Originally Posted by mcbear
When the first GP was held at Indy, a couple of weeks after 9/11, there were nearly 300,000 fans in attendance. It was almost as packed as an Indy 500 even though only part of the stands were used. How many other F1 races put that many people in the stands?
Each year it has been fewer, mainly due to the lack of ability to be near the pits as we are used to in other motorsports and at least in some part to the unfortunate choice of Tom Carnegie as on track announcer. Last year was just an overall embarrassment but most of the American fans were pretty responsible in their protests.
Bernie has been threatening the race in the US since it started, each year wanting to pull it. His irresponsible negotiation tactics have pretty much ruined the heart of F1 and taken it down to the same level as NASCAR.
I guess we will see next week what the race will bring. For the first time, my tickets did not have renewal forms with them but there is too much money here for a race not to happen.
Hmm, I have been to every USGP since it arrived in the US ( I live in UK ) There was a degree of interest in 2000, but there was more like 150,000 present on RACE day.
You are correct that each year appears to have been fewer, although I recall travelling to the 2001 event with ony 40 people on an MD-11 such was the effect of 9-11. You will no doubt remember that the USGP was the largest event held in the USA after 9-11 and this had a massive effect on crowd sizes, a lot of people never returning.
I really think that pit access has little to do with crowd size, I think its more to do with the predictability and lack of overtaking that is prevalent now in F1, there is just no spectacle when compared with many other racing formula around the world. In addition its just always ferrari that wins, that alone takes the edge off attending. people want to see a RACE and that just doesn't happen as much as it could.
I think Bernie would love it if it had the same profile as NASCAR, but I can;t ever think that they will get 500,000 people at Indy to watch it, just think of the revenue the Bernie would generate then !
I'm sad to say that there is a huge ignorance of F1 in North America, its just a novelty thing and its the visitors that seem to struggle to grasp the rules and what goes on. I'm currently in Montreal having attended todays race and the people immediatly around me knew very little of the sport...and thats in Canada ! The americans have a very purile grasp of the sport and each year the knowledge of the "fans" seem to go backwards. I realise that F1 could maybe do more to raise the profile of the sport, but I'm afraid that I agree with Bernies comments, it would not be a miss if there was no F1 race in the USA.
I'd be dissapointed as I have enjoyed the last 3 years where the Canadian and USA GP have been only a week apart, so I get to see 2 races in one short vacation.
The people of Montreal provide what is undoubtedly the BEST party in the city of anywhere in the world, Indianoplis is also a great city on race weekend (see me in Ike and Jones) so I hope some deal is struck to ensure a USA race survives. How about Laguna Seca ? The F1 cars would look great flying through "the dipper"