Coulthard: New York’s F1 ‘Eau Rouge rival’ would be “perfect”

Thirteen-time grand prix winner David Coulthard says Formula 1 should consider revisiting plans for a New York Grand Prix as it’s the “perfect place” to expand the championship’s footprint in America.

Construction work at Port Imperial, the venue for the 2013 Grand Prix of America

Speaking exclusively to Autosport at a IWC Schaffhausen basketball event ahead of the Miami Grand Prix – which featured seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton and Hollywood movie stars James Marsden and Simu Liu – Coulthard said that the never-raced street track venue in Weehawken, New Jersey, could complete F1’s roster of US races.

Coulthard drove parts of the Hermann Tilke-designed 3.2-mile Port Imperial layout, which used streets overlooking the Hudson River, in a Red Bull RB7 show car in 2012. The event, under the ‘Grand Prix of America’ banner, was included in the 2013 F1 calendar until a contractual dispute ended the project.

He says the spectacular location would be the “perfect place” for F1 to go next in the United States, as the track’s elevation change of 150 feet would have been one of the greatest on the calendar.

“We tried to get a race in New York several years ago at Weehawken,” said Coulthard. “I remember running in one of the Red Bull show cars. I drove part of the section of track in the F1 car and it was unbelievable.

“Opposite Manhattan, there was a section that made Eau Rouge at Spa look like kids' stuff! If they ever were able to reignite that plan right there, I think that would be the perfect place.”

Christian Epp, Director Circuit of Americas Tilke GmbH with David Coulthard

Christian Epp, Director Circuit of Americas Tilke GmbH with David Coulthard

Photo by: Andre Vor / Sutton Images

Coulthard believes there remains room for one more event in the United States, even with Las Vegas joining Austin and Miami on the calendar in 2023.

“I think we can go to four races here in future, when you consider the land mass,” he added. “And that’s the utopian dream – to break America.

“They’ll all have their own flavour, they have to. State to state in America is very different, so race to race – each event has to reflect that.

“Austin is what we’re used to – a proper track, so we turn up and go racing. Miami is a bit of a hybrid track, and Vegas is a playground for adults. Being in a city, rather than at a venue, the event will undoubtedly take over. And being a Saturday night race there’ll be a big buzz.”

The proposed layout of the 2013 F1 Grand Prix of America

The proposed layout of the 2013 F1 Grand Prix of America

Photo by: Andre Vor / Sutton Images

Aston Martin F1 team principal Mike Krack echoed Coulthard’s views on a fourth US race, and he also believes that a New York Grand Prix would be an attractive addition to the F1 schedule.

When asked by Autosport about the feasibility of adding a race in New York, he replied: “All of us enjoy coming here [to America], I think it would be good as long as you’re careful not to oversaturate the market with the amount of races.

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“When you develop the calendar – with all those distances and sustainability discussions – you risk very quickly that you have too many races in one region too often. But I’d like to do a fourth race here, no problem.”

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