Red Bull Content Pool

F1 News

F1 ratings growth in America stagnates: 'You hope your driver wins'

F1 ratings growth in America stagnates: 'You hope your driver wins'

23 January - 08:00

Formula 1 has become a major sport in the United States. There are three US Grands Prix on the calendar in 2024, as in 2023. Last season marked the first edition of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, and an American drove in Formula 1 for the first time since Alexander Rossi did in 2015. Yet in 2023, viewing figures stagnated compared to 2022.

Spread across the 22 races on the Formula 1 calendar, an average of 1.1 million Americans watched the king class of motorsport per race. Those figures are almost double those from 2018, but is still a drop of about 9% compared to 2022. Circuit of the Americas president Bobby Epstein thinks it is because of the competition.

Epstein and Garfinkel comment on ratings

"We have, more than ever, fans of the drivers themselves and the personalities, all the way down the grid," the COTA man opened up to The Athletic. "Americans — and maybe it’s like that anywhere, but more so in this sport — you’re going to root for your guy to win. You don’t build the same excitement and passion around not being competitive, simply because he’s from this country."

Tom Garfinkel, one of the heads of the Miami Grand Prix, doubts that a winning American in Formula 1 would change the sport that much. "It would certainly be a great thing, (but) I don’t know that it’s paramount to the success or the fandom," Garfinkel said. Finally, he elaborated on 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.