Romain Grosjean admits that he would like to see the United States of America host ‘three races’ in Formula 1 in a bid to help gain more interest with the American audience.
Haas F1 Team will head into the United States Grand Prix looking for a result in front of their home fans. In only their third season, they lie fifth overall in the constructors’ championship behind Renault Sport Formula One Team as the two battle for the title of ‘best of the rest’.
The race in Austin, Texas has been on the calendar since 2012 and has been the home to F1 within the USA, reviving the interest of the sport after the race within the States was dropped after 2007, due to the backlash of the infamous 2005 United States Grand Prix where only six cars raced.
Grosjean was among one of the drivers who competed in the first ever race at the 3.4 mile circuit, finishing seventh in his Lotus. The following year saw the Frenchman achieve his best ever F1 result with second place, finishing 6.2 seconds behind race winner Sebastian Vettel.
“I didn’t know what to expect the first time we went to COTA in 2012,” said the Frenchman when recalling his first visit to the circuit during the 2012 Formula 1 Season.
“Obviously, many people still had in mind the 2005 grand prix at Indianapolis. When we came back though, it was probably the biggest attendance of the season that year. It’s always packed. It’s a great circuit with a great atmosphere. I love going there.”
Whilst F1 maybe a popular Motorsport series worldwide, it lacks the viewership and interest to IndyCar and NASCAR who solely run in the States rather than travelling around the world.
Fans of F1 within the USA have to wake up early to tune into the sport due to the start times preferred for European viewers. Grosjean believes the sport needs more recognition within the States by hosting ‘two or three races’ within the country, with Miami set to be one of the races F1 owners’ Liberty Media wants to add onto the calendar in 2020.
“It’s very important for us. It’s our home race,” said Grosjean. “To have more recognition in the United States, we need more than one grand prix, just because the time zones don’t always work.
“It’s not easy to follow Formula One in America. It’s different from NASCAR or IndyCar. We would probably need another two or three races to get more of an audience there.
“Miami’s been talked about. Los Angeles or Las Vegas have too. I think if we had Austin, then one race on the east coast, another on the west coast, and with Canada and Mexico too, that would be pretty good.”
Grosjean will race with Haas on their home track for a third year running, and will hope to help the team resume their fight for fourth place against Renault.
Ahead of the United States Grand Prix, Grosjean adds that racing with an American team at an American track feels ‘special’ and provides an extra feeling knowing the American fans will be cheering on the team.
“It’s special. It’s like when I’m in the French Grand Prix, I get an extra feeling, something special.
“At COTA, it’s the same thing. You expect a lot of fans to be coming and cheering for you. You can see them there wearing the Haas colors, T-shirts, caps, scarfs, whatever.
“It’s just great to know that it’s not always about, say, Lewis or Max, but that it’s about Haas F1 Team as well.”