Lewis Hamilton says he feels F1 can finally crack America on the back of the success of last season's United States Grand Prix.
Hamilton won the first race at the Circuit of the Americas last year and will now go into the 2013 running of the race in November seeking to defend his title.
The decision to compete at the new circuit in Texas came after the troubles faced by F1 while racing at Indianapolis and Hamilton said he felt there was now a chance for the sport to finally be accepted in the USA.
“I feel like it can grow,” the Mercedes man said. “The more I go to the States, the more I meet people who are crazy-passionate about it; in fact I'd say more people than we probably realise love the sport.
“Obviously, most have grown up with NASCAR and F1 is new to many US motorsport fans so it could take some time, but I think its popularity will grow and it will succeed in America.”
Admitting that his win in Austin last year had been come on a 'perfect weekend', Hamilton said he would return for what will be the penultimate race on the 2013 schedule confident of challenging for a second win.
“It's been a fantastic season, bar a couple of races, but overall I feel like it's been a blessing,” enthuses Hamilton. “I am grateful for the results I have had so far and being able to finish in the top five regularly has been great. I really feel I have got more than I expected from this season. I think my approach to future seasons will be similar to this one because I feel I now appreciate what I've got more than ever before.
“I'm really looking forward to returning to COTA, especially as I feel I have a better car this year and I feel like we will be strong that weekend. Mostly I am looking forward to seeing if I can hold on to my title. It is extra special to me as it is the first 'new' track where I have my name tagged to it for the first win, something that will go down in F1 history, so it is quite special to me.”