Brawn: Fan engagement justifies two F1 races – and maybe more – in US

Ross Brawn says last weekend's sell-out crowd at the US Grand Prix and fan engagement at COTA "comfortably"... The post Brawn: Fan engagement justifies two F1 races – and maybe more – in US appeared first on F1i.com.

Brawn: Fan engagement justifies two F1 races – and maybe more – in US

Ross Brawn says last weekend's sell-out crowd at the US Grand Prix and fan engagement at COTA "comfortably" justifies having two races – and perhaps more – in America.

An estimated 400,000 attendees converged to the Circuit of the Americas last weekend to watch Formula 1, a massive number that easily surpassed the British Grand Prix and Silverstone's previous 351,000 record attendance in 2019.

The 2021 US Grand Prix will therefore go on record as the biggest race weekend in the history of Formula 1.

"We’re seeing a very strong engagement with American fans now," commented Brawn in his post-race debrief for F1.com.

"For years, F1 was a cult hobby in America but we are now seeing a genuine increase in engagement. Fans know the drivers, they know the personalities, they know the nuances of F1.

"It’s very exciting and I think it demonstrates F1 can comfortably have two races in the USA – and maybe more – because of the passion of the fans we’ve experienced this weekend."

Like the sport's fans, Brawn was enthralled with the action on the track on race day and the fierce battle between F1's two title protagonists, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

"F1’s return to the United States for the first time in two years was an incredibly tense contest all the way through," said the Brition.

"Mercedes varied their strategy, which gave Lewis a tyre advantage over Max and Red Bull at the end – but it was unclear whether it would be enough. As it turned out, it wasn’t.

  • Read also: F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2021 US Grand Prix

"This was a race to be glued to the screen, studying the gaps and the tyre strategy to see how the race was evolving.

"It was far from certain until the end who would come out on top. Neither Lewis or Max put a foot wrong – and that’s the fantastic thing about this championship.

"We’ve got two drivers who are driving immaculately, and I don’t think I really saw a mistake from either of them, nothing significant anyway.

"And it capped off a sensational weekend with huge sell-out crowds every day, great weather, a great atmosphere and a great vibe about the place."

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Vandoorne next in line for AMSP IndyCar test

Mercedes Formula E charger Stoffel Vandoorne is set to test in the future with Arrow McLaren SP as... The post Vandoorne next in line for AMSP IndyCar test appeared first on F1i.com.

Vandoorne next in line for AMSP IndyCar test

Mercedes Formula E charger Stoffel Vandoorne is set to test in the future with Arrow McLaren SP as part of the IndyCar outfit's driver evaluation program.

AMSP – whose 2022 line-up will include once again Pato O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist – is expected to enter a third car at selected events in the latter part of the IndyCar season in 2022, ahead of adding a third full-time entry in 2023.

After offering F1 veteran Nico Hulkenberg a successful test outing on Monday at Barber Motorsports Park, AMSP will provide Vandoorne with an opportunity to sample its IndyCar contender at some point in the future.

"We’ve been public in saying that our ambition is to be a three-car team in ’23, so I think we’re looking at ’22 as a bridge year," Arrow McLaren SP president Taylor Kiel told RACER's Chris Medland.

"So we’re not committing to anything at this point, but we’re evaluating all options at the same time.

"So in an ideal scenario, we’d run as many races as we can do [with three cars], but again, it’s got to be the right fit from a personnel and a driver point of view. It’s not financially motivated, so that gives us a lot of flexibility in decision-making."

Kiel says that AMSP's third car plans have drawn a considerable amount of interest in the F1 paddock among those who are potentially searching to export their talent, like Vandoorne who raced in F1 for McLaren in 2017 and 2018 before moving to Formula E.

"There’s been a lot of interest, there’s been a lot of people that certainly have been knocking on our door, but we’ll work through it and figure out what’s best for our program," said Kiel.

"For sure, we have [had F1 interest], and I think it helps to have our family over in the F1 paddock, too.

  • Read also: Hulkenberg buoyed by 'good and successful' IndyCar test

"So Stoffel has obviously got some connections with the team and is actively engaged with the team as a reserve driver, so that was kind of a no-brainer. I think we’ll try to do something with him.

“He’s certainly a talented race driver, but we’ve had people reaching out from all over the place.

"It’s an exciting time, for us as a team and an organization it’s just the growth trajectory that we’re on at the moment. So a lot to digest, a lot to go through, but certainly a lot of exciting prospects."

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