Lewis Hamilton has spoken about his excitement for the growth of Formula 1’s profile in the United States ahead of this weekend’s race in Austin, Texas.
Hamilton appeared on NBC’s TODAY Show earlier this week, with dozens of fans descending on the plaza just outside of the studio donned in team gear and with flags and signs in support of the world championship leader.
In today’s FIA press conference, Hamilton spoke about his enthusiasm for F1’s growth in the United States, and how he thinks it is a key market for the sport to focus on.
“I think there is a huge market for Formula 1,” Hamilton said. “I think if you watch all the different sports here, the people in this country are so passionate about sports in general, whether it be basketball, baseball or NFL or even NASCAR and IndyCar.
“They are extremely enthusiastic about competition and wheel-to-wheel racing or just real out and out competition. Whilst we only have one race here, there’s lots of opportunity for it to grow. I’ve just definitely seen from 2007, even though we missed out quite a few years, there’s still quite a lot of growth here.
“I was in New York yesterday for example, and there were people waiting outside this building with signs and fans with our team tops on, which was huge.”
Hamilton believes that tapping into the American market will be crucial for Formula 1, and that it has a knack for entertaining.
“Over here, they have a good recipe for good shows,” he said. “When you go and watch an NBA game you know you’re excited the whole way through.
“Same with NFL and the same with baseball and so they have a good recipe for entertaining fans and we can perhaps take a bit of that and add it into this race and maybe others and make it even more attractive.”
Hamilton will be gunning for his third victory in the United States this weekend, having won the event in 2007 and 2012.