Martin Whitmarsh says America needs two grands prix per year

FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh wants Formula 1 to hold two races per season in America to enable the sport to 'conquer' the country

Martin Whitmarsh says America needs two grands prix per year

The McLaren team principal was speaking at Thursday's FOTA Fan Forum held at his team's Woking base. He expressed the importance of the American market to Formula 1, and added that he feels it is worthy of two races.

"America doesn't need us, but we need to conquer it," said Whitmarsh. "In the past we didn't do enough. I think we need to go there; maybe we need two races per year.

"We need to have a proper marketing programme and create the interest. We can't just have a race there and come back, we've actually got to try harder."

Whitmarsh highlighted the east and west coasts of America as the best areas for the sport to target, but he added that he was hopeful the new race in Texas can be a success.

"We've got Texas and I hope it's going to be a very successful race, but the natural place for us is east coast/west coast," he said. "There's a great opportunity there, and we've really got to make sure of it.

"I think there should be two races, it's a big enough and important enough market that we should be over there. Long Beach, and around New York, those are the places where we can really create an interest in Formula 1."

The McLaren boss added that he expects the sport to have to push harder to promote itself in years to come.

"Formula 1 hasn't had to sell itself in the past, the fans have come to us," he added. "We've got to recognise that there's lots of competition in the entertainment business, we're just part of it.

"We've got to do a lot better. We have to go there, educate, explain, promote and market our sport."

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