Formula One Has Received 40 Bids For Potential GP Venues in 2017
Will we be seeing another F1 race in the United States?
When Liberty Media purchased Formula One from Bernie Ecclestone in January, attitude towards the sport shifted. Attention was directly pointed towards growing the series' fan base, and as numbers have proven, the company's efforts are working. Not only that, they've drawn in other potential venues to Formula One, as F1 commercial chief Sean Bratches tells, with nearly 40 locations looking to add a race since the start of 2017.
In an interview with Motorsport.com, Bratches explained that F1's growth has seen broadened potential in more ways than one. He noted that in the short time in his position, he's been approached by fans and hopeful business partners alike in hopes of bringing more races to their municipalities.
“Right now by the operation of the Concorde Agreement, the cap is 25,” Bratches said. “In the seven months I’ve been in this job I’ve probably had about 40 countries, cities, municipalities, principalities approach me about interest in hosting an F1 race, which is extremely encouraging."
Bratches also had good news regarding the wishes of fans, saying that the series wants to add in more city circuits, a long-running crowd favorite.
“We’re going to have an apportionment between city tracks, heritage tracks, and purpose-built. The next objective is to put our shoulders behind more city races. For the reasons I stated, we think that’s a very attractive proposition from our perspective.”
Collectively, these efforts will help to expand the brand further, capitalizing on its newfound resurgence in popularity. The fact that they've received this many inquiries for race additions is a positive one, says Bratches, especially after seeing the growing manufacturer support that F1's sister series Formula E has received as of late.
"I think it’s representative of the brand, and what people are trying to do locally for fans, and drive visibility and scope for their business ... I think from a brand standpoint we’re trying to pivot and become much more proactive in identifying cities and locations that are accretive to our brand and our strategy of hosting races where you can activate large fanbases – particularly in city centres.”
This comes just days after Bratches announced that only "four or five" Grand Prix venues promote the sport to a proper standard. When asked if there were any GP events in particular that had a chance of falling off the schedule, he responded, “We love all our children! I think as we look at the apportionment of races by region, you’re going to see some fall out, and some added. We are very anxious to maximise the opportunities of these grands prix.”