Four US races on F1 calendar? The ‘big question’ surrounding ‘destination races’

Sam Cooper
Sergio Perez during the 2023 Miami Grand Prix

2024 will be the second year with three US races on the F1 calendar

Former Aston Martin and Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer has suggested four races in the United States is not impossible ahead of this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.

Miami was the second venue to be added to the F1 calendar ahead of Las Vegas’ arrival in 2023 but Szafnauer, himself part American, suggested four in the country is not out of the realm of possibility.

Otmar Szafnauer backs fourth US race to be added to F1 calendar

F1’s focus on the US really kicked in once current FOM owners Liberty Media purchased the commercial rights in 2017 and since then, the sport has grown massively Stateside.

The Netflix series Drive to Survive is to account for a lot of that but the addition of two races in the country has also seen an uptick in US-based fans.

“So they have three now,” Szafnauer told select media including “It’s amazing what Netflix and probably the fact that we have three as a combination has done for the sport in America.

“I’ve got friends who are here [in London] from Florida to visit, good friends from high school and he said ‘you wouldn’t believe it, Otmar. My daughter’s friend saw a picture of you at one of my birthdays and said ‘wow, you know him?'” And that’s the Netflix effect. She’s a 17-year-old girl who wants an autograph.

“Without Netflix, [she] wouldn’t have known Formula 1 existed and now she wants an autograph.

“So it happens and it’s real. What we have to do, I think, is keep those fans interested now. recommends

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“Can there be one in New York? Four [races]? I think so.”

As to how to make each race unique, Szafnauer said they should be showpiece events with a distinct style.

“Last year in Canada, the NFL commissioner [Roger Goodell] came and talked to all the team principals and he said the same thing. He said the thing you’ve got to do now is capitalise on the fact that people are aware of your sport. Make sure you keep them and grow it and he’s right.

“To me, the big question is, how do you keep them and grow it? I’ve always said this. I’ve always said it even when we’re just at Indy, because Indy to me wasn’t really a destination race. Yeah, it had history and we had some good races there.

“But I always used to say back then, make it a destination race. I think Miami is, I think Vegas is. I think Austin too, but make it a destination race.”

Szafnauer is chairman of EventR which is an app designed to change the way individuals and companies manage their corporate and personal travel and event plans.

The app provides a simple user experience, where users can add their travel plans, including flights, hire cars, hotels and events, once your travel plans have been added to the app, they can then be shared with your travel partners or family, all those important details such as flight numbers and hotel bookings are then displayed on a timeline to all your fellow travellers.

More information can be found here or by downloading the app or the App/Google Play store.

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