As McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh is a busy guy. Add to that the fact that he's the Formula One Teams Association chariman, and he throws around a bit of weight in F1 circles, too--and he's talking about two F1 Grands Prix in America.
Why? Not because America needs F1. He actually says America doesn't need the series at all. Instead, it's because he thinks F1 needs to "conquer" America.
His idea is to drum up serious interest in F1 in the U.S. through a marketing campaign, targeting the east and west coasts. That might sounds strange considering F1's return to the U.S. will come in the middle of the country at Austin's Circuit of the Americas, and it is. Whitmarsh hopes the Austin race will be successful, but thinks the series has more fans and would get more attention if it had an event on either coast.
That's not a far-fetched theory. Where F1 might go to visit either coast, is a bit tougher to work out. Whitmarsh proposes Long Beach and somewhere around New York City. Long Beach might work, as the F1 calendar currently has many street circuits, but it would likely need significant smoothing work done on the surface and more safety/run-off areas throughout the high-speed street circuit to meet FIA approval. New York would need a completely new facility or its own street circuit, likely facing similar hurdles.
So does Whitmarsh have a plan of action to match his ideas? No. Do we wish he did? Of course! His lesson on F1's need to pursue fans, rather than passively drawing them in as in the past (and present), however, is a solid one.
In the absence of answers and action, we put it to you: Would you like to see two F1 GPs here in America? If so, where? Is there any place on either coast that could host such an event--not just in terms of track facilities, but logistically, with teams, truck, and fans all needing to get there and find lodging? Let us know in the comments below.