US Grand Prix: Grand Prix International confident of future

We’re talking straight up, no hedging, with the momentum in its favour and the potential of 2021 firmly ahead of it. Grand Prix International, which organises the U.S. Grand Prix, is confident in its…

US Grand Prix: Grand Prix International confident of future

We’re talking straight up, no hedging, with the momentum in its favour and the potential of 2021 firmly ahead of it.

Grand Prix International, which organises the U.S. Grand Prix, is confident in its future as the home of motorsport’s second race.

It enters a new commercial agreement with the sanctioning body, F1, on 1 April 2017 and it is already feeling the buzz at its headquarters in Ohio.

“After seven-and-a-half years of negotiations we are really, really confident in the future,” said Grand Prix International CEO, Craig Davison.

Grand Prix International spent five-and-a-half years negotiating to move the race from Austin, Texas, to Los Angeles, instead of raising the £600m needed to resurface the Circuit of the Americas circuit, which is currently under construction.

Craig Davison (left) and Gilles Villeneuve are confident in the future of the U.S. Grand Prix.

“We had to start all over again and I think we have been fortunate to do that and put ourselves in a much better position,” Davison told BBC Sport.

“We are in the position to position ourselves for 2021 with a great opportunity in front of us.”

There was concern that the street circuit in Austin could not bear a second Grand Prix, but the revisions have increased the scope of the race.

Media playback is not supported on this device Exhaust problems for Hamilton at US GP

Closed circuit, super speedway

The circuit design will be the same as in Austin, running a total of just over one mile – an incredibly compact distance for a Grand Prix.

Only a couple of hundred yards of the circuit will be on an open road running through the heart of Los Angeles and connected by a super fast super speedway called The Pit, built on the old home of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Only a couple of hundred yards of the circuit will be on an open road running through the heart of Los Angeles and connected by a super fast super speedway called The Pit.

The famous Hollywood sign at the start of the road will be visible through the metal bars at Turn Four – the end of the super speedway. The sign will be illuminated from the pits in front of the cars and officials.

The track layout will be two-thirds closed circuit and one-third super speedway.

Red Bull’s Andretti is confident fans will enjoy Los Angeles’ new circuit.

Two closed segments are between 15 and 20 degrees at passable speeds and the super speedway sections and the less-known racetrack around the start and finish will reach just above 125mph.

“It’s going to be great because it is not full of holes, it is going to be clean and the structure is completely different to what we had in Austin,” said Honda-powered American racer, Ryan Hunter-Reay.

“It will be very specific and we can really feel it, the fans will enjoy it and there’s not too many cars with similar speeds.

“Here, you have 220kmph which is the equivalent of about a red Corvette, all the cars are a little more steady. It will be much more suited to pushing around.”

Trust the fans

Despite the sports’ financial troubles, it is hard to detect the nerves in the run-up to this Grand Prix.

International racegoer, Jonathan, is upbeat about the future of the U.S. Grand Prix.

A grand prix, a good race in L.A will do very well – especially if it keeps for years

“I’m really confident in their ability to do something clever and interesting in terms of raising the profile of the sport in L.A.,” he said.

“They’ve done it everywhere they’ve gone, they’ve got the management out of Austin, they’ve got the track engineers on there, the work over there has been outstanding and they’ve got the management team.

“A grand prix, a good race in L.A will do very well – especially if it keeps for years and years and years.

“They’ve changed the landscape in Austin and if they can do it again in L.A, it will open up a lot of opportunity.”

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