Business is booming: Formula 1 is booming in the US – sports news on ice hockey, winter sports and more

For a long time, Formula 1 tried in vain to win over the US audience. Ostrich racing was sometimes more popular. Now the series’ debut in Miami is an expression of the Formula 1 boom in the United States.

Only the poorly fake roadside marina in Miami looks weird on the latest glossy product from Formula 1.

Images of boats stranded on the nautical painted floor caused some ridicule ahead of the Florida Grand Prix premiere, which is intended to be a milestone for the racing series in the promised US market. Amid the apparent surge of Formula 1 in the United States, comparisons have already been drawn to the Super Bowl, which was celebrated in 2020 at the nearby Hard Rock Stadium. “It’s exciting to see Formula 1 grow into the game United States of America World Champion Max Verstappen said before his Miami debut.

Trade with the horsepower scene in the United States is booming like never before. Miami is the second largest in the United States after Austin in the racing calendar. Next year there will be a third Grand Prix in Las Vegas in the Land of Opportunity. Formula 1 ratings on American television increased significantly, and tickets were in great demand in Austin.

high interest

Plows ring in Miami, too. “I’ve never seen a race where there has been so much demand from sponsors and so much interest from celebrity guests,” said McLaren team principal Zak Brown, who can look back at 20 years in motorsport. “It feels like the Super Bowl to me, the biggest event of the year,” said the 50-year-old American.

No one would have been drawing comparisons to American football in most of the previous F1 guest appearances in the United States. For many years, chief marketer Bernie Ecclestone tried in vain to gain a larger American audience for the sport, which was formed in Europe. Both races in the parking lot of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas were a fiasco. When Formula 1 was in Phoenix, an ostrich race held in the city at the same time is said to have attracted more spectators.

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The scandal in Indianapolis 2005 was also very poor publicity, with only six drivers starting around Michael Schumacher because the rest were afraid of exploding tires due to the steep curve.

The fan base in the United States is growing

Miami is already the eleventh host of Formula 1 in the United States. The fan base has grown exponentially recently. “In the final phase of the Bernie Ecclestone era, no important decisions were made. Digitization was missed and the bridge of communication to the next generation was cut,” industry expert Lars Stegelmann, Marketing Director of Motorsport Network, told dpa. Formula 1 has now escaped this predicament.

The successful PR strategy of American Formula 1 owner Liberty Media, the use of social networks and the growing exposure factor around the races attract pampered American sports fans. Perhaps the most significant driver of the new enthusiasm is the Netflix series “Driving to Survive”. With her dramatic narrative style and behind-the-scenes looks, the live broadcast success caters to the taste of younger audiences.

“With this series, Formula 1 produces and transmits stories, communicating with a new target group, and thus also interfering with a large number of fans,” Stegelmann said.

This did not escape the attention of Volkswagen chief Herbert Dies. “Formula 1 is developing in a very positive way around the world,” Dies said at the start of the week. “Netflix has led to a huge increase in the number of followers in the US.” This is one of the reasons why the group agreed that subsidiaries Porsche and Audi could go ahead with their plans to enter Formula 1 in 2026.

Andretti wants a team

US Racing Team operator Michael Andretti is also very interested in a spot on the starting grid. The son of former world champion Mario Andretti failed to take charge of the Sauber team last year and now wants to start his own Formula 1 team in 2024. “Money is not an issue,” the 59-year-old stressed.

An application for a start-up license has already been submitted to the FIA. However, the current 10 teams are still slowing down, as each additional competitor will reduce the amount of the others’ share of the income from the racing series. Anyway, Mick Schumacher’s employer Haas already has a team from the USA.

On the other hand, Formula 1 has not seen a regular driver from the United States for a long time. Most recently, Alexander Rossi followed him in 2015 for five races at Marussia. Prior to that, Scott Speed ​​had been equally unsuccessful in his 28 Grand Prix races of Toro Rosso, despite the illustrious name. The young rider who replaced Speed ​​in 2007 fared much better. Sebastian Vettel was a four-time world champion starting the 283rd Grand Prix in Miami.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220505-99-166119 / 2

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