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Magazine: How F1 finally cracked America

How Formula 1 finally cracked America and the eagerly anticipated Miami Grand Prix are in the spotlight in this week’s Autosport magazine, out today (5 May).

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F1 has had a tumultuous time in the United States since the first world championship US GP in 1959. Although Watkins Glen and Long Beach were successful venues, it was difficult for F1 to make a deep, lasting impression in a country with so much high-level domestic competition. And there have been silly misfires, such as the 2005 farce when only six cars started at Indianapolis.

But now F1 really does seem to have made a major impact in America. As Matt Kew shows in our special issue, various factors have combined to make that happen, with two new races and the attempts by the Andretti team to join the championship showing how far F1 has come. We also recall the various American venues over the years and why they failed.

It’s difficult to know exactly what to expect for the new Miami GP this weekend, but interest is high and Charles Bradley recently went behind the scenes to find out how the designers and organisers overcame various challenges to provide what they hope will be an exciting race.

Alex Kalinauckas looks at why Miami is crucial for Ferrari in its championship fight against Red Bull, while Kevin Turner reminds those who think Lewis Hamilton has never had a bad F1 car about the 2009 McLaren.

The major event last weekend was at Monaco. As well as putting on another fine street race, in which Stoffel Vandoorne truly got his title challenge under way, Formula E also revealed its Gen3 car. Jake Boxall-Legge was there to get the lowdown on the new electric racer and see how the Monaco E-Prix was won.

It was a bumper weekend elsewhere, including a close IndyCar encounter at Barber, IMSA at Laguna Seca, the DTM opener at Portimao, and a visit to Brands Hatch for the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup. We report on them all, as well as the UK club events at Donington Park, Silverstone and Castle Combe.

The World Touring Car Cup kicks off this weekend and James Newbold speaks to the key players at Honda, which remarkably is still seeking its first drivers’ title in the series, while Ben Anderson gets behind the wheel of the latest, supercharged 500bhp version of the Revolution sports-racer.

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