Former F1 World Champion Jackie Stewart Says F1 In Austin Could Be Huge Success
Former F1 driver Jackie Stewart "is scheduled to speak in Austin next week" ahead of the Grand Prix of the U.S. at the Circuit of the Americas, according to Dave Doolittle of the STATESMAN. Stewart said that "he has never been to Austin but is looking forward to seeing the race, the circuit and the city." Stewart said, "For some years now we have been missing, and in my opinion sadly, the United States of America. … It’s well overdue. We’re coming to a part of America and particularly a city in America that’s great for young people because of the university and the high technology that exists there. I think it’s a very, very good fit." The former world champion said that he will speak about F1's global reach. Stewart said, "The commercial muscle that it has, the multinational corporations that are part of it. It’s by far the biggest commercial sport in the world and also the largest capital-investment sport in the world, so it has a lot to talk about." Although the sport "has had a checkered past in America, the teams, advertisers and sponsors know the importance of the market." Stewart said, "I think it’s enormous because the American marketplace is very mature, and the car industry, the tire industry, the fuel and oil producers see North America as an important part of the world" (STATESMAN, 11/5). MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com's Rencken & Haidinger reported that Mercedes Motorsports Dir Norbert Haug "is a huge supporter of F1's U.S. comeback." Haug said, "If I could wish for it, this would only be the beginning. We have raced in the U.S. several times in our history -- Long Beach, Phoenix, there have been many host cities -- but it never led to a break through. A world championship has to include the U.S. -- this is without question for me." Haug also seems to have a strategy of how to excite Americans about the sport. He said, "Maybe we will have two U.S. races in the future, as well as U.S. drivers and teams. This would be the big break through in my opinion. A new Mario Andretti and maybe a U.S. team that would be fantastic. This won't happen over night, but it has to be the goal" (MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com, 11/7).