Heineken wants more F1 races in Asia

© XPB 

Formula One's global partner Heineken has said the sport should to look to Asia for future expansion of the sport.

"Heineken is super-strong in Europe - we were ‘born’ in Europe and are a European brand - but the playground for the future is Asia Pacific," Gianluca di Tondo, Heineken’s Senior Global Brand Director told the Formula One website this week.

"Asia Pacific is a strategic area for us and having seven races around this area is fantastic - and the passion for Formula One in Asia is tangible."

Asked what he would choose if he could add one race to the calendar, di Tondo replied: "That is very simple. It is again in Asia: Vietnam. We are very present in Vietnam through a local partner and they were our guests in Monza and they were over the moon. So why not have a race in Ho Chi Minh City?"

However Di Tonda accepted that the arrival of Liberty Media as the new owners of Formula One might mean that the United States is the focus of expansion over the next few years.

"If there is program to double up in the US that, of course, is very interesting for us as the US is our biggest market," he said. "If you take it as a single market, it is still our biggest one.

"In the US it is easier to activate things that become popular - and we are open for discussions to make Formula One even more popular together."

In the meantime, di Tondo admitted that he was still getting used to the Grand Prix way of life.

"The first thing that jumps to my mind is excitement - an amazing level of new energy. We are learning, and trying to learn as fast as possible - but there is a lot to learn!

"It is fair to say that our whole organisation is buying into Formula One - at every level. The more they are exposed, the more they are excited, and the more they want to be part of it. That is fantastic to see."

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