New F1 owners target U.S. city races
Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Chris Medland / Images by Red Bull Content Pool & LAT
ABOVE: F1's plans for a New Jersey GP came to nothing,
but the sport's new owners are keen to try the concept again.New Formula 1 chairman and chief executive Chase Carey wants more races in and around cities in the United States as he targets 21 Super Bowls.
McLaren executive director Zak Brown has previously suggested F1 races should be more like the Super Bowl, citing the NFL's ability to turn the showpiece game into a week-long event in the host city. Following Liberty Media completing its takeover of F1, Carey – who has replaced Bernie Ecclestone as CEO – sees the United States as a key focus for expansion.
"The U.S. is a real opportunity for us," Carey told CNBC's Squawk Box. "There's real upside for us in the U.S. market.
"We want destination cities: Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas. That way, people would come to for a week-long event."
The 2017 calendar only features one race in the United States, with the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, set to host a grand prix for the sixth time. The race is back to back with the Mexican Grand Prix, while the only other round in North America takes place in Montreal in June.
Carey says the destinations are important so that F1 can deliver much more value to fans away from the circuits and race venues themselves in the build-up to a grand prix.
"The [revenue stream] that grows the fastest is sponsorship. Right now we have a one-man sponsorship [team]. There are many categories we're not selling into. We have signage we're not selling. We need to execute on that.
"The opportunity in the event side is to make our events bigger, broader. We have 21 events... we need 21 Super Bowls.
"Realistically, they should be week-long extravaganzas with music and activity, not just at the track. Over time the goal is to grow that dimension."
Sean Bratches will oversee the commercial side of F1 moving forward having been appointed as managing director, commercial operations on Monday. At the same time, Ross Brawn was named as managing director, motorsports by Liberty.
While highlighting future races – hinting London could become a venue – Carey also told the BBC he is keen to protect the British Grand Prix at Silverstone after recent doubts over its future.
"We will have a British Grand Prix," he said. "The foundation of the sport is western Europe. We want to grow it. There's a negotiating dynamic that exists, But we want a healthy relationship with our promoters. We are going to look at ways of making events bigger and better."