Stagnant F1 Ratings Growth in America: Hoping for Your Driver’s Victory

Despite Formula 1 becoming a major sport in the United States with three US Grands Prix in 2024 and an American driver participating for the first time since 2015, viewing figures in 2023 stagnated compared to 2022 with an average of 1.1 million Americans watching per race, a drop of about 9% from the previous year, which is attributed to competition by Circuit of the Americas president Bobby Epstein.

Highlights

‣ Formula 1 has grown in popularity in the United States, with three US Grands Prix on the calendar in 2024 and an American driver participating for the first time since 2015.
‣ Despite the growth, viewing figures for Formula 1 in the US stagnated in 2023 compared to 2022, with an average of 1.1 million Americans watching per race.
‣ Bobby Epstein, president of the Circuit of the Americas, believes the stagnation in viewership may be due to competition and the focus on individual drivers rather than national representation.
‣ Tom Garfinkel, one of the heads of the Miami Grand Prix, doubts that having a winning American driver would significantly change the sport’s popularity in the US.


Formula 1 is gaining traction in the US. In 2024, we’re seeing three US Grands Prix, just like in 2023. The Las Vegas Grand Prix debuted last season. And, for the first time since Alexander Rossi in 2015, an American was behind the wheel in Formula 1. But, 2023’s viewing figures didn’t see much growth from 2022.

The king class of motorsport, Formula 1, had an average of 1.1 million American viewers per race across its 22-race calendar. That’s nearly twice the 2018 figures. However, it’s a 9% dip from 2022. Bobby Epstein, Circuit of the Americas president, thinks competition might be the culprit.

Epstein had a chat with The Athletic. He said, “We have, more than ever, fans of the drivers themselves and the personalities, all the way down the grid.” He believes Americans, maybe more than others, root for their guy to win. “You don’t build the same excitement and passion around not being competitive, simply because he’s from this country,” he added.

Tom Garfinkel, a bigwig at the Miami Grand Prix, isn’t so sure that an American winning in Formula 1 would drastically change the sport. “It would certainly be a great thing, (but) I don’t know that it’s paramount to the success or the fandom,” he said. He also spoke about F1 ratings in America. “Five or 10 years ago, I don’t know that your average sports fan in America could have named three drivers in F1,” he concluded.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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