A city councillor has revealed initial conversations with F1 about a Chicago Grand Prix have been held after F1 sparked intrigue last week.
F1 recently lodged trademarks on variations of the ‘Chicago Grand Prix’ moniker with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, sparking speculation that a Chicago GP could be a possibility in the years to come.
In 2017, F1 did the same for Miami and Las Vegas – both of which came to pass over the past two years – although their lodging of trademarks for a New York race hasn’t resulted in a race in the city.
What are the chances of a Chicago Grand Prix?
The United States currently holds three races – Miami and Las Vegas, alongside the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas – but a fourth race in the country isn’t likely just yet.
PlanetF1.com understands there are currently no intentions to go racing in Chicago, while trademarks are sometimes filed for in order to ensure other entities can’t lay claim to the intellectual property.
But a local politician has revealed superficial conversations about the possibility of a race did occur, as he told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“I’m told that F1 typically requires a 10-year minimum deal. And that appears to be non-negotiable. The conversation [with the city] did not get much past that,” said Alderman Brian Hopkins.
As one of the largest cities in the United States, its geographical location in the northeast of the country places it in an opposing corner to the existing races.
But, having just brought a NASCAR race to the city – located in Grant Park on a three-year deal under then-Mayor Lori Lightfoot – Alderman Brendan Reilly said it’s not possible to host both – NASCAR will win out in that particular battle, due to the vastly more demanding logistics of a Formula 1 event.
“It would have to be one or the other,” he said.
“What we did with NASCAR, welding manhole covers and smoothing over potholes and calling it a track — that doesn’t work with F1. More complicated, thus higher price tag,” said Hopkins.
Hopkins’ referral to a 10-year deal coincides with the announcement that Madrid is to take over the hosting of the Spanish Grand Prix from 2026, having signed a 10-year deal with F1 that threatens the future of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as an F1 race host.
The Miami Grand Prix, as well as Qatar and Las Vegas, are also on current 10-year deals, while the Hungaroring has had its contract extended until the end of 2032.