Gone are the days when F1 disappeared, without a tear, from the United States. It was in 2007, just after the 2005 Indianapolis scandal, when Michelin, unable to race on the legendary circuit’s oval, forced all the teams it equipped to drop out, leaving the six teams racing at Bridgestone to compete in a parody of Grand Prix. .
Since then, things have changed a lot. And not only because of the whim, then very isolated, of a promoter Tavo Hellmund, having the idea of inviting F1 in the middle of Texas, in Austin, at a time (2012) when discipline barely had the smell of sanctity in the country of the hamburger. Since then, Liberty, an American media company, bought the discipline from Bernie Ecclestone and offered Netflix the possibility of mounting the sport with the success that we know.
Last year, the Circuit of the Americas in Austin was more than full (400,000 spectators on the weekend) and in a month, Miami will do the same for an event that will take place in the parking lot of a soccer stadium, headquarters also of miamea tennis tournament this week. There will even be a parade of team managers in addition to the pilots.
Last night, F1 went into high gear. This time, the United States will dictate its law to the rest of the world. With all the consequences that this implies for the country to discover this sport in prime time. There will be a third race in the country, starting next year.
Better yet, it will take place on a Saturday night (that is, Sunday morning in Europe with the nine-hour shift) in Las Vegas around the mythical Strip, probably Thanksgiving weekend, when everything United States travel and rest. Yet another circuit in the city, 6.12 km long with 14 corners and a promised top speed of 342 km/h, around all the most prestigious hotels in the city such as the Bellagio, the Paris, the Venetian or even the Caesar’s.
The circuit of the future Las Vegas Grand Prix.
A return home for F1 that had already arrived twice in the capital of vice but without the gold, and far from the sinister karting that it then had in store for it. In the early 1980s, the discipline had ended its season at this very Caesars Palace, a prestigious hotel on the Strip but far from the legendary avenue, to draw the circuit in its parking lot in the middle of concrete blocks. And it was a general indifference that Jacques Laffite had dropped the title in 1981 and that Rosberg was crowned in 1982.
It will be the first time that Formula 1 has, in the United States, a race in prime time. A way to validate their success in a country that until then had barely tasted discipline and to change their habits. Since 1986, there has been no race on a Saturday. Proof of the importance of the event was Greg Maffei, president of Liberty Media, usually completely absent from the sport, who accompanied Stefano Domenicali to formalize the celebration of the event from Tuesday to Wednesday night.