U.S. Race Promoter Wants F1 Drivers To Be More Like Lewis Hamilton

More like Lewis
More like Lewis

Bobby Epstein, the man in charge of this weekend’s U.S. Grand Prix, thinks Formula 1 drivers "should follow in Lewis Hamilton’s high-profile footsteps," according to Paul Weaver of the London GUARDIAN.

Following his ninth win of the season in Russia earlier this month, Hamilton "goes to Austin on the brink of securing the world championship." But while the British driver's "jet-set lifestyle, with an appetite for party-going that must be the envy of Kate Moss and Prince Harry, has raised some eyebrows in the F1 paddock" it is "just what the sport needs" according to Circuit of the Americas Chair and Co-Founder Epstein.

Epstein: "Hollywood is based in America. This is the center of the entertainment business. Formula 1 has some great personalities and we shouldn't hold them back. … They are the people who sell tickets. Fans relate to human beings, not metal. And what Lewis is doing is great for the business. We also like winners over here, and Lewis is the biggest winner out there. We don’t like rooting for the guy who comes in 20th." Epstein feels the sport "could do more to connect with its fanbase" in the U.S.

He said, "If you make it too complicated it becomes intimidating for some. No one wants to feel like the idiot in the room. And people want to see competition, not technology. Competition trumps technology." The worry for race organizers in Austin "is that the attendance could fall once more."

The Austin race "traditionally attracts heavy support" from across the border in Mexico. But this year the Mexicans "have their own race, just a week later."

Epstein's "surprising remedy for this" is to stage six races in the U.S. Epstein: "Two races wouldn’t help much. But six could. I’m talking about building an audience. You have to get up very early in the morning to watch F1 in America. So if you had six races in this time zone it would make a big difference" Guardian

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