• United States Grand Prix

Third cars would help establish F1 - Andretti

ESPN Staff
November 13, 2012 « Bianchi believes he 'deserves' race seat | Webber excited by 'awesome' Austin »
Mario Andretti cut the ribbon at the Circuit of the Americas in October © Circuit of the Americas
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Mario Andretti believes Formula One would be able to establish itself in new countries if it was able to run third cars.

Formula One returns to the United States this weekend for the first time since 2007 when it races in Austin, Texas. As America's last world champion, Andretti opened the Circuit of the Americas last month, but he admits it may take some time for the fans to fully take to the sport again. One way Andretti believes Formula One could increase popularity in many countries is by running a third car which would allow local drivers to take part in the race.

"I would love F1 go back to the rule where you could add a third car and have guest driver come in -- that's how I broke in," Andretti told the Globe and Mail. "If you can have your own guys flying their own flag in their country, it brings a lot more attention. It always plays well and the more buzz you can create, the better."

However, Andretti added that he felt the race was likely to be more successful due to the purpose built nature of COTA.

"It's a long time coming to have a facility such as that which is able to host proper road racing. We have lots of classic road racing courses in the U.S. and in Canada but, outside of Montreal, many of them just really haven't kept up with the times as far as standards for safety and infrastructure. And a road course part of an oval facility does not work, it does not draw and it does not have the ambience road racing fans look for. Now we have a place where we can showcase the top level of the sport -- I think every F1 fan in North America should rejoice."