McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale says his team welcomes Formula 1's deal to return to the United States, but warned that the sport would need to consider the way it presents itself to the American audience.
The leading teams have pushed hard to get F1 back to the U.S. since the World Championship last visited Indianapolis in 2007. It was announced yesterday that a new purpose-built venue in Austin, Texas, would host the U.S. GP from 2012 to 2021.
"I saw the headline and, while I'm not aware of details, I think most of us in Formula 1 would relish the opportunity to go back to America," said Neale. "It's a really important place for us to be. Our markets and our sponsors all want to operate there and Formula 1 has to do something about the package and the way in which we present it to make it acceptable to one of the world's largest markets.
"Without any expert knowledge on it – I'm not going to bluff my way through it – I'd say it is fantastic news if it turns out to be true and if we can make it happen."
With F1's profile still relatively low in America, Neale says the teams and Bernie Ecclestone must carefully consider how to make the most of the Austin opportunity.
"I'm not qualified to answer this question, and there are smarter men than I trying to find the answer to that question. I think we should ask the Americans, we should look at what the TV networks want and we should look at the way in which sport is consumed in America as a family and say, 'Do we have an offering that is going to work over a weekend when the American culture provides for family life and sport in a slightly different way?'" he said.
"I think we may have to look at the whole formula for working in America to serve that market. But again, I am no expert in that. There is a FOTA commercial committee as well as CVC and FOM, who I'm sure want the same things and are looking at how to make that happen.
"If we are going to back to the States, then that is a breakthrough and we should make a really good attempt at doing it well."