The event may still be the subject of rumour and doubt, but the Grand Prix of America is pressing ahead with its bid to join the 2013 F1 schedule, with a logo launch the latest stage of its brand-building exercise.
The Olympics does it with five interlocking rings, Wimbledon does it with crossed racquets, so organisers of the Grand Prix of America - to be staged at Port Imperial on the shores of the Hudson River in New Jersey next June - knew they had to rise to the challenge as they began to establish a brand for their event.
After reviewing dozens of renderings, the group chose a blue-and-red logo that features a stylized Statue of Liberty crown over a chequered-flag helmet, anchored by a single star - but the image also has a hidden, artistic layer.
"If you lay the logo over the Statue of Liberty face, the flag works perfectly with the hair, and one of the chequers in the flag and the star line up with her eyes," graphic designer Aaron Justus divulged, "There's a link that may not be obvious to every viewer, but it's really cool how it worked out."
The logo was created by Racer Media and Marketing, a media and design agency directed by president Paul Pfanner. Although the Grand Prix of America staff considered a number of concepts, the Statue of Liberty was key to everyone. The iconic monument, which represents freedom and international friendship, graces the Hudson River harbour between New York and New Jersey, and appears in the backdrop of views from the proposed pit straight.
Pfanner said it was a fitting symbol for the race, which will run on a 3.2-mile road course in the towns of Weehawken and West New York, fringed by the dramatic New York skyline.
"The constant, through every planning process, was the Statue of Liberty iconography," he said, "It is shared between the New York metro area and New Jersey, something that the whole region and country can claim as an identity. It registers immediately as America to people. It's international, too – it's a gift from France to this country, which is an ironic metaphor; Grand prix racing started on the roads of France and today is headquartered in Paris."
Pfanner, Justus and their associate George Tamayo worked on the brand identity for two months, in consultation with the Grand Prix of America management group. The first step was determining all that the logo needed to represent: the race and other associated events, the locale and the sport.
"We were naming the entity that was responsible for the race circuit and for the promotion and organising of the event - it was the movement of bringing America to F1, rather than F1 to America," Pfanner noted.
Then the graphics came together. The group agreed on the crown element, but Justus wanted it to be distinct.