Verizon IndyCar Series driver and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter Reay believes that Formula One can’t compete in the US due to the success of other sports such as the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NHL, NFL and American racing series such as NASCAR and IndyCar.
Formula One will see an all American outfit competing this year with the Haas F1 Team making their race debut with Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez driving for them.
Hunter Reay drives for the Andretti Autosport IndyCar team and speaking about the US market where Formula One has struggled in recent years and it is struggling right now due to the fact the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas is struggling financially and may not be on the calendar this season as it is provisionally placed on the calendar.
Speaking to Sky Sports Hunter Reay commented by saying:
It is so hard to crack the sporting market in the United States because it is so saturated. We have football, basketball, baseball – there are so many options you have to capture the fans’ attention, I think Formula 1 racing in general can do it, but it is going to take more of a presence in the United States other than just a team that calls itself ‘USF1’ even though it is based in the UK, which it has to be I think.
Hunter Reay went on to talk about the Verizon IndyCar Series which has seen an huge upturn in its fanbase and uptake by former Grand Prix drivers as an alternative to competing in F1. 2015 Indianapolis 500 winner and championship runner up Juan Pablo Montoya is a former F1 driver having raced for both Williams and McLaren.
Sebastian Bourdais competed for the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One team while AJ Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato has found success in the Verizon IndyCar Series having previously raced in Formula One with Jordan, BAR-Honda and Super Aguri. Hunter Reay stated:
Once upon a time there was a road to Formula 1 through IndyCar success and I just think that after a few weak years by IndyCar that kind of went away. Now IndyCar’s championship is as strong as ever, I think it is the best and most competitive it has ever been, and I’m not just saying that because I am in it. We demonstrate that week in, week out with the product on track.