F1 needs two US races on east/west coasts – Whitmarsh

Formula one needs the US but Martin Whitmarsh has admitted he would have preferred a pair of races on the east and west coasts.

After Indianapolis hosted America’s most recent grand prix in 2007, the sport will return to the USA next June to race on a bespoke circuit in the capital of Texas.

But Austin is in the United States’ central south rather than on the eastern seaboard featuring New York, or the west close to Washington or California.

“America doesn’t need us, but we need to conquer it,” Whitmarsh, not only boss of McLaren but also the F1 teams alliance FOTA, said during a fan’s forum on Thursday at the British team’s Woking factory.

“Maybe we need to have two races a year and a proper marketing programme. We have to conquer America — that’s a five-year programme. We’ve got to be on the east coast and the west coast.

“It’s a big enough market and an important enough market to have two races and we should be over there.

“I have nothing against Texas and I hope it’s a very successful race, but the natural hinterland for us is the east coast and the west coast. Long Beach and around New York; those are the places where we’re going to create interest in F1,” added Whitmarsh.

Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn agrees: “That (the east and west coast) is the commercial and business side.”

And Force India’s deputy team principal Bob Fernley added: “The west coast and the east coast are the natural homes for F1 in America.”

Source: GMM

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