USGP organizers tout Perez’s signing with Sauber

You think the U.S. Grand Prix organizers are happy about their Mexican connection?

If you do — you’re right.

Full Throttle Productions sent out a press release today highlighting “The latest info from Formula 1 United States.”

It is all about new Sauber driver Sergio Perez.

The first announcement is that organizers have launched a Spanish language version of their website. There’s good reason for this, as they note:

As the largest minority group in the United States and the third most common language spoken across the globe, the Hispanic market can now easily view the Formula 1 United States website in their native language.

Totally true. But would they have done so without Mexican Perez’s signing with Sauber? I’m skeptical. Especially after reading the “personal note” from head promoter Tavo Hellmund:

Tavo Hellmund, Chairman of Formula 1 United Statesâ„¢, congratulates Sergio Perez for joining BMW Sauber next year.

“I have followed Sergio’s career and was ecstatic he will be a Formula 1 driver next year,” said Tavo Hellmund. “I spoke with my friends Carlos Slim and Sergio, and all of us agree the 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prixâ„¢ will be like a home race for Sergio. We all look forward to working together to maximize this wonderful opportunity.”

“Carlos’ program of supporting talented, young Mexican drivers is clearly bearing fruit. Others will certainly find ways to duplicate it around the world.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think this is a smart strategy for the USGP as a way to build a “targeted” audience for the race. I just hope the organizers realize that their broader audience — non-Spanish speaking Americans — might not be as enthusiastic about a Mexican driver. That’s just the way it is.

As a supplement to its main outreach, this makes sense. Mexico, especially Northern Mexico, is a prime market geographically for the race. But I can see backlash to a stream of USGP promotion that features Perez because Formula 1 lacks a U.S. team or U.S. driver.

At least there isn’t a picture featuring Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Perez and Hellmund.

But what do you think? Is the USGP right to be riding Perez’s coattails?

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