Start, Shanghai International Circuit, 2018

China and USA should have more than one F1 race each – Carey

2018 F1 season

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Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey believes countries such as the USA and China are large enough to justify holing more than one race each.

Speaking at the FIA Sport Conference in Manila, Carey said he could envisage having a second F1 race in China as well as America, where a new race in Miami is under discussion.

“Right now, we’re hoping to have a second Grand Prix in the US,” he said. “I think countries of that size and scale… [it’s] important.

“Our focus is that we want to make sure that the events we have, we want to make as strong as they can be – so it is quality over quantity.”

Formula One has had a race in China since 2004 and America has previously held up to three races per year. But Carey feels F1 hasn’t tapped the sport’s potential in either market.

“China and the US are the two biggest economies in the world, and they’re two places where we’ve really just scratched the surface of the potential of the sport,” he said.

“Developing the sport in China is probably a different path to developing it in the US – I think in China we’ll look to have Chinese partners that can help us navigate that market and really work with us as partners in the overall sport. It’s important we figure out how to make sure that we enable fans in China who haven’t had the chance to experience the sport engage with it.”

Carey also confirmed F1’s interest in holding a race in Vietnam.

“Certainly Vietnam is one of those countries that is continuing to become a bigger and more exciting place for tourism, business or otherwise,” he said. “We want to be in what we call destination cities, destination countries – places that can capture the world’s imagination, and Vietnam is one of those places.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 45 comments on “China and USA should have more than one F1 race each – Carey”

    1. @jaymenon10 warned Liberty against doing a Disney, and that comment couldn’t have been more prescient, what with Liberty using Hollywood’s playbook to boost the China angle.

      I’d rather see Malaysia back on the calendar with that interesting track, rather than have another one in China.

    2. Is it easier to create a new track and have new politics to argue than trying reestablish old classics with managing bodies that have been there and done that with F1, so to speak?

      1. I’d say not only easier, but way more profitable. New countries will, by all accounts, bend over backwards in order to get onto the calendar. Often paying more money by a factor of multiples in order to secure a place. No doubt they also turn a blind eye to other legislative barriers. Existing/prevoious F1 countries know their worth and probably come to the table far more savvy, less naïve and therefore harder to manipulate.

    3. Maybe try to fill the grandstands at the Shanghai International Circuit before thinking of adding another track in China.

      1. Correct! But then again a lot of grandstands around the world are hardly full.

      2. @stillyp Attendance at Shanghai actually tends to be quite strong, Between 100,000-150,000 which is similar figures to some of the more traditional venues such as Silverstone.

        The problem with Shanghai is the place is so big that they decided to build too many grandstands, It’s built to seat over 260,000 people which was never realistic.

        It was the same problem Indy had when it was on the F1 calendar, The place is so big that even when it was getting a good crowd the place looked half empty even though it was attracting more fans than more than half of the other races on the calendar at the time.

    4. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      6th June 2018, 9:05

      I am against having two races in the same country. Going by the theory “If a country is bigger it gets more races” Russia would have about 3 or 4. There are so many tracks out there which are way better then the one we have currently. Why not use them, instead of making another grand prix where a grand prix is already taking place?

      1. Going by the theory “If a country is bigger it gets more races”

        @vettelfan17 – I could see myself getting behind that logic if we can apply it to Monaco :-)

        1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
          6th June 2018, 9:19

          @phylyp Haha, can’t say I disagree with you ;)

        2. @phylyp Isn’t it already (with races being quite shorter than normal)
          @vettelfan17 I think the logic used here is more similar to basing it on the size of the population…so the US would maybe get 2 races, China 8 and India 7 :p

          1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
            6th June 2018, 16:47

            @davidnotcoulthard they could make a whole championship in India and China alone :P

            1. @vettelfan17 So to save space for all the other countries all those races must be held in Doklam and Donglang.

      2. @vettelfan17 I couldn’t agree more with you.

      3. The number of people living there is more relevant… Monaco has problem still X)

      4. If we apply their logic, we should have the Indian Grand Prix back then, particularly given the contribution of partners like TATA

      5. I do not agree. China doesn’t deserve more than one race (but maybe in Hong Kong?) but the United States does. It is a huge country and there are so many different parts of it; the West Coast is like a different country compared to the East Coast.

    5. China isn’t even that interested in the the one 1 they have let alone 2. I understand the expansion argument (of course) but seriously you can’t do everything, Liberty seem to want to take the sport in EVERY direction choose one and do it right. Teams are already complaining about the schedule, 25 races would be the super max that F1 could do if you jam all the European rounds together week after week. Most of what liberty are coming up with is straight from fantasy land.

      One step at a time boys!

      1. I think they’re tossing out a couple of ideas that they’ve brainstormed, just to see how the media and fans react to it (not to mention team principals and drivers, since they often get asked about this as well). And based on that they may take the sport in specific directions.

        Yes, it is amusing on one hand that they want to grow the calendar, and on the other hand they say team personnel hardly get to spend time with their families.

        1. That seems to be their policy so far in regards to changes, lets spin the wheel on this idea and see who people react. Makes them look foolish.

    6. If that is a factor, maybe Brazil needs at least two as well, and Russia too.

      Attendance figures should be where this argument is based. I personally don’t care if the USA have 3, 4 or 5 as long as they are good races. Maybe we need more races in Eutope, after all the attendance is better. Maybe south America needs more, Brazil is always stacked. And what about Mexico?

      1. @johnmilk: Oh yeah? Then Canada gets 3. Or 5. I’ll let you know. And Oz gets at least 2.

        And what about Greenland? Isn’t F1 all about appearing ‘green’? Pirelli make great rain tyres as we know, how hard can 7 types Snow ‘n Ice be for them?

        1. missing the point are we?

        2. @jimmi-cynic @johnmilk I think we can confidently use a time-proven, fair and balanced distribution system:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_(game)#Territories

    7. China are moving to EVs faster than anyone. I can see them eventually exporting their own Race series at some point. It could involve robots though. They could have the engineers tell the bots what to do over a radio as part of the entertainment.

      1. Exactly- China is off on a different trajectory all together. In many ways significantly more advanced than anywhere else. I understand the appeal of the size of the economy but having been working in Shanghai on a race weekend I can say that literally nobody had the first clue or care about it. The same cannot be said for a place like Montreal where the F1 circus takes over the city. Expand the number of races- but somehow also expand the profile.

    8. You know Liberty are thoroughly confused when they posted a statement regarding the reduction of races in the calendar (and reduction of race time on weekends) to help the staff’s working conditions, and then, at the same time they talk about adding more races in the USA and China.

      I feel that Liberty are sitting around with a bunch of management consultants giving them economic reports and studies regarding the potential of markets such as the USA and China, instead of really focusing on the larger issues of how to keep existing viewers retained and increasing engagement KPIs from its existing audience.

      1. @todfod: Ding! Ding! We have a ‘consulting’ winner.

      2. @todfod you are spot on.

        All of this rubbish certainly seems to be coming from the back room and the so called marketing people.

        I’m waiting for the gradual asset strip and the fire sale next.

        Wonder if they’ll sell it back to CVC

    9. I think in China we’ll look to have Chinese partners that can help us navigate that market and really work with us as partners in the overall sport

      Lol what he is actually saying is to do business in China we need to have a one or more Chinese companies involved as part of the deal.
      Well here’s an idea, how about a Taiwanese F1 GP? They have a population of just under 24 million they are a prosperous country with a strong economy. They have love of motor racing and a couple of good circuits, so how about it Liberty?

      1. @johnrkh Liberty see China as a massive and lucrative market. What do you think the Chinese reaction would be to a Liberty-owned or sanctioned GP in Taiwan?
        Liberty will not be so stupid as to incense the Chinese authorities for the sake of a Taiwan GP.

        1. @nickwyatt The Republic of China would love it!

    10. I have to admit to a little trolling :))

    11. Are they just throwing ideas to the media to see what the reaction is? Or do they really spend energies to deliver c**p like this? The US is showing increasing interest, so a second race there could be good, but China, really? Standings there are emptier than my pockets.

      1. @m-bagattini

        And that is a distaster if you compare it to the potential.

        BTW there is a higher attendence in China than in the oilstates races.

    12. It’s a shame Liberty wants to move to new markets, and not where fans actually are. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the only 3 races of the calendar with full grandstands are the Belgian, Italian and British GP. I even saw empty seats last week at Monaco, despite it being the most prestigious race on the calendar. Can you imagine empty seats at the World Cup final? That would never happen.
      I thought F1 would go back to its roots now that Bernie left, Liberty is disappointing me.

      1. Canada tends to get full grandstands too.

        1. Yes, it does. I went there once in 2016 for the GP and we had crap seats and even those were cramped. At Montreal getting general admission is effectively useless because you can’t see the race at all anywhere there.

      2. @francorchamps17

        Last time i was at Monza (2015) Vettel was openly distressed about the lack of crowds in the grand stands. “Theres a lot of empty seats i hope you all are just cooling off in the shadows” he said during the driver parade.

    13. ConcreteDive
      6th June 2018, 15:44

      Okay, question for all. Where in the world would you most like to see a race? Don’t worry about logistics, or ethical concerns, or even whether or not they have a track. Just purely fantasy, where would it be? For me, I’d like either the streets of downtown Chicago (those beautiful stone buildings…) or North Vancouver (winding up and down the side of the mountain, near Lonsdale Quay, and the view across to downtown is just fantastic).

      1. Hong Kong, on those epic roads there, New York (Port Imperial), Argentina (Portero de Los Funes), an extended version of Mosport Park, Christchurch, New Zealand or Stockholm, Sweden.

        1. Also Cape Town, with Table Mountain as a backdrop, and the island of St Maarten.

    14. You could argue that China and the USA could justify another race because of the potential size of the market but would one more race in a 20 something race calendar make any significant difference?

      Do fans dip into F1 for the odd race a year or is it a sport where you either follow all of it throughout the year, not necessary every race live, or not watch it at all?

      As an F1 Fanatic I and most people who visit this site will obviously follow the sport for the whole season, but what about the people Liberty are trying to attract, would one more race more convenient to them make any difference in their likelihood of becoming an F1 fan?

      From a business point of view they will be thinking that F1 does not have to dominate or be the biggest sport in a country the size of China because even getting a small percentage of the population watching F1 there could be the equivalent numbers wise of all the fans in some of F1’s main established markets.

      I don’t know how popular F1 currently is in each country question nor am I an expert on the sports market in either country, I only have a very basic understanding of the American market so I will look at that as an example.

      America already has a GP so would another one make any difference in growing the sport in that country, it will mean another race which will be closer for US F1 fans to travel to but to really grow the sport I think the TV audience is a bigger factor so an extra GP would mean one more race in the right time zone for the USA but most of the races would still be run at times more suitable for other countries.

      Also with the USA you are competing for market share and fans somewhere where there are already several major established sport series you have NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB and then in terms of motorsport you have Nascar and Indycar, not to mention all the other sports competing for people’s time.

      History has shown that the best way to get people interested in F1 in a country is to have a successful driver from that country, and although I don’t follow feeder series below F1 I don’t think we will see anyone from China or the USA winning a Grand Prix anytime soon.

      Generally I am of the opinion that no country should permanently have more than one race, I don’t mind the idea of a Grand Prix alternating between different circuits in a country or the occasional extra race as a one off, but as there are so many countries that would like to host a race to have two in one country doesn’t seem right.

      The next place I would like to see F1 go to is somewhere in Africa, F1 is World Championship and it visits places all over the globe but at the moment it does not have a Grand Prix in any country on the continent of Africa.

    15. I have never been OK with the Chinese GP- there never has been much domestic interest in it and I don’t like being in a country that is by any standard authoritarian and a severe violator of human rights.

      But one thing Liberty should seriously consider is having a race in Hong Kong. Why not? It has some seriously epic roads and is very much a “destination city”.

    16. I was at the Shanghai GP this year (great race & great result)
      We were told that the grand stand that lays empty,can’t be used as it didn’t pass safety regulations…..
      ( I know…a bit hard to believe after seeing some of the dodgy infrastructure/cabling in other parts of town)
      Apparently it is unstable & sinking into the ground….
      Anyone who believes/says that FIA are looking at a Vietnam venue is crazy, as the country simply can not afford one.

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