Formula 1’s soaring popularity in the U.S. has been spotlighted by Red Bull’s commanding performances in the Miami and Canadian Grand Prix races this year. Liberty Media CEO, Greg Maffei, articulated the sport’s growth to investors, highlighting the remarkable rise in TV viewership. He stated:
“Viewership on ESPN is up on season to date versus the 2022 average viewership with strong F1 TV performance as well. The 2023 season has already seen three of the four largest live audiences in F1 history on US TV, including Miami, Monaco and the Canadian GPs. All but two of our races have averaged more than one million viewers. Huge numbers for the US market.”
Alongside TV ratings, in-person attendance at the Grand Prix venues has also surged, with ticket sales hitting record highs. This boost in interest and attendance is, in part, attributed to the Sprint race format introduced in 2021. While the shift wasn’t universally welcomed, especially by traditional F1 aficionados, it undeniably attracted a larger crowd. For instance, the Spa Francorchamps race this year witnessed increased viewership across the sprint race, main race, and qualifying sessions when compared to its predecessor.
The anticipation for F1 in the U.S. continues to build, especially with the United States Grand Prix in Texas slated for October. Moreover, the debut of the Las Vegas Grand Prix in November, projected to be the world’s premier sporting event, is generating significant buzz. Preparations for this grand-scale street race are progressing at full throttle, with major infrastructural components, like the paddock and viewing areas, expected to be finalized by October.