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New F1 CEO keen for ’21 Super Bowls’ per season, U.S. expansion

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Newly-appointed Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey has set his sights on expanding race weekend events and turning each race into its own Super Bowl-style event.

Carey was appointed F1 chairman back in September before becoming CEO on Monday following the completion of Liberty Media’s takeover of the series.

Long-standing CEO Bernie Ecclestone resigned from his role to make way for Carey, who will run F1 alongside commercial chief Sean Bratches and ex-Ferrari and Benetton technical boss Ross Brawn.

Carey confirmed on Tuesday that the decision to change F1’s management structure was sparked by Liberty’s belief that the series had not reached its full growth potential in recent years.

Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Carey identified sponsorship as being a key area where F1 could grow quickly, as well as stressing the need to increase the show surrounding race weekends, drawing a comparison to the Super Bowl.

“The one that grows the fastest is sponsorship,” Carey said when asked about revenue streams.

“Right now we have a one-man sponsorship [team]. There are many categories we’re not selling into. We have signage we’re not selling. We need to execute on that.

“The opportunity in the event side is to make our events bigger, broader. We have 21 events… we need 21 Super Bowls.

“Realistically, they should be weeklong extravaganzas with music and activity, not just at the track. Over time the goal is to grow that dimension.”

Carey also wants to harness the popularity and global awareness of F1’s star drivers, identifying Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen as two of the sport’s top names that need to be more accessible to fans.

“We have great stars. Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, an 18-year-old who broke out,” Carey said.

“We have wonderful stars, incredible cars. We have to create the vehicles to allow the fans to connect to them.”

Liberty’s arrival as F1’s new owner has led to much speculation that it is set to expand the sport’s presence in the United States, a market that has traditionally proven difficult to crack.

Currently there is just one annual grand prix held in the United States, taking place at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, but Carey wants to bring F1 to some of America’s biggest cities.

“The U.S. is a real opportunity for us. There’s real upside for us in the U.S. market,” Carey said.

“We want destination cities: Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas. That way, people would come to for a weeklong event.”

Robert Hight extends Funny Car victory streak to 13 seasons

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MORRISON, Colo. (AP) Robert Hight beat Tommy Johnson Jr. on Sunday in the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway to extend his Funny Car victory streak to 13 seasons.

Hight topped Johnson with a 3.995-second pass at 317.57 mph in a Chevrolet Camaro SS for his 38th career victory.

“We definitely struggled through the first few rounds and we were lucky to get those round wins, but I have a great team who figured things out and helped get me to the winner’s circle,” Hight said. “It’s definitely a long-time coming and we hadn’t had much luck, but today we had some luck and we hope this continues throughout the Western Swing.”

Antron Brown won in Top Fuel, Drew Skillman in Pro Stock, and Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Brown edged teammate and No. 1 qualifier Leah Pritchett with a 3.792 at 319.82. He has three victories this season to push his career total to 64.

Skillman raced to his second straight victory and the fifth of his career, beating points leader Bo Butner with a 6.916 run at 198.15 in a Camaro.

Krawiec topped Matt Smith with a 7.145 at 188.28. The Harley-Davidson rider has two victories this season and 38 overall.

Sauber confirms Matsushita for Hungary test as well

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Honda junior driver Nobuhiro Matsushita will have a run with Sauber F1 Team on the second day of the Hungarian Grand Prix post-race week test, in the team’s C36 chassis.

Sauber’s engine selection for 2018 is up in the air. While the team announced a switch from year old Ferraris to Hondas, this was done under prior team principal Monisha Kaltenborn and rumors have persisted the deal may be off, or wasn’t fully done in the first place.

That Matsushita is running at this test for his first day in an F1 car – Gustav Malja will run on day one – could indicate the Honda switch isn’t yet a dead topic.

“When I was four years old, I was fascinated by Michael Schumacher, watching him racing in Formula 1. Since then my dream was to become a Formula 1 driver,” he said. “I am very excited about my first Formula 1 test and I am really looking forward to driving the Sauber C36-Ferrari at the Hungaroring – it is a great opportunity for me. I hope it will be a productive day for the team as well as for myself, so that I can learn as much as possible. I would like to thank the Sauber F1 Team for making this happen.”

New team boss Frederic Vasseur, formerly of Renault, gave his take on the test.

“I am pleased that Nobuharu has this great opportunity. He deserves the experience of his first test in a Formula 1 car. Ever since his debut in Formula 2 with ART Grand Prix, I have been following his progress closely, and have watched him advance his performance from year to year. With this Formula 1 test, he comes one step closer to his dream of becoming an F1 driver one day.”

Renault confirms Robert Kubica will test in Hungary

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Renault Sport F1 Team has confirmed Robert Kubica will make his return to a current Formula 1 car in the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test, which will only continue to fuel the hype train for a possible race return.

The Pole has undertaken two tests in recent weeks with older cars but this day in the Renault R.S.17 will provide the team a chance to evaluate him in current machinery to gauge his race level fitness.

It’s a story that has got the F1 world buzzing in recent weeks as Kubica, injured in a rally accident before the 2011 season, has made a comeback to restart his racing career.

Poor Nicholas Latifi, also confirmed for the test that runs the Tuesday and Wednesday after the Hungarian Grand Prix, will be undoubtedly overlooked as a result.

Jolyon Palmer will race in Hungary this weekend at least but whether the Brit continues beyond the summer break that follows afterwards remains a question mark.

Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean to launch cookbook

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Haas Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean may be one of the sport’s most promising talents on-track, but he also has a burning passion off it: cooking.

Grosjean may have been spent a good part of this year cooking his brakes, but you’ll now be able to cook bakes instead…

F1’s resident foodie is set to release a cookbook alongside wife Marion Jolles in the coming weeks, as announced on his Facebook page.

Grosjean currently sits 13th in the F1 drivers’ championship with 18 points to his name, helping Haas to match the points total from its debut season after just 10 races in 2017.