F1

F1 CEO declares ‘we want to create a Super Bowl’ after adding US race

Hamilton spills more on his F1 future as he makes "no limit" claim

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F1 has produced a sensational U-turn on racing in America amid a surge in popularity after the COVID-19 pandemic. As recently as 2019, the sport was ready to stop trying to attract audiences in the United States. But from 2023, there will be three US races on the calendar.

F1 has primarily struggled to succeed across the pond over the years, coming to the conclusion that expensive experiments in Detroit, Indianapolis and Austin had failed. However, the 268,000 fans in attendance at the 2019 US Grand Prix turned into more than 450,000 this year.

Organisers have taken advantage of the sport’s wave of popularity in America by introducing the Miami Grand Prix earlier this season. And F1 will make its unlikely return to Las Vegas in November 2023, showcasing a first-of-its-kind event where drivers will race down the Strip on a Saturday night.

Recently speaking about the sport’s decision to boost US-based Grands Prix from one to three within two years, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali declared that he wanted to create a ‘Super Bowl’-feel to every race on the schedule.

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Domenicali said: “It was such a quick turnaround – really a matter of two years. An incredible ‘switch-on’ that before was not there. “Our vision of, ‘Everywhere we go, we want to create a Super Bowl’ is much easier to understand if you have an American mentality.

“We are trying politely to offer something that is not pure US but international. And we saw the effect of being stubborn to be in Vegas. No one thought we’d be able to convince the committees to be on the Strip on a Saturday night.”

From 2023, six of the 24 races in the F1 calendar will take place in US-friendly time zones, indicating the sport’s dramatic change of heart in that part of the world. Grands Prix in Austin, Miami, and Las Vegas, on top of Canada, Mexico and Brazil, will make up a full quarter of the schedule. Considering F1 will visit five continents across nine months, that number is expected to stay the same for the near future.

F1 first raced in Vegas in 1981 and 1982, but there was little interest as drivers raced around the vast Caesars Palace car parks. Forty years on, the Nevada hotspot is one of America’s newest sports hubs, offering 150,000 hotel rooms, and there will undoubtedly be a ‘Super Bowl’ feel when it’s time to go racing in 12 months.

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