Reading a recent article over at Autosport today, I was encouraged that new F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali still has a focus on increasing the presence of F1 in the US. With a race in Austin and a misfire in initial discussions regarding a race in Miami, F1 seems to still be pressing for a second race in the States.
It would appear that Miami is still the main target as it is the most recent and mature discussion with regards to investors and logistics but it did hit a snag with the locals.
“Miami is more advanced in terms of discussion, but there are others in other areas of the American country,” said Domenicali. “But they are not at the level where I can say, ‘yes, they are there’ and I can anticipate something happening.
“I think that in the next couple of months we will decide what there will be in terms of possible discussion with regard to that country, and eventual rotation or stabilizing with two [grands prix] that are fixed. So it’s a work in progress.”
The interesting thing that caught my eye in the Autosport article was a quote about retaining a consistent presence in the US via media and doing more than just making a noise a week or two ahead of a race in Austin.
“I can guarantee you there is now big interest in the USA with Formula 1,” he said.
“What we don’t have to do, in terms of a mistake, is that the US needs to be fed with F1 news every day.
“It’s wrong to go there one week, and let’s say you have an incredible push one week before the Austin race and then being silent.
“What we have is a plan of communication that is quite strong in the US. We need to hammer information with the right channels in a continuous way.
“It will take a lot of start-up time in terms of investment, but the payoff will be huge. So this is part of our strategic global communication campaign that we need to push this year.”
Now, I understand what he is saying here and he is right but the cheeky part of me wants to remind Stefano that we have never stopped talking about F1 here in the US for 52 weeks every year on every Monday for well over 800 weeks or 15 years in other words. When F1 shuts down, we keep going. When F1 leaves America, we keep talking about it. We’ve been doing that for a very long time. I have the receipts to prove it.
Now, cheeky part aside, what Stefano is talking about is major media and content production focused on the American market and I think that’s great. Apart from the Netflix show, where do you start and what are the details behind that. Simple marketing activations aren’t going to work.
How would you like to see F1 retain a year-long presence in the US and by what means? Could an eSports series all around the US be a way of keeping it front-of-mind and appeal to a younger audience to create new lifelong fans? Would a joint development agreement between F1 and a major broadcast partner in the US work? Creating content as immersive and deep as Sky Sports F1?
I think there are many ways to do this but as I have always said, you have to bring America to F1, not the other way around. Would love to hear your ideas so leave them in the comment section below.
Why not return to Indy? Fans are there, the track is there. the infracstructure is there. and from a fan point of view the weekend is affordable, even with the exchange rate to Canada. A race in Miami will be another $5000 weekend, same as Austin. let’s keep Indy in mind for the fans.
This has been my complaint since the first USGP race at COTA: the lack of promotion. F1 should approach the USGP like the Olympics do for the Winter or Summer Games: start promoting it a year before the event and do race related events in major cities other than Austin. A F1 showcase or fan fest in New York and Chicago like they did in London a few years go would be great(though not in the present pandemic). Rolex, RedBull, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari all sell products. The teams should partner with their American sponsors to promote the USGP.
I like the Olympics analogy because it isn’t a weekly race like NASCAR so promoting a full year is a good idea.
Who wants to go to Austin in November dragging the coats and gloves?Lets do Indy or Detroit(downtown not Belle Isle)
PLEASE not another street circuit. PLEASE. Best thing that happened in 2020 was a return to real racetracks.
IT’s a fair point about street circuits. I am not sure the cost of arranging for a street circuit vs updating an existing road course like Elkhart etc. In the end, they want high population, cosmopolitan locations.
It depends on the streets though. There are many tracks that use streets in part or in whole that are great venues. A tight grid of city blocks, not so much, but any highway through the rockies would make for a great partial track if not full track. But it comes down to better planning. As much snoozy street circuits as there are, many modern purpose built tracks are on part such as Paul Richard or Yas Marina
Who wants to go to Austin in November dragging coats and gloves?Lets do Indy or Detroit(downtown)
Austin in November typically has great weather. I lived in South Texas for 10 years and it’s a great place to be when it’s freezing in other places.
It’s -41c here today. Suck it up! XD
Maybe they should just bring back the Dallas and Vegas car park races.