Steiner: Three US F1 races 'still not enough' – Motorsport Week

Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner believes that three Formula 1 race events in the USA is “still not enough” for the country.
In 2023, Las Vegas will join the schedule as the penultimate round of the year, joining Austin and Miami as the three US-based races.
Austin has been on the calendar since 2012, while Miami held its first event earlier this year, with Max Verstappen taking the race win.
F1’s popularity in the US has rocketed over the last handful of years, with the sport capitalising on the increased interest by augmenting its presence in the region.
However, Steiner believes that there is room for even more US-based grands prix on the calendar.
“I would say the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is for hardcore fans – they’ve been here now for 10 years and everybody loves to go there, it’s a great race track, great event and a great city,” Steiner said.
“Miami is Miami, we had a lot of people this year, more than a lot, and it’s another great event but it was completely different, it was like a big festival.
“I don’t know what Las Vegas will be but it will be big as well. We always have to think that the US is a big country and to have three races, it’s still not enough, I believe.
“There is something for everybody and I think each event has something in particular about it. Two of them have done a good job and I’m sure Las Vegas will do a good job as well.”
COTA celebrates a decade of existence in 2022, with the upcoming weekend the 10th US Grand Prix to be held at the venue.
Steiner has hailed COTA chairman Bobby Epstein for the work he has done with F1 over the last several years.
“When the US Grand Prix in Austin was first held, it was something completely new,” Steiner said. “Formula 1 hadn’t been in the States for a long time and there were a lot of naysayers saying it wouldn’t work.
“Thanks to Bobby Epstein, who kept on pushing, as it’s now a fan favourite after 10 years. Formula 1 without Austin is difficult to think about – Austin has become a classic.
“It has brought a lot to the fans as they can go to a great event, this season with 400,000 expected spectators and for the rest of the world, it’s great racing in the States.”
Three US GPs is too many. 20+ total races is too many. Time to go back to 15-16 races per year (at historic tracks) so they feel like they mean something. When reaching 20 races per season, and especially going over 20, they start to feel meaningless. When there were fewer races per season, as a fan you would never want to miss one of them because they were all so important. Now there are so many (in undesirable locations) that quite a few can be skipped and it doesn’t matter. And with Liberty’s NFL-type presentation and god-awful Sky announcers, it’s very easy to miss most of the season and just read race recaps. The sport needs a serious overhaul.
Uh, hey Guenther. Let’s not get too carried away heaping praise on shady Bobby Epstein as if he did something special bringing F1 to Austin. That’s just pure revisionism. Tavo Hellmund is the guy you should be thanking for bringing the USGP to Austin and F1 back to the States. Hellmund secured the F1 US rights from Bernie after years of hard work. He lobbied the Texas Legislature and secured the State funding – from which COTA has benefitted to the tune of $300,000,000 so far. They still have $200,000,000 inbound in the next 5 years. Without those two things, COTA would never have even been built in the first place. Epstein kicked Hellmund out of the project Hellmund had put years into, and took the race rights from him. Epstein later had to pay millions in damages in the settlement of Hellmund’s lawsuit over the rights. Hellmund, as I’m sure you know very well, Guenther, is the ‘racing guy’. Epstein is a hedge fund manager with not a single racing bone in his body.
I like Steiner, he’s a funny bloke, but he’s talking out of his arse here. No country should have more than one race per season. We need to dump two of the yank races, not add more. And yes, one of the Italian ones has to go too. There are easily more than twenty-four countries around the world capable of hosting and willing to host Formula One, so let’s get it spread out and get back to being a genuine world championship, visiting all regions of the globe. Nothing could be more boring than turning the series into the American championship. That would be awful.
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