When it comes to automobile racing in the United States, NASCAR is still king even though it doesn't get the ratings it did a decade ago, but one racing series is looking to challenge NASCAR by expanding its own presence in the U.S. market.
Formula 1 currently holds one race each year in Austin, Texas, which is its only event in the U.S. However, Liberty Media's chief executive officer of the Formula One Group, Chase Carey, has been quoted in interviews as saying he would like to add "destination cities" to the F1 schedule, citing specific locations such as New York, Miami, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, according to a report by Auto Week.
The U.S. is Formula 1's second largest digital market, so adding more races--that can be viewed live in the U.S.--could provide the opportunity to grow the sport even further. While cities such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas were mentioned as possible destinations for a grand prix, it would make more sense for Formula 1 to select a location on the East Coast instead. That's because starting a Grand Prix at 2pm on the East Coast would allow the racing series to broadcast at 8pm in Europe, which is primetime for that audience. In contrast, a race starting at 2pm on the West Coast would begin at 11pm in Europe.
There are currently four races that can be shown live to U.S. fans. Those events are held in Austin, Brazil, Mexico, and Canada. The good news for Formula 1 fans in the U.S. is Formula 1's managing director of commercial operations, Sean Bratches, stated the series would like to have a total of six races that it can broadcast live to U.S. consumers.
There have also been rumors that Formula 1 could return to Argentina since the country already has a circuit and history with the series, but it's possible that Argentina could simply replace Brazil on the schedule due to Brazil's current economic troubles.
It should also be noted that everything mentioned is just speculation at this point. Carey has made it clear the specific cities that Formula 1 will be adding to its schedule have yet to be officially chosen and that no deals have been made at this point.
"I am not going to discuss the specific venues," Carey said in his interview with Auto Week. "We are engaged with multiple cities. In the past, Formula 1 has often talked first and done the deals afterwards. That is not how we work. Our strategy is to get the deals done and then talk about them afterwards."