It has been five years since Formula One has held a race in this country. To say that the stakes are high for Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix would be an understatement. The race will be run on a new state-of-the-art race course built in Austin, Texas. The new Circuit of the Americas track hopes to impress enough to become a staple on Formula One.
Many F1 followers are very excited that the series is back in this country, and they hope it's for good this time. Earlier this week, Speed Channel's lead broadcaster Bob Varsha discussed the return of F1 to the United States and his thoughts on the new Circuit of the Americas.
How important is it to have F1 back in the United States?
"If you are the world's most popular racing series then you must have a successful stop in the United States. F1 has a 20-race season which begins in Australia and ends in Brazil with stops in such exotic locales as Bahrain, Monaco, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. That is why it attracts such a large international audience. Look, the United States had a long love affair with F1 from 1969 through the mid-1980s when they had two stops -- one in Watkins Glen and the other on the streets of Long Beach. There were a number of other cities trying to host F1 on and off with the last race in 2007 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
|Formula 1 United States Grand Prix|
|When »||Sunday, 2 p.m|
|Where »||Circuit of The Americas,||Austin, TX|
What are your thoughts on the new Circuit of the Americas?
Varsha » "This is right now a one-of-a-kind facility. It really is something. When fans see it on TV, they will understand why this is a finely crafted F1 course. The builders have taken quite a few things from some of the great tracks in Europe and crafted them into this course. Also, it is set up so it can be configured for any type of racing as well as concerts and even soccer, so this is quite a sports complex."
What about F1 cars make them different?
Varsha » "They are very high tech with more on-board computers than you will find anywhere in racing, and then there are the manufactures -- Ferrari, Mercedes, Lotus, Renault and Cosworth, all worldwide brands. Finally, nothing here is off the rack. Each car is built with the driver and the team in mind."
Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @wordmandc.