Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says a second race in the United States will really help Formula 1’s growth, ahead of a vote on a proposed grand prix in Miami.
An agreement has been reached between F1 race organizers in Miami to hold an event at Hard Rock Stadium as early as 2021, but it must gain approval from Miami-Dade County commissioners. The Miami Herald reports that two items on today’s commission agenda could place further road blocks in front of the race – one giving the commission the power to deny street closures related to racing events, the other forcing the organizers to acquire special events permits from both the city and the county – but ahead of any decision, Steiner says F1 would benefit if the event goes ahead.
“Absolutely, it will help,” Steiner said. “For Haas F1 Team, more races in America is good. But, more than for Haas – Formula 1 in general – having more races in the United States is good. Miami is a place where I think Formula 1 is already followed quite a lot. Having it near a big city is always nice and cool. We hope it will happen.
“I think Formula 1 has made good progress over the last few years in the United States. The viewing figures are up, and the United States Grand Prix in Austin is almost always sold out. I think progress is being made. It is difficult, as it’s a crowded space there with sports, but viewership is increasing.
“I think Circuit of the Americas has helped a lot to achieve that, and I think Haas F1 Team – with Gene Haas investing in the team – has also helped achieve a lot in terms of making it more popular in the United States. I’m sure there’s a lot more to come.”
While encouraged by the way F1 is heading in the United States, Steiner is less pleased with his own team’s performance level, after Kevin Magnussen finished 15th and Romain Grosjean 17th in Mexico.
“The way we directed the race was OK, it’s the car is just not fast enough,” he said. “What can you do? You try to get the best out of it, especially with Kevin – that’s what was there, there wasn’t more there. That’s it. So that’s the positive. I’m not disappointed because my hopes were always very low, so it’s like the disappointment goes away.
“The best news, it’s only three more to go! Austin will still be difficult, but not as bad as Mexico. With the high altitude we struggled more and we knew coming here that this will be (difficult) and it was.”