Ex-F1 driver criticises Formula 1’s obsession with the US

Formula 1 will race in the United States three times in 2023, with events in Austin, Miami, and Las Vegas.

The United States has played an increasingly important role in the Formula 1 calendar in recent years, as the sport gains popularity in America.

The rise in interest in Formula 1 from American fans has been credited to the Netflix series ‘Drive to Survive’, which has taken viewers behind the scenes of the sport.

Since 2012, Formula 1 has visited the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, while a race in Miami, Florida was added to the calendar last season.

The third race, around the streets of Las Vegas, Nevada, is due to take place later this year, with Formula 1 officials expecting it to be a star-studded event.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Having three events already on the calendar hasn’t stopped some calling for more US races to reflect the demand for the sport across America.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenecali even recently hinted during an interview with Sky Sports that he is open to another Grand Prix in the US, with speculation that new York could be a target.

“Who wouldn’t want to race in New York,” Formula 1 director of media rights Ian Holmes said.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also agreed that a race around New York would be an exciting “spectacle.”

Article continues below

However, ex-Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger has warned against this increased focus on the United States, urging the sport to keep its focus on traditional tracks.

Berger, who secured his best result in Formula 1 at the 1987 Grand Prix in Detroit, believes that the spotlight on races, such as Las Vegas, even risks distracting from classics, such as the Monaco Grand Prix.

“I have an issue with too many races – this will be the third or fourth in the US now,” Berger explained. 

READ: Carlos Sainz blasts the FIA

“Less is more, there’s too many in the USA.

“Vegas is too glitzy for me. Maybe I am old fashioned but I want to go to Spa, Monza, Budapest. 

“I even want to go to Monaco but now that isn’t even glitzy anymore compared to what’s going on here.”