While Austin serves as Formula 1’s current beachhead in the United States, a larger plan to expand the sport has brought venues such as New Jersey and Long Beach into the fold as new races stateside to fill the calendar eventually. Putting more pressure on existing races to stay on the calendar, word of a new venue in California has some speculating as to where a race would make the most sense for F1 as well for the city and municipality involved.
In the midst of a very wet United States Grand Prix practice at Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1’s CEO revealed to Sky F1 Reporter Ted Kravitz his current thinking on America’s next Grand Prix:
“Basically, I think we’re going to have to go California way.”
Existing locations like Sonoma Raceway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca have been mentioned, but it’s not clear what incremental value the worldwide exposure a Formula 1 race would bring to these circuits and regions in Northern California. A more likely location could be a area with plans to expand its presence on the global stage.
Long Beach’s development and revival beginning in the 70’s and 80’s with Formula 1 at the front of a long list of series that have raced there serves as an example cited by any city in contention for a street circuit, but when asked if Formula 1 would return there, Bernie’s dismissed the idea at the suggestion. Reading further into his statement, by any impartial definition to judge Bernie’s words, ‘out California way’ would include points in between Austin and the Pacific Ocean. Las Vegas couldn’t be ruled out for a stop on a drive West, for example.
New Jersey’s hopes for a race were not dashed, and when asked about the future of Formula 1 at the Port Imperial circuit, Bernie replied “We’re still battling it on with that.”
Circuit of The Americas
Before writing about what’s happening at and around this weekend’s historic United States Grand Prix, a round of congratulations are in order for the enormous efforts of Circuit of The Americas, Tilke Engineering GmbH, and to the people of Austin for their vitality and enthusiasm in creating a new home for Formula 1.
This is the third visit I’ve made to Austin since 2011, and it’s been a pleasure to meet so many locals along the way. From the people directly involved with the circuit who have come so far to produce this inaugural race to those who’ve shared their home town and passion for making this year’s race a success, Austin is truly a special place, and I’m looking forward to experiencing the only GP like it in the world.
Several events around the race should be of particular interest, starting with Wednesday’s FOTA fan forum for US fans to meet and ask questions with key personnel, drivers and personalities in Formula 1. Follow @F1US for live tweets beginning at 6:30pm EST from the panel discussion.
To cover Austin in more detail, a separate twitter account has been created for localized tweets and news from the circuit as well as out and about in town. Follow @F1Austin for news of special events, updates, and retweets from everyone as Austin gears up for a special weekend.
Finally, F1 in America was mentioned in this month’s Red Bulletin – check out the December issue in print and online.
– Peter Habicht
The 2013 provisional calendar shows both American F1 races scheduled for next year with a June 16th date at the Grand Prix of America circuit in West New York/Weehawken. As expected, it’s 1 week after the Canadian Grand Prix in nearby Montreal.
Circuit of the Americas will keep it’s Fall timeframe with November 17th as the scheduled date, 1 week before the Thanksgiving holiday.
This schedule is subject to approval by the FIA at a September 28 meeting, but should be a leading indicator for American F1 fans when to plan holiday travel for next year. Valencia has been dropped from the calendar to make room for the New Jersey race.
2013 Formula 1 calendar (Provisional)
||Monaco (Monte Carlo)
||America (New Jersey) *
||Singapore (Marina Bay) *
||Korea (Yeongam) *
||India (Buddh International Circuit)
||Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)
||United States (Austin)
* subject to finalized contract and circuit completion