United States Grand Prix – Free practice results (2)
Bernie Ecclestone has played down the prospect of adding more American races to the F1 schedule in the near future, but says talks to have a race in Las Vegas are ongoing.
With F1 enjoying something of a renaissance in the United States thanks to sustained crowd figures of around 100,000 at its latest Circuit of the Americas venue – which debuted in 2012 – there has been speculation of a second or possibly even a third US-based round to be added to the schedule.
Expectations have been spurred further by the takeover of F1 by Liberty Media, which has hinted at a desire to strengthen the sport's foothold in an American market it has thus far struggled to exploit over the years.
However, Bernie Ecclestone – who will for the time being remain the figurehead of the sport despite Liberty Media's takeover – has dampened the notion of new races being added soon.
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"I think it will be difficult to get more races," he told Reuters
. "I tried in New York. The trouble with the Americans is (that) you want to do a deal with them and they want guaranteed profit before they start. I said if I knew that was going to happen, I wouldn't need you."
Beyond the stillborn New Jersey event, Ecclestone has been pursuing a return to Las Vegas, albeit this time with a street race that would incorporate The Strip, while Miami has also been tipped. Whilst Vegas is still in the pipeline, Ecclestone admits his talks with entrepreneur Farid Shidfar remain in the planning stage.
"They are professional meeting people, the Americans, aren't they? They love meetings. Seven in the morning," he joked. "They [investors] are still behind him. You want them up front," he said. "That's the problem. They came over to see me last week and he called me back, must have been Monday, with another story."
Though many had predicted difficult days ahead for COTA after last year's event was hit by huge storms before the Texas state cut its funding, a new deal with Bernie Ecclestone has eased the pressure, while crowd figures of more than 120,000 on race day have been predicted thanks in part to a concert being held by 10-times Grammy award winner Taylor Swift.
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