The United States Grand Prix in Austin could be boosted by the expected arrival of a race in Miami, according to Haas team principal Guenther Steiner.
The 2019 calendar is expected to be published in the coming weeks with Miami due to be provisionally included subject to the city finalizing a contract to host an October race next year. With back-to-back American races a possibility, Steiner says it’s important Formula 1 expands in the region and believes the two races can complement each other rather than threaten the future of the existing US race at Circuit of The Americas.
“I think it’s good for the sport to have a bigger North American presence because it’s still the biggest economy in the world,” Steiner said. “I think we’ve got a little bit more interest in Formula 1 in America now. I don’t know how much of that we’ve contributed to and how much Liberty Media contributed to, but Formula 1 in America seems to have a little bit of traction at the moment.
“A second race would be great, especially at a place like Miami, which should attract international guests and travelers. That’s always good for anybody, having people come from outside. By boosting the overall interest in Formula 1 in North America, Austin will benefit as well, because people who go to Miami also go to Austin, or people who cannot go to Miami, will go to Austin instead of Miami.
“I think it’s a very good thing to have two races in North America, and it would be fantastic for me. It would be a second race for me in the same time zone I’m living in.”
Next year is poised to see another 21-race calendar with the German Grand Prix dropping off as Hockenheim only hosts a race on alternate years, but Steiner is open to further expansion as long as teams benefit from a business prospective.
“I don’t think there is an ideal number, and I don’t think the plan is to increase it a lot. I don’t think we should increase it if there is no financial gain for it. If there is a financial upside to it, we can plan better with exchanging people, or send them home after, or send some people out earlier and home later, or something like that — we can deal with it.
“But if we have the same amount of money and we just do more, we are working a lot more for the same amount of money, which means you’re getting less. Nobody is striving hard to get less, so we need to keep that in mind.
“Also, I think we need to be careful that we’re not oversaturating the people which are interested in Formula 1. If we have a grand prix every weekend, it’s not news anymore. Liberty Media is well aware of these elements of it, and they will handle it accordingly.”