Thursday, 12 july 2018, 06:01 , by Matthew Scott
The promoter of the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas has admitted concerns that adding an event in Miami to the Formula 1 calendar in 2019 could backfire as Liberty Media attempts to gain more fans in the USA as quickly as possible.
F1 revealed earlier this year that they would seek to add a street race in downtown Miami to the 2019 schedule in September.
Liberty's first race deal struck under their stewardship has been fraught with issues, ranging from driver dissatisfaction over the proposed track and angry local residents opposing the entire event.
The latter is believed to be behind a delay in signing off a deal to hold the race, with Liberty missing its own deadline to conclude the deal by.
READ MORE: Miami Grand Prix already under threat
The Circuit of the Americas has hosted F1 each year since 2012, helping boost the sport's popularity in America massively, however the race's chief organiser is now worried.
"I think in the long term it can be good. But there is a risk. There is clearly a risk to diluting the product before the fan base has increased," COTA promoter Bobby Epstein told Motorsport.
"But when the long-term goal is to increase the fan base, it is a chicken or egg scenario. Which comes first? In the early years it remains to be seen if that is a positive for us.
"The first year, you haven't increased the fanbase, but you've increased the options, so it will be tough at first. We will see how it impacts us."
Although Epstein has admitted concerns over the plans, he says he is determined to help Liberty achieve its aim of adding a second Stateside race to the calendar as soon as possible.
"There are hundreds of millions of people in North America, so my mindset is to be optimistic," he said.
"I'm certainly a little apprehensive, but very optimistic that it is a race against time as to whether or not you can build the fanbase before the pain of splitting up the fans takes its toll.
"We want it to happen and we want it to happen fast. And I think we share that with Liberty."