Formula 1 wants American drivers on the grid

Date published: May 30 2021

Formula 1 United States Grand Prix flag

Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali said getting teams to look for young American drivers working their way up is a priority.

Liberty Media has earmarked the United States as a major market for Formula 1 to tap into ever since taking control of the series in 2017.

There is the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas which is set to return in 2021, following a COVID-enforced absence last season, and for 2022 the Miami Grand Prix will debut as Formula 1 looks to further its presence in the nation.

Something which is missing though is an American driver. The last Formula 1 racer to hail from the USA was Alexander Rossi, who made five starts for backmarkers Manor Marussia in 2015.

As for current options, there was talk of IndyCar’s Colton Herta being a contender for a Formula 1 switch, but he has since signed a new deal with Andretti Autosport.

Red Bull do have American youngster Jak Crawford in their junior ranks, but at 16, he is far away from being considered for a Formula 1 seat.

Understandably then Domenicali sees this as a long-term project, but remains keen to ensure that teams are searching for American racing prospects.

Circuit of the Americas

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“You know, we are working with teams, trying to understand what is really the possibility for American drivers to come to the attention of F1 teams in the short term,” Domenicali told analysts on a first quarter earnings call.

“This could come. I don’t see that, being very pragmatic and realistic, coming in the next two or three years. But maybe after, yes. I know that there are teams watching other good drivers, that if they’re ready, will be a big boost for the American fans.

“Because as we know faces, drivers, they put enthusiasm, passion, the people want to see these guys. And therefore, the hope is that very, very soon we have American drivers competing against all the others in the F1 championship.”

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