Domenicali: No 'cannibalisation' between F1 events in the U.S.

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Formula 1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali says three races in America won't lead to a "cannibalization" risk as each event is different.

The Circuit of the Americas in Austin returned F1 to the United States in 2012 after a four-year hiatus, but it took ten years and the unexpected positive spin-off effect of Netflix's Drive to Survive for the sport to fulfill its ambition of adding a second American race to its agenda, with Miami hosting its first event in 2022.

But next November, leveraging to the max its new-found popularity in the land of the brave, F1 will make it a threesome, with Las Vegas joining the fray.

F1 hopes that Miami, Austin and Vegas will cohabit on Grand Prix racing's calendar for years to come. But while two is company, three isn't a crowd according to Domenicali who does not see one American race eating into the profits of another.

"It is pretty clear that every race, not only in America, has a different personality, a different cultural approach, a different quality, a different segmentation of fans," Domenicali told the media recently.

"And by the way, sometimes we forget that just couple of years ago, we were thinking: ‘Do we really need to stay in the US? Is it really the market we should be in?’

"And thanks to the stubbornness, we are here. We had two races last year, and this year, we are adding another one. So in the blink of an eye, we are getting there.

"I don’t see any kind of cannibalisation, everyone is different, everything is different. I don’t see any problem there."

It's true that each US event has its own cachet and stature.

Austin – obviously the most established race of the trio – will likely remain F1's 'crown jewel' in the US, even if the lustre of its novelty has worn off.

But Miami and Vegas are destination cities that will need to prove that they can hold their own in F1's American market by offering more than their tacky party atmosphere and neon glitz.

Domenicali is already projecting that Vegas will put all rival race promoters to shame in terms of off-track "entertainment".

"The Las Vegas Grand Prix is going to take F1 race weekends to the next level," enthused the Italian.

"Staging a grand prix in the sports and entertainment capital of the world has allowed us to plan a truly spectacular celebration that has never been seen in our sport before, in the greatest arena on earth."

F1's highly anticipated street race – in which it has heavily invested alongside itself as the event's promoter – will indeed bring together its racing glamour and the venue's equally flamboyant array of off-track entertainment experiences for fans.

But without a proper and exciting showdown street fight under the strobe lights and spotlights of the gambling capital of the world, F1's gamble in Sin City could see its chips fall the wrong way.

The sport has an initial three-year contract to make its case in Las Vegas and capture the fans' adherence. During that period COTA and Miami will be watching.

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