Formula One is back in the USA with a vengeance, with an F1 Grand Prix in Texas in 2012 and now the news that New Jersey will host F1 from 2013.
America has always played a marginal part in the F1 Circus. Yes, there have been lots of Grands Prix in the US, but the American public have never embraced F1 fully. But the news that New Jersey will host an F1 Grand Prix for ten years from 2013 could change all that.
The New Jersey Grand Prix will be a street circuit race – with the New York Skyline as its backdrop – and the hope must be that New Jersey will be to America what Monaco is to Europe – the ultimate street circuit race.
The New Jersey Grand Prix (officially it will be the Grand Prix of America, but will it end up being called the New York Grand Prix?) will take place over a 3.2 mile course on existing roads through Port Imperial, the Pallisades in Weehawken and West New York along the banks of the Hudson River.
The organisers say they expect crowds of 100,000 over a race weekend (a figure plucked from thin air, we guess, and comprising mainly of disgruntled passing New Yorkers), but if the drama of the more nimble F1 cars can catch the imagination of American race fans, the Indycar lovers could make that a conservative estimate.
The Grand Prix of America is the second Grand Prix to hit US shores, with the inaugural Circuit of Americas F1 race scheduled to take place in Austin, Texas, in 2012.
At least Bernie has a replacement in place in case South Korea decides it can’t afford to pay its F1 bills.