Chicago officials give verdict on possibility of F1 race

Formula 1 entertained the idea of having a fourth race in the United States when it recently filed for a trademark under the “Chicago Grand Prix” and “Grand Prix of Chicago” variations with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Filing trademarks is often done as a measure to protect intellectual property, but it could also mean that F1 is considering a race in Chicago.

NASCAR recently held its first street race in Chicago last year on a 3.5km track, however local politicians believe the prospect of an F1 race to be unlikely due to one factor when speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“I’m told that F1 typically requires a 10-year minimum deal. And that appears to be non-negotiable. The conversation [with the city] did not get much past that,” said Alderman Brian Hopkins.

F1 costs higher

Chicago is the third-largest city in the US and would fit in well with Liberty Media’s strategy of adding races to the growing calendar.

When asked is the city could host both NASCAR and F1, Alderman Brendan Reilly replied: “It would have to be one or the other.”

Hosting an F1 race would likely be more complicated than NASCAR’s street race, which shut down Grant Park for weeks in the build up to the event. F1 circuits are also typically longer, with races in Miami and Las Vegas featuring circuits that are three and four miles long.

“What we did with NASCAR, welding manhole covers and smoothing over potholes and calling it a track — that doesn’t work with F1. More complicated, thus higher price tag,” said Hopkins.

A race in Madrid was recently announced last week, which is a hybrid circuit that runs through public areas of the city. It also has a 10-year deal that starts from 2026.

Miami, Qatar, and Las Vegas are also on 10-year deals, with the latter on a three-year contract initially but with the option to extend once a promoter outside of F1 is found.


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