Formula 1 currently visits the United States once a year for the U.S. Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin. (Photo: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic)
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McLaren’s executive director Zak Brown is convinced that there’s ample opportunity for F1 to expand in the USA, especially now that Liberty Media is bringing its local knowledge to the table.
McLaren recently announced the hiring of a new vice president in Ben Priest, who has been given specific responsibility for finding new partners for the Woking team in the Americas.
“We are a global championship,” said Brown. “And while we continue to go to new and emerging markets, which is great, at the end of the day North America is the wealthiest and largest sports market. We’ve got so much room for growth there. So while we should continue to expand and look at new and exciting territories, we’ve got to become bigger in North America.
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“There are so many people there, there’s so much television, and there’s so much economics there. It’s such a great sports market. I think F1 can be huge there over time.”
Brown says F1 needs a second Grand Prix in the United States, but also cautioned that the sport also needs to look elsewhere: “We need another U.S. race. Austin has done an outstanding job, it’s great that Haas is there, and it will certainly be great to get a front-line American driver in time. And it’s going to be beneficial that Liberty knows the US market place so well.
“But I think there’s a balance. No one one thinks this is going to become an American sport overnight. It is just one territory, but a really important one that I think as much room for growth as any territory in the world. It loves motor sports and it loves sports, whereas some of these new territories we’re going into, we’re having to develop sports. We just need to get the American public more exposed to our sport, and no doubt they’ll fall in love with it, just like pretty much every market that we go to.”