need to be cut down to three though(Japan, Malaysia, Bahrain) so that would leave us with four spare race weekends. Who knows?

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  • 32. At 10:19pm on 06 Aug 2009, Sabang wrote:

    It would be great to see F1 return to Canada. With respect to the US, F1 should focus on Southern California and/or New York tri-state area. Indy is fine for Indy Car racing, but it is too small a stage for F1.

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  • 33. At 10:44pm on 06 Aug 2009, Lord_Lancashire wrote:

    This is brilliant, brilliant news, and I hope it all actually DOES happen!

    I hated the fact that Montreal was dropped from this year's calendar, and I'm sure many F1 fans felt the same way. It is a classic F1 venue - great circuit, exciting races seemingly every year (which for many tracks, is not always the case) and a packed crowd with a vibrant atmosphere. Definately one of my all time favourites.

    As for USA, this is a market that is imperative to the car-makers. Now that FOTA are starting to have a say in proceedings, thing do really seem to be up. It is very important for F1 to be in the US, and the sport does attract crowds there ... even after the Michelin disaster in 2005, passionate crowds were still there in 2006 (where, incidentally, half the field was eliminated at the first turn; a crash which drew the curtains on Juan Pablo Montoya's F1 participation) and yet again, crowds for the 2007 event.

    Good news, the future is finally starting to look bright, long may things keep improving!


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  • 34. At 03:39am on 07 Aug 2009, MontrealSpiker wrote:

    I'm a Brit living here in Montreal and have been to the last 2 Grand Prix here sitting at the hairpin corner from the 1st car out on Friday to end of the race Sunday.
    Its more than a race here it is an event, sold out, loved and embraced by the whole city.
    The city was stunned when we lost the race and the Major did everything he could to come to some agreement with good old Bernie but the fee had increased to something that was totally unworkable.
    They have pulled together here to get the money together, NASCAR organiser (they use the track also), tax money from Hotel revenue and the Major pledged more money but I pretty sure not what Bernie 1st wanted.
    As has been said already maybe the penny dropped that the fans wanted the race, teams, sponsors.....well nearly everyone but Bernie had to push it and I must say well done Montreal, F1 need the race back and you won the battle.
    See you on the Island, if not I'll give you a wave on TV, lol

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  • 35. At 09:13am on 07 Aug 2009, Czar-Orac wrote:

    flatbeat69
    Psycho Ball player - RIP Rocky!
    tjbolloks

    The official figures for the 3 days of the Turkish Grand Prix were 93,000 people, not 9,000 !!

    An ostrich race a few days after the US Grand Prix at Phoenix had more spectators than the US Grand Prix itself, and the USA has far more people than Turkey.

    I'd love to see another race in the USA, but not at the expense of countries that want to build an F1 circuit, OK we all know the USA is in deep debt, according to the US government banking committee, the USA owes China 2.5 trillion dollars alone, and it owes Japan almost as much, the USA can't afford an F1 race, they can't even afford health care for 45 million US citizens.

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  • 36. At 12:47pm on 07 Aug 2009, Swerve1 wrote:

    Great news that Canada may be back on the Calender. Usually a good race due to the circuit characteristics and always draws a good crowd. (Is there still a rumour that Vileneuve may be coming back next year too? If so, this adds another element to the race and the crowd will be well up for it).

    My only concern with this news is that with Canada and 1 or maybe 2 US GP's being added to the Calender, which races are going to be dropped? I assume some will have to be.

    With the recent Middle Eastern circuits having new-ish contracts it means they might stay which is unfortunate as they tend to produce dull races and have the sort of small fan base FOTA aren't too bothered about. This could mean a European Race or 2 could go which would be a shame for the viewing public. (Unless its Hungary)

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  • 37. At 1:09pm on 07 Aug 2009, Templeton-Peck wrote:

    So the scoop is that Bernie spoke to a magazine and said something which he didn't say to Radio 5 live.

    Hardly an exclusive insight which the 'Mole' tag suggests.

    A pathetic regurgitation of somebody else's news. Well done BBC!

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  • 38. At 3:34pm on 07 Aug 2009, Kenny wrote:

    I hope F1 goes racing at Laguna Seca, Hamilton and co. going through the corkskrew would be something else.

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  • 39. At 4:01pm on 07 Aug 2009, wtcc156 wrote:

    I think they should take formula 1 to Daytona, because they took Le Mans there for the 24 Hour race and also, it is similar to Indianapolis with it's banked turns. The infield at Daytona is better than the one at Indy.

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  • 40. At 4:46pm on 07 Aug 2009, Limeygn wrote:

    Finally, sane heads prevail. As an English expat living in Indianapolis for the last 23 years I went to every F1 race here. Though not the best track on the circuit, it was always a great race. Now with the changes made to the F1 track to accommodate Moto GP the race should be even better if we get it back. This is a distinct possibility now Tony George is out of the picture.

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  • 41. At 05:33am on 08 Aug 2009, Corvidean wrote:

    Limeygn - I wouldn't call 2005 a great race...! As a fellow ex-pat Brit with 15 years in Indy I also enjoyed going to the race, but for the sake of the sport's success in the US I sincerely hope Bernie chooses another venue - I'm with those who are calling for a [night] street race, such as Las Vegas. At least LV would know how to stage and market the race; in Indy you'd hardly ever know by there was an F1 race on judging by the lack of media local coverage.

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  • 42. At 08:52am on 08 Aug 2009, HanzoRed wrote:

    I completely agree with most of your posts!

    F1 needs to be in more present in the US ! both East and West! as a German, i think it is important for F1 to stay in the traditional tracks were the fans actually come!! no offense to other countries... but in some countries barely any people show up.. and they dont even know who Schumacher is...

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  • 43. At 6:23pm on 08 Aug 2009, Torchwood wrote:

    I still think good old Bernie is being a bit greedy! Perhaps Max Mosley is not the only change we need! Walking into a country and simply demanding what he wants....

    I think its great to see F1 heading back to Canada, being an English Canadian there is something special about the Montreal circuit! As far as the US i think a lot of people at the top should be eating humble pie after the last farse!

    But much the same as english government officals stated they would not get involved financially with Silverstone or Donnington GP, i think at the moment the US government will maybe take the same attitude with more pressing things in the diary!!! But it would be good to let the indy lot see how its done properly......

    ...Sorry friendly prod there! Indy is much like GP2 and offers a whole different race.

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  • 44. At 01:53am on 09 Aug 2009, theogro wrote:

    At 10:19pm on 06 Aug 2009, Sabang wrote:

    It would be great to see F1 return to Canada. With respect to the US, F1 should focus on Southern California and/or New York tri-state area. Indy is fine for Indy Car racing, but it is too small a stage for F1.


    The inaugural race drew an estimated 225,000, which set a Formula One attendance record. Yep,it's too small with 257,325 permanent, plus temporary infield seating to make total capacity of approximately 400,000.

    Bernie and the boys need to learn how to promote a race in the US. Acting like they
    are doing everyone a favor just by showing up doesn't work here.

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  • 45. At 10:59am on 09 Aug 2009, Peter Dobson wrote:

    At last a tad of common sense - F1 to survive needs to get beyond Bernie's ego and go where the audience/fans and markets are. Yes I am for developing F1 races in new markets but not at the expense of the old markets by relacing them with races that no one goes too i.e. Turkey

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  • 46. At 08:41am on 10 Aug 2009, the mighty tottenham hotspur wrote:

    How does this sound for A calendar
    Some races for Bernie but most are just good tracks

    Australia-Melbourne
    Malaysia-Kuala Lumpar
    China-Shanghai
    South Korea-Jeonnam
    India-wherever Bernie gets most money (keep him happy)
    San Marino-Imola
    Spain-Jerez
    Monaco
    Turkey-Istanbul
    America-Road America
    Canada-Montreal
    Britain-Silverstone/Donnigton
    France-Magny Cours
    Numbergring-Germany
    Hungary
    European-Hockenheim
    Belgian-Spa
    Italian-Monza
    America-Leguna Seca
    Singapore-Street Circuit
    Japan-Suzuka
    Brazil-Interlagos
    Abu Dhabi-Street Circuit

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  • 47. At 09:36am on 10 Aug 2009, hackerjack wrote:

    It's hilarious to me how many of you lot who will never go toa rance in either Canada or Turkey are quick to point out about attendance.

    F1 as it is covered on TV could be run on empty circuits and it would make next to no difference.

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  • 48. At 10:19am on 10 Aug 2009, Czar-Orac wrote:

    hackerjack

    You're absolutely right, F1 is a global TV sport, and when Renault, FIAT and Toyota say they need to race in the states to sell their little cars, do they really believe US citizens can't afford TVs or are too stupid to switch them on?

    As for Turkey many people even 'The Mole' got the attendance figures very wrong, the official 3 day attendance was just shy of 93,000 people, a hell of a lot more than at many US Grand Prix in the past.

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  • 49. At 12:18pm on 10 Aug 2009, gazza2009 wrote:

    i think that the race at the montreal circuit is brilliant news, shame its taken over 7 months for bernie to realise that we the f1 fan base need a race there. i think that when massa hit the tyre wall in hungary that one of the tyres flew over into his office and hit him on the head and then gave him a big big reality check/shock!. i agree with the person who said we need alot more races cause 17 races a season aint enough because the season is over to quick and it always seems like the drivers are wanting to do more races. i know the drivers are working very hard when they are racing but i think that there should be more race weekends so that they are actually earning the money that they are getting paid.

    BERNIE is so greedy all he wants is money in his pocket and dont care who he upsets to get that money!.

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  • 50. At 7:34pm on 10 Aug 2009, Czar-Orac wrote:

    gazza2009
    It is great news that F1 probably will be returning to Canada, Montreal is a great city, the tracks good, and the races are eventful.

    But the reason Bernie is talking to the promoters again, is because they have finally admitted that they do owe FOM/CVC money, money that have agreed to pay back as part of another F1 race contract.

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  • 51. At 10:21pm on 10 Aug 2009, FoxesofNuneaton wrote:

    I would love F1 to return to the States...it would be so nice to see the cars blast around Montreal and at 200mph at Indy once again :)

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  • 52. At 2:51pm on 11 Aug 2009, Carrots are not the only vegetables wrote:

    Even if it costs Bernie millions, the kudos of having F1 cars taking on the 'Corkscrew' at Laguna Seca has to an aspiration....

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  • 53. At 4:09pm on 11 Aug 2009, Deuce wrote:

    F1 as it is covered on TV could be run on empty circuits and it would make next to no difference.

    You're absolutely right, F1 is a global TV sport, and when Renault, FIAT and Toyota say they need to race in the states to sell their little cars, do they really believe US citizens can't afford TVs or are too stupid to switch them on?

    ----

    Unfortunately it doesn't work like that, firstly because the grounds get their money from the door ticket sales and without them they can't afford Bernie's ridiculous fees unless they get a handout from the government.

    Secondly, time differences mean that an afternoon race in Eurasia will be on in the early morning/middle of the night in the USA, so they're less likely to tune in. Dedicated fans might continue to do so, but without local interest (there are no American teams, American drivers or American races left in F1, although we should get some next year) the majority of people in these markets won't be interested.

    Bernie has tried to get round that by altering the race times to appeal to the core (European, South American) audiences, but this hasn't always worked wonders either. You end up with an awkward local time that makes it difficult for people to attend, it's often still an awkward international time, and at Malaysia the race is always on during the rainy part of the day. The key, really, is to try to keep the existing audience happy and yet build a new one, by expanding into new areas *slowly*, which hasn't been done so far.

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  • 54. At 7:16pm on 11 Aug 2009, Czar-Orac wrote:

    Deuce03

    Can't US fans tune in for repeats if they're too uninterested to watch it live, that's what the rest of us have to do if we want to watch sports like the Super Bowl or IRL.

    I'd love to see a race in the USA, but not at the expense of countries that actually want a race, and are willing to build fantastic circuits so they can have a race.

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  • 55. At 11:52pm on 12 Aug 2009, NocturnalTendencies wrote:

    It's great that Canada looks to be back on the calendar, F1 is huge up there. With all due respect, F1 in the States needs to steer clear of Nascarland aka the Midwest/South; those regions are already claimed. An F1 race in the West or upper East Coast would be grand. Personally, a street circuit in Las Vegas would be ideal albeit improbable.

    Cheers

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  • 56. At 00:49am on 13 Aug 2009, proflagger wrote:

    it's about time Bernie re-examines his priorities ($) and realize that F-1 used to race at "THE GLEN" in upstate NY with crowds in excess of 125,000. INDY car,(open wheelers) and ALMS and nascar race there.... as recent as last week,...it is a "TRUE" roadcourse, with plenty of opportunity for passing, not like the more recent city street courses that afford a pretty parade for the slim amount of fans supported by the corresponding governments.the ill designed "road"course at INDY(US) sucks, except for the long straight.The fans don't want street parades, but ROADRACING..!
    Bernie already made his billions, now he needs to satisfy the drivers AND the fans... Bring back "THE GLEN...!

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  • 57. At 02:15am on 16 Aug 2009, Faz wrote:

    @midwestdharma

    The finest course in America, perhaps, is Road America, though, it is not up to F1 safety standards.

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    I'm an ex-pat Englishman living in the USA. Without doubt Road America is the finest F1 style circuit I've ever seen. F1 drivers would LOVE it. You're right about the safety though, unfortunately it's not just that. It would take possibly 10's of millions of investment to bring the viewing and pit areas up to scratch. Not to mention accommodation facilities around the area.

    If I win that powerball I'd definitely stump up a few quid though!

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  • 58. At 09:59am on 17 Aug 2009, hackerjack wrote:

    Unfortunately it doesn't work like that, firstly because the grounds get their money from the door ticket sales and without them they can't afford Bernie's ridiculous fees unless they get a handout from the government.

    Secondly, time differences mean that an afternoon race in Eurasia will be on in the early morning/middle of the night in the USA, so they're less likely to tune in. Dedicated fans might continue to do so, but without local interest (there are no American teams, American drivers or American races left in F1, although we should get some next year) the majority of people in these markets won't be interested.
    -------------

    I realise all that. And there IS a reason to try and race in North America, from a marketign point of view it does encourage more publicity in that area. And americans are interested in F1, certainly enough for decent attendances at a once a year event, though I actually think that holding it at Indy hurts rather than helps, they already have multiple marquee events there each year where as at somewhere like Laguna Seca or Watkins Glen it would stand out more.

    I was pointing more at the 'so-called purists' complaining that races should be held at Silverstone rather than Donington or Spa rather than turkey and such.

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  • 59. At 3:31pm on 20 Aug 2009, blue77mgb wrote:

    As one of several tens of thousands in attendance for the "Michelin debacle" at Indy, F1 lost its credibility and lustre in the US that day and will, I believe, struggle to get a commercially viable attendance at any F1 race at a US track...

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  • 60. At 06:05am on 18 Sep 2009, wolfman2279 wrote:

    I agree with alot of you, but Indy is the best place as of right now. If they put money into Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, Utah. That would be the best place for it. It has multiple layouts, and the owner had F1 in mind when they built the place. I severely hope they come back to the states, especially with all of the new teams.

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  • 61. At 10:00pm on 15 Oct 2009, USF1_Fan wrote:

    Speaking as a rare native US F1 fan, I'm impressed with the many comments, and wanted to add a few of my own. I was at Indianapolis in 2007 and went to Germany this summer for the race at the Nurburgring. I live within 2 hours drive of 3 major NASCAR tracks.

    I think developing fan interest starts with reestablishing the two races that were here until 2007. Indianapolis as an F1 circuit is rather unspectacular, but it is established, and has the infrastructure to support the fans and teams. Because of the historic Indy 500 race, its a well known venue. A large influx of government money just is not likely, and while there may be better tracks, there would be considerable cost in upgrading pits/stands/safety, etc.

    An American driver or team will add interest, especially if they have some small amount of success. Every motor-sport fan here knows the names Gurney and Andretti, but Scott Speed is the answer to a trivia question.

    Our TV coverage comes on a pay channel (four races are aired on a free channel during the summer), the races are geared to European times (which only makes sense, considering the fan base) so that on the east coast, the 1400 time frame events in Europe take place at 0800. My DVR is the mainstay of my F1 viewing experience. However, some local (meaning on the same continent) events help generate interest that makes someone get early to watch live or record to watch later.

    Finally, a little humor (very little). We never worry about NASCAR fans getting angry and chasing us when we say F1 is better. If they do, just make a right turn and they don't know what to do.




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