With Liberty Media’s takeover of Formula One ownership, could expanding the schedule in the United States be on the cards?
Formula One faces a noteworthy shake-up after Liberty Media consented to take control of the money producing sport. Liberty Media has acquired an initial 18.7 percent stake from controlling shareholder CVC Capital Partners. Furthermore, plans are to complete a cash and shares deal by the first quarter of 2017.
The agreement, which has an enterprise value of $8 billion will push forward the U.S. market.
Not a year goes by in the racing scene where fans aren’t hubba-hubba for more races in new places. Let it be NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One, etc.; fans want to see more of their favorite drivers and teams around our nation. Nevertheless, F1 may be the one series that gets this push the most.
Under the FIA banner, Formula One travels through five different continents over the course of nine months. A record-breaking twenty-one races made the cut for the 2016 calendar, adding a new race in Baku, Azerbaijan. Still, some countries that recently hosted races and others hope to land on the calendar.
It is extremely uncommon that you would see a nation have F1 for one year, then all of a sudden drop off the schedule. However, some countries only get to host the series for a few seasons before problems arise, like in India and South Korea. The sport has left off countries like Turkey and France, due to lack of agreements or lack of space. At some point, the United States was also on this list.
Today, some doubts have come up over the ascent of the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. However, with a solid show of support in 2016 and the takeover of F1 by Liberty Media, maybe the tides have changed for the series in the US. While talk quite often existed of the United States having the capacity to bolster two races, now there might be sufficient driving force to complete it.
There is absolutely no shortage of venues for a second race in the United States. From road courses to perpetual street courses, F1 has their pick of the litter with regards to where to extend in the USA. The question is – will they do it, and assuming this is the case, when is it going to happen?