Formula 1 officials are reportedly considering adding a fourth race in the United States to the calendar in the future following the success of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, after securing trademarks for a potential race in Chicago.
There are currently three races on the F1 calendar that take place in the USA, with the United States GP at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, the Miami GP at Hard Rock Stadium and the Las Vegas GP, which was staged for the first time in 2023 on the famous Las Vegas strip in Nevada.
Documents show that Formula 1 have registered four trademarks at the United States Patent and Trademark Office: ‘Grand Prix of Chicago’, ‘Chicago Grand Prix’, ‘Formula 1 Chicago Grand Prix’ and ‘Formula 1 Grand Prix of Chicago’.
It may well provide a first glimpse into the future where F1 chiefs see Chicago as a possible race venue. It is not yet known if this would be in conjunction with Austin, Miami and Las Vegas or to replace of one of them. In particular, some drivers voiced their opposition to racing in Vegas again.
Of course, this may be viewed as a pre-emptive move to secure the rights if they decide Illinois’ largest city, which is home to 2.7 million people, is a suitable venue. But it offers some insight into how F1 chiefs are planning for the future given the recent boom of F1 and motorsport in the U.S.
New York move yet to materialise
Chicago does have some pedigree as a motorsport destination after welcoming NASCAR in 2023 with the Grant Park 165 event, which proved to be a huge hit with racing fans.
The news could also be treated with some caution because this is a move that has been considered before, only in a different city.
In 2017, F1 registered its trademarks for a potential race in New York without any concrete commitment to hosting a grand prix in the ‘Big Apple’. As of yet, there are no plans to hold a race around the streets of Manhattan or elsewhere.
However, the recent announcement that Madrid has been awarded a 10-year contract to host a race in the Spanish capital only strengthens the idea that F1 is moving towards future races being held on street circuits, rather than at traditional race venues outside of main cities.
For now, it seems unlikely that anything will happen before 2026, mainly because the planning and approval for such plans can often take several years to get the green light. But it seems the groundwork has been laid for North America to dominate F1‘s future if Chicago becomes a viable destination.