October 24, 2011
Formula 1 will race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin in 2012, and now it'll race in West New Jersey in 2013.
The race will run along the Hudson River in Weehawken and West New York, according to Joe DeMarco, an attorney with West New York.
"It will provide a very challenging course - they compare it to Spa in Belgium, but will have the feel of Monaco," said DeMarco, who added that the race will take place on a four-lane highway, two lanes in each direction.
The proposed course should offer easy access to New York city residents and visitors staying in central hotels.
This is... interesting. While the New York skyline seems like an appealing worldwide destination for Formula 1, this means that the United States suddenly has two likely races on the F1 schedule in 2013. And given this country's history with the series, that's a tad perplexing.
Watkins Glen has been the longest tenured F1 track in the states, as the circuit ran there for 20 years from 1961-1980. F1 ran in Las Vegas in 1981 an 1982 after the circuit left Watkins Glen, but didn't survive because of the heat and lack of attendance. So naturally, in 1984, F1 ran a race in Dallas in July. That made sense, right?
F1 has also run at Long Beach from 1976-1983, at Detroit from 1982-1988 and Phoenix from 1989-1991. There was also a proposed F1 race in the New York City area at one of three proposed sites in 1983, but those plans were shuttered and the race never happened.
The series' last trip to the U.S. was the 2007 U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway's road course. The future of that race -- run eight times at Indy -- was essentially decided in 2005 when only six cars raced after 14 teams with Michelin tires withdrew because the tires were unreliable (to say the least).
And as we've seen with the Izod IndyCar Series, open wheel racing has been surpassed by NASCAR in the last 20 years. That may not necessarily apply to Formula 1, especially in the first few years of the races, but it's a factor.
Plus, if you couldn't tell, the series has had a hard time establishing a presence in the United States over the last 30 years. Is this a case of flipping two coins and hoping that one lands heads up? Or will both races be sustainable? We'll find out.
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