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West-coast race called for to complete US F1 trilogy

West-coast race called for to complete US F1 trilogy

F1 News

West-coast race called for to complete US F1 trilogy

West-coast race called for to complete US F1 trilogy
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer has called for a race on the west coast of the United States to complete an F1 American trilogy.

Efforts to increase the popularity of the sport Stateside through fan engagement and a TV series came to fruition with an attendance of 400,000 fans at the Circuit of the Americas across the three days of the US Grand Prix weekend in Austin.

Miami will host its first race next May around the Hard Rock Stadium to add a second US date to the calendar, with a third addition to the schedule already being mooted.

On whether F1 needed the third race in America, Szafnauer said: "For sure, it would be a good thing.

"We have one in Texas and now we have one on the east coast of the United States in Florida, so it would be good to have something a little bit further west if we could manage that.

"Three races in the United States would be great. The fan base could absolutely sustain having three races here."

Asked if it was better to have a circuit or a street race, Szafnauer replied: "Either one. If it is a city race it would be nice to be somewhere people could go for something other than just the race, make it some kind of destination.

"Long Beach is one, but anyway, if you can combine things like that then it's even better.

"Austin's a great city, Miami's a world-famous great city, but for three races in the States, geographically I would move it further west."

Netflix and Covid add to F1 desire - Szafnauer

The US GP was the first visit for F1 outside of Europe and the Middle East since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with dates now following in Mexico and Brazil.

Szafnauer cited the excitement of being able to attend an event as a potential reason for the boosted attendance alongside the Netflix series 'Drive to Survive', which was described as "rocket fuel" by COTA boss Bobby Epstein.

"There's always interest," Szafnauer explained. "Maybe there's a little bit of pent-up demand because of the Covid situation where we missed a year.

"I also think Netflix has had a big influence on the American audience, and there are probably many first-timers that have come down.

"I know a few friends, and now it's sons and daughters of friends from Michigan who really enjoy Formula 1. They made the trip down, it was their first Formula 1 race, so long may it continue."

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