SEPTEMBER 25, 2001
United States GP - it is going to take time
THE United States GP at Indianapolis is probably not going to be a huge success this year - at least not in terms of numbers in the grandstands - and that is probably the criterion on which it will be judged. The good news is that Tony George, the owner of Indianapolism, and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone are well aware that building up F1 in the United States is not the work of a moment. US sports fan have a massive choice of sports which are not only established but also feature American participants. Formula 1 is new, unknown and foreign. That gives it a certain cachet which is attractive in the United States but it will still need a lot more development for the sport to become big news.
Already it is fairly clear that there will be very little space for F1 stories next Monday. Basketball legend Michael Jordan has said that he will make an announcement on Monday about his future. It is an open secret that this will be that he is coming out of retirement to play for the Washington Wizards but that means that column inches will be expended on Michael Jordan rather than on Eddie Jordan.
The key to success is finding an American driver or perhaps a team which will give the Americans someone to cheer for.