Liberty Media, the American majority share holders of Formula One, have reportedly taken the first steps to secure the Grands Prix brand names in New York, Las Vegas and Miami.
It’s no secret that the new owners want to strengthen the Formula One presence in the United States. Chase Carey has been on record several times with the same message: “We want to organise more races on US soil in the future.”
Carey et al believe that the US market is untapped and offers the F1 a lot of growth potential.
Formula 1 officials have now taken the first legal steps to secure the brand names for GP races in New York, Las Vegas and Miami, a necessary move to manufacture and distribute licensed merchandising products for the respective events. Corresponding applications have been filed with the US Patent Office.
Back in August, F1 CEO Chase Carey revealed to the American motorsport publication, Racer Magazine, that “In the United States, we are looking to move to exciting cities – and I’m looking at four in particular. New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Las Vegas and we’ve received serious interest from all four.”
The idea of a race in New York is far from new. There has been repeated mentions and non-starter plans in the recent past by previous F1 ringmaster Mr Ecclestone, most likely as part of an intricate and unrelated deal elsewhere. Such was the way in which the man operated. Red Bull also poured fuel onto the fire by filming a car tearing around the streets of the city in a promotional video.
Las Vegas last hosted a race in 1981 and 1982, famously in the vast car park of Caesars Palace Hotel. More recently in 2016, the entrepreneur Farid Shidfar attempted to set up a GP in Vegas, band rolled by money from Chinese investors and a middle Eastern conglomerate. Thus far nothing has progressed, nor is it likely to.
How these extra races would be incorporated into the current calendar is anyones guess. It is fairly clear that by attempting to add more races to US soil, the new owners of F1 are aiming at markets they know best, perhaps seeing this as ‘low hanging fruit’. Quite how well they can modify the sporting regulations to better fit the US audience is an entirely different question however.