Possible fourth US F1 race? Max Verstappen suggests an iconic venue
Max Verstappen has floated the idea of a fourth race in the United States at a classic venue in the nation, and suggested Road America as a potential destination.
Miami joined Austin on the F1 calendar last year and a street race in Las Vegas will be added for the penultimate race of the 2023 season, making it three rounds in America this season as the sport enjoys a popularity boom Stateside.
All three circuits were purpose-built for Formula 1’s arrival, but Verstappen and others have spoken about the possibility of the sport heading to an already-established track in future, with Laguna Seca regularly cited as a favourite among drivers.
The Red Bull driver voiced a couple of other options, though.
“It’s certainly possible, we also drive in Monaco, right? There are some nice options in America though,” Verstappen said when asked if older American circuits could be raced on, as per the Dutch edition of Motorsport.com.
“I also like Virginia, for example, although that track might be less in an F1 car and more something for a GT. Road America is also very nice, so there are a few tracks you can go to.
“Road America is of course reasonably fast for F1. But like any track that holds Formula 1 races, they would then obviously have to make certain adjustments to the track.”
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Would Max Verstappen’s idea be feasible in reality?
Technically, yes – but it would take a lot of factors to come together if Formula 1 was to race at a circuit like Road America.
It’s listed as holding FIA Grade 2 status but would need significant upgrades to its infrastructure if it was to make the Grade 1 status required to host Formula 1, most likely including the likes of pit facilities, track surface, kerbs and more.
The walls around the outside of Road America are also relatively close to the track itself, so any safety elements would doubtless have to be looked at to get up to Grade 1 standard.
Though with Verstappen’s home nation having achieved a mass overhaul at Zandvoort to bring it up to scratch to host modern day Formula 1, it shows that the capability is there for famous circuits to do so – but a huge amount of money and work would have to go into it in order for it to happen.
Formula 1’s American revolution in the past decade also seems to have focused on key markets in the nation as well, with big cities in Miami and Las Vegas joining Austin on the calendar – so a future move of the sport heading to the small town of Plymouth, Wisconsin would most likely have to be done on the history and status of the track, which in itself is no bad thing at all for hardcore racing fans.
Of course, we are speaking totally in hypotheticals in this scenario, but if Formula 1 was to add a fourth race in the States to its calendar, adding an iconic existing track based on its historical reputation would feel like a surefire way to get long-time fans of the sport on side, including those already based in America.
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