Formula 1 seems to have gained a lot of popularity in the US in recent years. F1 owner Liberty Media is also committed to this and thus has added a race in Miami for 2022 to the current US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas. There is talk of a third race in the US, being held in Las Vegas or Indianapolis, for example. In addition, with the Haas F1 team, there is an American team in the sport, while Andretti Autosport Talks are now underway to acquire a majority stake in the Formula One racing stable Alfa Romeo. For example, in 2022 there may be two American teams at the start.
This, in turn, has led to rumors that the American driver could return to Formula 1. If Andretti is indeed at the start of 2022, IndyCar looks to be the winner. Colton Hertha Leading candidate to take the lead. Then he still has to get a super license.
But is it important for the long-term health of the Circuit of the Americas and the American interest in Formula 1 that the American driver be active in the sport? “I think a winning American driver can keep three or four Grand Prixes alive,” said COTA CEO Bobby Epstein. “And I’m certainly excited about the chances of another American team. But just having an American driver doesn’t create an audience in the stands, we noticed because [Gene] hero [Guenther] Steiner and their guys have put together the best product possible. But in fact, an American champion would do well here.”
However, the effect is short-lived, according to Epstein, if the American driver or team is unsuccessful and dangles in the back of the net. “But I don’t think they would get into the sport and not for the sake of winning. I don’t think they would be satisfied riding in the back either. At least I hope so.” He likes the suggestion that Liberty should invest in a training program for American drivers, although he knows the decision is ultimately up to the F1 owner. In the long run, this could be a risky investment. They must decide whether this is in the best interests of the shareholders. Most of the F1 champions started at a young age on small engines or in small go-karts. So it’s a project that spans over a decade and that’s going to be a tough story.”
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