Where should a future United States Grand Prix be held?

Matthew Little

Points Scorer
http://cliptheapex.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1572
Bernie threatening to axe some European races


Reading this thread got me to thinking(a scary thought if there was ever one........... ;) :o :o :o )...............
Where should a future United States Grand Prix be held? Considering manufacturer interest in the various top-level racing series in North America(IndyCar, NASCAR, Grand-Am, ALMS, SCCA, etc...) it's almost criminal that the USGP doesn't have a spot on the F1 calendar........

Anyway, there is one natural-terrain road course in the United States which exemplifies road racing at its' best..............http://www.roadamerica.com/. Road America. :)

Referred to over the years as "America's Spa"(in honor of Spa-Francorchamps), Road America is a racers' race-track if there ever was one. With fast, high-speed sections(Road America Straight, Moraine Sweep, Hurry Downs and Kettle Bottoms) to great places for overtaking(exs. Turn 5 exiting the Moraine Sweep & Turn 8 from Hurry Downs) to a wickedly challenging Carousel to one of the scariest corners in AOWR............the Kink. With the exception of a chicane prior to the Kink that AMA Pro Racing(motorcycles) uses, the track is pretty much the same as it's been since its' creation in 1955 and it will definitely separate the great drivers from the merely good ones.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Road America is undoubtedly an outstanding circuit, for me certainly the best in the US, and would be a fine addition to F1's calendar.

Unfortunately it suffers doubly from a long-term lack of investment and being located in a relative wilderness - F1 not only requires a certain level of facilities at the track, but a certain number of hotel rooms too. And we Brits think Silverstone is out in the sticks... :D

Sears Point is another good circuit and Watkins Glen would be a third on my list. They at least are close to centres of population, but again would need substantial upgrading.

The question is what exactly F1 wants to do in the US. If it just wants to bob along happily with interest solely from enthusiasts, CART refugees, ex-pat Europeans and majority Latin-speakers attending the races, then any of those circuits (or a return to Indy) would be fine.

If they want to try to take on NASCAR, though, and try to tap into a much bigger market (foolish, it seems to me, but surely that's what Mercedes, Renault, Ferrari et al would want) then they need something bigger and brasher, and obviously the place you go for big and brash is Vegas!

I've suggested before holding a night race on a street circuit in Vegas. Right up along the Strip, past all the lights etc. Precede it with a concert, get some singer or celebrity to switch the lights on/off, Diana Ross with the chequered flag or whatever. Whether it's F1 or not is open to question, but it's certainly a spectacle.

Better get the racing sorted out first though, eh?
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Of all the places F1 has experimented with in the US over the years the only place I can think I would like to see a race at again is Long Beach. The high concrete sides around the track weren't very aesthetically pleasing but I don't remember a bad race at Long Beach (maybe it's rose tinted specs of days long past?).

I seem to recall it being referred to as "the funnel" because of the high attrition rate there was in the races, I don't think the drivers face such challenges nowadays.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
Just as long as it isn't a new circuit or an oval that has been converted I don't care. All the US road circuits have their own unique ambience, appeal and challenges. Indianapolis was singularly uninspired, uninspiring and with the atmosphere of a rather old cheesecake, it made my blood boil every time they raced there. :givemestrength: :givemestrength: :givemestrength:
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I'm not familiar with Road America but having checked it out on the website and Wikipedia, it looks like a fairly interesting circuit.

It has what is for me one of the fundamentals of a good circuit, as Wikipedia explains: "The track features many elevation changes"

However, I can't see it ever featuring on Bernie's radar for all of the reasons already mentioned.
F1 these days is more about corporate hospitality and less about racing.

Edit: Just noticed this on the Wiki page too: "The track is available in the Xbox game ... as standard track in Forza Motorsport 3"
I might have to finally pick up a copy and see how the track drives :D
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Just as long as it isn't a new circuit or an oval that has been converted I don't care. All the US road circuits have their own unique ambience, appeal and challenges. Indianapolis was singularly uninspired, uninspiring and with the atmosphere of a rather old cheesecake, it made my blood boil every time they raced there.
I always thought that having the GP at Indy was a bit like holding a football match at Twickenham (home of English Rugby for those not familiar with the place). Indy was an adequate venue but never it never inspired in F1. Just because the track is a famous motorsport venue it dosn't mean that nostalgia will spill over into every race series.

I know a lot of people would love to see cars going through the corkscrew at Laguna Seca. A totally un-realistic prospect for F1 but fascinating all the same.

As already mentioned Long Beach and Watkins Glen have a lot of F1 History and I think either would be a welcome addition to the season.

I don't know if this quote is true or not since it's lifted from Wikipedia but it made me smile. It's taken from the page on the Phoenix street circuit:

"The death blow for the organizers came when word arose that a local ostrich festival had drawn more people than the Grand Prix."
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
Road Atlanta might be interesting, although it is overlooked by most people.
 
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