The New York Grand Prix: A Glimpse Into The Proposed 4th American Formula 1 Race

With the news that Formula 1 is looking to expand its reach into the United States with a fourth American Grand Prix, we take a look at what would mean for the city and the people of New York.

The New York Grand Prix: A Glimpse Into The Proposed 4th American Formula 1 Race


Formula 1 bosses at Liberty Media have sent fans into a frenzy after the news broke that New York was being eyed for a potential 4th North American-based Formula 1 Grand Prix. But would another street circuit in the future bring F1 further success or would it be a logistical nightmare?

Let’s face it, for all the criticism levelled at the Las Vegas Grand Prix from Formula 1 fans, the city’s residents and even the drivers themselves, the inaugural race event held in November was a resounding success for the sport.

Of course, there were some questionable moments from the event, such as the Hunger Games-style tributes of the Formula 1 teams and their 20 drivers and the awkward moment shared between UFC announcer Bruce Buffer and a very confused Sergio Pérez, but the Las Vegas Grand Prix was an embodiment of the new vision Liberty Media has for the sport… and could indicate the direction Formula 1 is heading in the future.

RELATED: Workers Strikes And Vandalism; Locals Are Pushing Back Against Formula 1 And The Las Vegas Grand Prix

Liberty Media want a New York Grand Prix

It’s been reported that Formula 1 bosses at Liberty Media are eyeing a fourth North American circuit to add to the already congested racing calendar, held below the iconic sights of the New York City skyline.

“This is what it should be all about,” Formula 1 non-executive chairman Chase Casey said. “We said early on, Vegas, Miami and New York, they’re the next cities we should be in, and Vegas delivered.”

Image: Central Park Conservancy

It’s even been floated that New York’s mayor Eric Adams is keen on the idea, suggesting one of the city’s island hubs for Formula 1 to call home.

It’s unclear what kind of timeframe they’re looking at, but it would be the first time in history that four Grand Prix race weekends were held in the same country through the Formula 1 season, with millions of new American fans flocking to watch the high-octane action of the sport, thanks, in part, to the global success of Netflix’s hit docuseries Formula 1: Drive to Survive.

RELATED: Las Vegas Grand Prix Organisers Overestimated American Interest In Formula 1

What would a New York Grand Prix look like?

The idea of a street circuit held in one of America’s most famous cities isn’t exactly revolutionary. In fact, Formula 1 has been eyeing a street circuit in New York for more than a decade, with former boss Bernie Ecclestone suggesting a New Jersey-based track back in 2011.

With almost 9 million people living in an area the size of 778.2 km2, New York is undoubtedly the most densely populated major city in the United States, and that poses some serious problems for organisers.

One of the many criticisms levelled at the Las Vegas Grand Prix organisers was the disregard for the residents of the city who, for over a year, watched as iconic landmarks and areas were ripped up and replaced in anticipation of the influx of Formula 1 fans.

RELATED: Inside Formula 1’s First-Ever Shoey Bar Inspired by Daniel Ricciardo And Australia’s Famous Pastime

The New York Grand Prix: Another street circuit

It’s been suggested that plans for the New York Grand Prix would be for a new street circuit to be built within the centre of the famous city, with Central Park floated as a potential destination for the race.

Street circuits present a unique set of challenges to both drivers and teams due to their tight and twisty layouts, limited opportunities to overtake other drivers and close proximity to the temporary barriers… but it can also be a nightmare for race organisers.

Image: Auto Moto Sport

Just take the Las Vegas Grand Prix for example: During the $500 million USD ($734 million AUD) Formula 1 event, the first practice session was halted just nine minutes into the first lap after Carlos Sainz made contact with a protruding road valve cover that ripped the belly of his Ferrari.

Fred Vasseur, Ferrari Team Principal, called the incident “unacceptable” and Sainz, whilst fortunately unharmed, was forced to retire for the session whilst Ferrari made crucial changes to the chassis of the car.

Whilst it’s easy to criticise race organisers for what you would consider somewhat avoidable contact, if Liberty Media bosses are seriously considering placing another Formula 1 Grand Prix in the heart of a 21st-century metropolis such as New York, unforeseen problems like this one are bound to surface.

RELATED: Netflix Is Challenging Formula 1 Drivers And PGA Golfers To Tee Off In Vegas For First-Ever Live Sports Event

A history of street circuits

It certainly wouldn’t be the first U.S. street circuit in Formula 1, however.

Throughout the years the sport has seen several demanding tracks forged from the streets of notable American cities; from the Long Beach Circuit in the late ’70s and ’80s to the bumpy and tight Detroit Street Circuit held during the mid-’80s, America has long maintained a close connection to the roads for a uniquely difficult challenge for the Formula 1 drivers.

Image: Red Bull

As Formula 1 continues to gain popularity in the United States, Liberty Media’s proposal for a New York Grand Prix reflects the sport’s commitment to expanding its global footprint (and looking to capitalise on the increased hype surrounding the sport in the U.S.).

Whilst witnessing a Formula 1 race against the backdrop of the iconic New York City skyline is undoubtedly an enticing prospect for fans and organisers alike, lessons from the Las Vegas Grand Prix need to be learned.

It remains to be seen whether this ambitious project will successfully navigate the logistical challenges and community considerations inherent in hosting a street circuit in a densely populated metropolis such as New York.