Miami still a focus but F1 in talks elsewhere in USA
By Chris Medland | RACER magazine and RACER.com F1 correspondent
Formula 1 is continuing to push ahead with plans for a race in Miami but is “engaged in discussions elsewhere in the US,” according to chairman and CEO Chase Carey.
Miami was originally set to join the calendar in 2019 but opposition against the plans slowed the process, leading the City Commission and F1 to agree to defer for a year. While Carey says the intention remains to host the race in Florida, he says there are also talks ongoing with other potential venues in America.
“Miami — clearly there’s an ongoing process, a lot of parties involved, which is not uncommon when you get a street race that you’ve got macro-parties and micro-parties that are interested,” Carey explained during a Liberty Media conference call. “It’s a time-consuming process to navigate through all of those; I guess I’d say it’s active.
“The fan festival was a positive help, I think everybody in Miami thought it was a great experience, great energy, great excitement — 80,000 people and really almost all the comments we got were positive about it and recognized it as a unique world class event and helped reinforce what we bring. That’s a positive step, but it takes time when you’re working through a process like Miami, when there’s many constituencies we have to deal with.
“The U.S. remains a priority; we’re engaged with discussions elsewhere in the U.S., so it’s not just Miami… but we think Miami really could be a great signature event for us worldwide, not just in the U.S.”
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While Miami has yet to join the calendar, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone will host the last race of its current deal next season and Carey says F1 has been looking at contingency plans if a new agreement can’t be reached.
2018 British GP (Image by JEP/LAT)
“I think, on ongoing negotiations and discussions, we’ve said in the past this is a sport that seems to like to negotiate in public, and I don’t think that’s the healthiest way to deal with things as partners. I don’t think we want to provide a lot of inside-the-tent commentary on active discussions — we value the Silverstone race but we’ve got to get to a place that works for us.
“Those discussions are ongoing, there’s always other options — it’s one of those things we make sure, is we’re continuing to develop an array of options. We’re in a fortunate place right now that we have more places that want to have races than we can race, and that’s a good place to be.
“We’ll continue to develop those options, and make sure we are able to make the best decisions both for fans and for racing. For us as a business, all those things matter, and we’re actively engaged.”
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ABOUT CHRIS MEDLAND
While studying Sports Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, Chris managed to talk his way into working at the British Grand Prix in 2008 and was retained for three years before joining ESPN F1 as Assistant Editor. After three years at ESPN, a spell as F1 Editor at Crash Media Group was followed by the major task of launching F1i.com’s English-language website and running it as Editor. Present at every race since the start of 2014, he has continued building his freelance portfolio, working with international titles. As well as writing for RACER, he contributes to BBC 5Live and Sky Sports in the UK as well as working with titles in Japan and the Middle East.