Austin, Texas: Formula One's third year at the U.S. Grand Prix in Texas is an excellent opportunity for the series to expand its footprint in a rich, largely untapped market for fans and money.
But looking inward, F1 has some troubles. Smaller teams are scrambling to keep up with the spending required to keep pace — spending that tops $400 million a year in some cases, easily the most expensive outlay in motorsports.
Two teams, Marussia and Caterham, won't race in Austin because of financial problems. That leaves Sunday's race with just 18 cars, F1's smallest starting grid in nearly a decade, prompting new warnings from the governing body of international motorsports to control costs or risk losing sponsors and viability with fans.