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Miami Grand Prix 2022

Miami race shows F1 next ideal step in quest to crack US

Formula 1 will race three times in the United States during 2023 - in Austin, Miami and Las Vegas - but the ideal next step would be for the sport to welcome an American driver, says Lance Stroll.

Red Bull Miami
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool | Red Bull in actie in Miami

Aston Martin racer Lance Stroll believes adding a driver from the United States to the grid would be the ideal next step for Formula 1 as they look to grow their business stateside.

Stroll, along with Nicholas Latifi, is one of two North American drivers who will compete in this weekend's Miami Grand Prix, but both hail from Canada.

Despite the sport having cracked the US market, it has been seven years since a driver from the United States last raced in F1.

That driver was current IndyCar racer Alexander Rossi, who started just five races for minnows Marussia during the 2015 season.

However, there has not been a permanent driver from the United States for 15 years, since Scott Speed was replaced by Sebastian Vettel at Toro Rosso in 2007

Stroll: F1's business in America is really booming

F1 will return to Florida for the first time in 63 years for what promises to be a major step in the sport's push to continue its growth in the United States.

The rise of the hit Netflix show Drive to Survive has helped to build the sport a platform for success, but now fans will be looking to see the drama on track, for real.

Speaking to select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com, Stroll said: "I'm really looking forward to it. I think it's great for the sport; it's great for Formula 1.

"It's an expanding American market and it looks like Formula 1 is doing great right now, and the business is really booming. It's exciting and it'll be a fun weekend.

But what next for F1's relationship with the United States? Stroll continued: "I think to have an American driver is ideal for the US to increase their interest in Formula 1."

America's next top driver

Given the sport's 15-year wait to see a permanent American driver return, it comes as little surprise that the last American-born racing driver to be crowned F1 World Champion, Phil Hill, did so 61 years ago, with 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti having been born an Italian.

The closest driver from the United States to an F1 race seat is Colton Herta, who will test with McLaren in 2022.

The 21-year-old, son of IndyCar legend Bryan Herta, is the youngest person ever to win an Indycar race and signed a development driver deal with his new F1 team back in March.

After storming to victory at the Circuit of the Americas in only his third IndyCar race, Herta has since won at Laguna Seca, Mid-Ohio, St. Petersburg and, most recently, Long Beach.

But Logan Sargeant could well beat him to F1, having recently signed a deal to become part of the Williams Driver Academy. Sargeant, also 21, has finished inside the top seven in four of his last six Formula 2 races, in what is his maiden campaign.

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