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Say Yes to More North American Formula 1 Races

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TORONTO, Ontario — Although known as mostly a form of motorsports for the European fans, Formula 1’s impact in the North American landscape has shown continually growth.

This was showcased when SportsPesa Racing Points Formula 1 chose the Official Canadian Auto Show in Toronto to unveil their new livery for the 2019 campaign. The decision was simple, with Canadian investor Lawrence Stroll leading the consortium of investors that helped the team out of administration. There’s also a Canadian on the team, with Lance Stroll joining Mexican Sergio Perez.

The unveil in the John Basset Theatre was a hit, with a select number of fans making the trek down to Ontario’s capital that morning to see the car up-close for themselves.

The attendance marked no surprise, as showcased by the attendance numbers for the Montreal Grand Prix. The event boasted the biggest attendance figures of any of the events in 2017 as 360,000 fans checked out the event that weekend. Those numbers were backed up this past season, with the event seeing a 11.4% increase as fans traveled from across the country to the mainly French-speaking state of Quebec to take in the action.

The United States also saw success, as 263,160 people made their way through the turnstiles to see the action at the Circuit of the Americas, with an estimated 111,580 there on race day. Furthermore, Mexico boosted the biggest attendance of any event in 2018 with 334,946 people, with 135,407 there on race day.

The success created a dialogue for a Grand Prix in Miami, Florida, however those were put on hold to 2020 mid-way through last season.

Although the European tracks like Silverstone, Singapore and Belgium reign supreme on the calendar, the continued support from the North American fan base seems to beg the question as to whether the schedule should be expanded.

“There’s passion for racing in North America, there’s passion for racing in Canada,” Team Principal and CEO Otmar Szafnauer spoke before the crowd. “When I was a kid myself, I raced a lot in Canada. I bought my first racing car from a fellow in Montreal. The US, too, could use another Grand Prix. So it’d be great to have more races in this time zone.”

The thought wasn’t turned down by Lance Stroll, either, who says just standing before the fans last weekend in Toronto was an indescribable feeling.

“It’s a dream come true. That’s all I can say about it,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “I rolled out of bed this morning, a little jet-lagged, but the idea of that really put a smile on my face. Doing all this talking is nice, but I just can’t wait to jump in the car and get the ball rolling.”

Perhaps maybe the sanctioning body can do the same, and reward the fans for their support. Otherwise, it’s back to waking up in the middle of the night and early hours of the morning just to see the racing action we desire.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Ashley McCubbin is currently studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber while writing for multiple websites. She also serves on the managing staff for a select few. Born in North York, Ontario, McCubbin currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area where she enjoys taking photos and working on websites.

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