Formula One Licensing B.V. has filed four trademark requests with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to officially register the Chicago Grand Prix.
After Austin, Miami, and Las Vegas, is Formula 1 heading to Chicago as well? On January 19th, Formula One Licensing B.V. filed four distinct trademark requests with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to register the Chicago Grand Prix.
The trademark registration request doesn’t necessarily mean we will see the premier class racing in the renowned city of Illinois, but it is clearly a sign of how Liberty Media intends to further expand its presence in the American market, with rumors circulating about a possible GP in New York in recent months.
Chicago Attempts to Secure a Contract Again?
The idea of hosting a Formula 1 Grand Prix in Illinois is not new. Even before Liberty Media’s arrival in the sport in 2017, Bernie Ecclestone had initially reached a five-year agreement with the promoter of the Chicago GP, only to later cancel the negotiation.
“Five years ago, I persuaded Chicago to agree, but they wouldn’t pay me enough,” the British tycoon had stated to Forbes six years ago. “The Windy City… I thought I could get more somewhere else. I could make a deal this afternoon for a race in California.”
Especially after the tremendous success of the Netflix series Drive To Survive, which premiered in March 2019, it’s no secret that the group led by Greg Maffei wants to further expand its footprint in the United States, a market that already includes three Grand Prix races.
In 2017, Liberty Media had registered trademarks for the Miami, Las Vegas, and New York GPs. Two of them became a reality in 2022 and 2023, while efforts are underway to bring the circus to the Big Apple in the near future.
The recent Las Vegas GP, despite all the criticism for its organization and the American-style showmanship, is a demonstration of the direction that the future of Formula 1 aims to take.
Certainly, the trademark registration request for the Chicago GP does not necessarily indicate the intention to organize another event in the American continent shortly, but it nevertheless represents a significant sign of interest.
If a decision is made to present a genuine project, we could be looking at another street circuit, with the 165th Grand Prix on the Chicago Street Course, which enjoyed enormous success in NASCAR in 2023.
Formula 1 had already organized a Festival in the American city in 2019 at Soldier Field, an event that garnered great success in terms of audience and media attention. We will undoubtedly learn more in the coming months.