Can F1 finally conquer the States

25 Aug

Ever since Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492 Europe has been desperate to conquer America, but despite numerous attempts the USA has held firm and you have to go back as far as 1776 to find the last time Europe owned American land. Like Europe F1 has tried many a time conquer the American public but despite ambitious plans and millions of dollars thrown at the idea every attempt has gone down like a lead balloon, which makes me ask the question:

“Is there any point even trying to host a GP in the US?”

Here is a summary of F1’s US disasters:

F1’s first attempt at hosting an F1 race in the USA was by incorporating the Indianapolis 500 race into the F1 calendar. To say it was a disaster would be an understatement, despite the race staying on the calendar from 1950 to 1960 only one driver ever doubled up the 500 and the rest of the F1 championship, Alberto Ascari competed in the 500 during 1952 – his first title winning season. Ascari retired on lap 40/200 with a wheel problem.

Over the years F1 has attempted to break into America 10 times. You’d have thought by now they’d have learnt that an American GP isn’t a clever idea. Of the 10 tracks used the majority did not provide good racing and at the most recent American GP at Indianapolis in 2007 only 100,000 of the 257,000 tickets were sold.

F1’s last disaster in America came in 2005 when only 6 cars competed for the victory. Although this wasn’t any fault of the organisers it only gave the race a bad press. The reason for this debacle was that tyre supplier Michelin felt that their tyres were unsafe at the high speeds sustained at the track, and although they did suggest an alternative – an artificial chicane placed on the track (a.k.a. some cones) – their idea was rejected by the stewards, this meant that only the 6 cars running on Bridgestone tyres started the race.

As Bernie Ecklestone says, “11th time lucky”

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