Formula 1 conquers the USA

For a long time, Formula 1 only played a supporting role in the world’s largest sports market. The fans in the USA were never really enthusiastic about the European premier class of motorsport, preferring to go to the oval races of NASCAR and the IndyCar series. Until now. Meanwhile, Formula 1 is booming in North America.
The Miami Grand Prix will be sold out next weekend. 275,000 fans had already registered in November for the tickets, which cost up to 1,800 euros. Last year almost 400,000 fans filled the stands at the USA GP in Austin (Texas). “It is clear to see that there is a new Formula 1 boom,” says ex-Ferrari star Gerhard Berger to AUTO BILD. “And this time it comes from America.”

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A turning point for the automotive premier class. Berger: “One has always known that if one gains a foothold in America, Formula 1 will take on a new dimension. It just never worked. But this time it’s different. And the key to that was the Netflix series.”

Since 2018, the documentary “Drive to Survive” has allowed a look behind the scenes of the racing spectacle. “For a young fan, it’s a new way of approaching the sport and F1 takes advantage of that,” said Berger. The circuits also set new standards. The Miami course goes around the Miami Dolphins football stadium. He has his own concert stage, a beach club, an artificial mini marina.

From 2023, Formula 1 will also race through Las Vegas.

From November 2023, Formula 1 will also race across the famous Las Vegas Strip. “The USA is a massive focus for us,” emphasizes Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali. “We believe that Formula 1 simply belongs in this country.”

At least since the US group Liberty Media took over the premier class in 2016 and modernized it vigorously. Domenicali goes full throttle: “We want to make the American market the most important of the premier class.”

The TV numbers are also increasing in parallel to the fans on site: an average of 1.3 million viewers watched the start of the season in Bahrain on ESPN. The premier class has not had that many since 1995. This puts the series on the level of IndyCar, but still far behind NASCAR races, where more than four million fans tune in regularly. But the growth is right: in 2021, an average of 900,000 US citizens were still watching.

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Bad for Europe: The traditional routes are at a disadvantage, although the pilots love them. “It’s important to be on routes that have a history,” admits Mick Schumacher (23). And he’s been expanding for a long time: the pilot of the US team Haas has his home game in Miami. His goal: to finally get the first championship point. After eighth place in Imola, his German colleague Sebastian Vettel (34) hopes that his Aston Martin will not just follow behind.
Alone: ​​The two have nothing to do with the world title. Ferrari star Charles Leclerc leads 27 points ahead of world champion Max Verstappen.

Formula 1 on TV

In 2022, Formula 1 will run on Sky. Last year, the broadcaster introduced a new TV channel especially for the premier class: Sky Formula 1. Here there is motorsport 24 hours a day. All practice sessions, all qualifying sessions, all races are always live and without commercial breaks. In addition, Sky also broadcasts the support races Formula 2, Formula 3 and the Porsche Supercup. The program also includes historic races and special programs.

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