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The city of Chicago could be hosting another street race, or not. The licensing arm of Formula 1 has registered several trademarks all to secure names for a race in the Windy City. They include, “Formula 1 Grand Prix of Chicago,” “Grand Prix of Chicago,” “Chicago Grand Prix,” and “Formula 1 Chicago Grand Prix.” All the names were registered last week.
While trademark names can be registered without committing to any event, the move could be the first steps towards another race in the U.S. F1 returned to the US in 2012 with the US GP at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. In the ensuing years they’ve added a race in Miami and last season staged the inaugural Las Vegas GP, which by many measures was a big success.
F1’s popularity in America has exploded thanks in large part to the Netflix series “Drive To Survive” and F1’s commercial rights owner Liberty Media has been eager to build on that popularity.
F1 has made several demonstration appearances in Chicago including in 2019 at Chicago Field, and most recently last September when Red Bull made a “show run” on a 2,000-foot temporary "pop-up" circuit down Madison Street and in the parking lots surrounding the United Center.
NASCAR held its first street race in Chicago last summer and is set to return there later this year. The 2.2-mile street course around Grant Park takes several weeks to set up and theoretically could host other forms of racing setting up the intriguing possibility of a NASCAR-Formula 1 doubleheader.
That won’t happen this season at least. F1 announced their 2024 schedule last July, NASCAR did so in October. However, neither sanctioning body has revealed anything for 2025 yet, so the speculation could continue for months. Should NASCAR return to the streets of Chicago in 2025, given the road closures that come with the setup of a street course it would make sense to use that same course for an F1 event.
For now, at least F1 owns the rights to a race in Chicago, at least the name.