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The two also understand the significance of becoming the next American on the grid. They have already witnessed a few flag-waving Americans at European races and the kind of support that comes across Twitter and Facebook when they win races. Doing that in Austin or New Jersey, they said, would be special.

“It would mean everything not only to be an American on the grid but to be an American on the grid as Formula One starts to rebuild an audience in America,” Rossi said. “The timing would be amazing.”

Noting the buzz he saw for Brit Lewis Hamilton at the British GP and Spaniard Fernando Alonso at the Spanish GP, Daly said an American race needs a homegrown driver.

“In America, we have a race. Any drivers? No. Was there a good crowd? Absolutely, it’s a great venue Austin and the track is incredible. But in reality, who do Americans have to cheer for?” he said. “It’s like the Olympics. When you watch the Olympics, you want to see Americans do well.”