Formula 1 Rejects Eric Adams’ Plan For New York City Grand Prix


A photo of a Red Bull Formula 1 car lining up alongside two yellow New York City taxis.

Red Bull attempting to get a head start on the New York City Grand prix.
Photo: Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Content Pool

What’s that saying about news being cyclical these days? It definitely feels that way in motorsport sometimes. If it’s not a rumor of Audi entering Formula 1 it’s speculation of an F1 street race in London. Well today, another old favorite has reared its head again: a proposed F1 race on the streets of New York City. Don’t get your hopes up: Formula 1’s managers have just given that idea a firm “no.”

As reported by Autosport, New York City mayor Eric Adams offered F1’s owners Liberty Media a spot within the five boroughs to host a Formula 1 race. The proposed site wouldn’t have seen F1 racers tearing down Fifth Avenue or through Central Park. Instead, it would confine all the action to Randalls and Wards Island in the East River.

Huh, a Formula 1 grand prix on an island just off Manhattan. Why does that sound familiar?

Anyway, Jalopnik genius aside, it doesn’t sound like a race in the Big Apple is something Formula 1 is particularly eager to explore. Speaking at a financial event in the city, Liberty Media president and CEO Greg Maffei described putting on a race in NYC as “a fight we don’t need to have.”

A photo of the New York skyline taken from above with an orange arrow pointing to Randalls Island in the East River.

Thanks, but no thanks.
Photo: Ed Jones / AFP (Getty Images)

Maffei said that Mayor Adams’s administration had reached out to organizers offering the site to Liberty Media to host a Grand Prix. Currently, the island is home to various parks and sporting facilities.

Despite the kind offer from New York’s lawmakers, Maffei described the proposal as “very difficult” and “probably not our perfect venue.”

“I think the reality is street races in a place like New York are just very, very, very hard,” Maffei said, as quoted by Autosport.Las Vegas is one of the few places in the United States you could probably get a street race done, it has a different mentality.”

Maffei added, “New York is a wonderful venue, but it’s hard to see that they’re going to shut Central Park for us!”

As you might have guessed, this is far from the first proposal for a Formula 1 race in or around the Big Apple. The last attempt was in 2012 when the event went as far as earning a spot on that season’s calendar.

A photo of a Red Bull F1 car driving in New Jersey with the New York skyline in the background.

Seriously, why is it always Red Bull showing up years ahead of a race?
Photo: Jeff Zelevansky (Getty Images)

Back then, ex-F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone wanted to run a race in New Jersey with the Manhattan skyline providing a pretty backdrop for spectators. The first plans for an F1 race in the five boroughs came in 1983 when organizers eyed an event in Flushing at the site of the 1965 World’s Fair.

Neither race ever came to fruition, and feedback from Maffei today suggests that the sport’s organizers are in no rush to tackle the legislative nightmare anytime soon.

With Formula 1 bigger than ever in America, fans still have races in Miami, Austin and Las Vegas to choose from. Or, a quick trip to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix wouldn’t be out the question for fans in NYC desperate to see a race.

Via Road & Track.

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