Roosevelt’s Election. The repealing of the prohibition era. The Spanish Civil War. All of these events were some of the most groundbreaking of the 1930s.
However, in the background of all these events, something was brewing, something which would change sports history forever and introduce one of the biggest major sporting events in our history, one which would have viewers at the edge of their seats on a Sunday afternoon, and would have them itching for the next race.
What was at the time merely a European-based grand Prix, introduced by France, has essentially evolved into the Leviathan that we know today as Formula One. A sport that has evolved into one of the most watched in Europe, and has even spawned a Netflix series,
as well as a series of Fifa-esque games, and most importantly has garnered one of the strongest followings.
However, while formula one did originate in Europe, is its following in Europe better, or worse than in the U.S. And if so, how popular is F1 in the US?
Assessing Formula One’s Popularity Within The U.S. How Did It Reach Its Current Position?
Within the US, F1 seems to be gaining a strong and steady foothold within the U.S., due to numerous reasons. Despite originating from Europe, rather than the U.S., and for a while, holding a strong rivalry with the U.S. based NASCAR, a number of factors have managed to skyrocket the popularity of F1 and more and more U.S. citizens have been clamoring to watch these high-octane (no pun intended) races.
Formula One As A New Market For Sports Betting
With the popularity of F1 now skyrocketing in the U.S, one would need to take another thing into consideration. This is the aspect of gambling and sports betting. When any sport becomes popular not only in the U.S, sports betting and gambling will only serve to enhance the popularity of the sport.
As of today, some of the most popular sportsbooks within the U.S now feature betting on Formula 1 races, signifying the sport’s popularity even within the world of online gambling and sportsbooks (Source: https://www.basketballinsiders.com/sportsbooks/). In an almost symbiotic relationship, while the popularity of F1 serves to open a new market for sports bettors, this in turn will increase Formula one’s popularity because more people are betting on it and watching it. This will ultimately improve F1 viewership and as a result, bolster its popularity.
Drive To Survive: Formula 1’s Emergence Within The U.S.
One of the biggest reasons for the rising popularity of Formula One lies within the aforementioned Netflix series, Drive to Survive. Beginning in 2018, and currently with four seasons, and a fifth and sixth season already announced at the time of writing this article, more than half of F1 fans claim that this series was their gateway into the world of Formula One. After the release of Drive to Survive, surveys have shown that more than 92 million U.S citizens proclaim themselves fans of the series, and of Formula One as a whole.
Formula One’s American Races
The popularity of F1 in the U.S can also be attributed to the races which are now being held on American Soil. While Grand Prix races have always been held in the U.S, with races taking place in Long Beach, Dallas, Detroit and Las Vegas, it was the 2022 Miami Grand Prix, which when paired with the recent success of Drive to survive, promptly skyrocketed F1’s popularity to an even higher degree as U.S viewership was at an all-time high, one which had never been seen before. And with the announcement of another Las Vegas Street race, which will hit the tarmac streets of Sin City in November of 2023, there is no denying that Formula one’s popularity will skyrocket even further, reaching numbers previously unseen. Only time will tell.
Other Sources Of F1 Popularity Within The U.S
It can be notable to mention as well, that Formula one has also gained a strong following through its numerous partnerships. Two of the most notable partnerships seen are those between F1 and American Cable Company ESPN, and its deal with Disney for its TV rights within the US.
Concluding Statements: The Future Of F1 In The Us
Like the flames burning from the exhaust of an old Formula One car, the future of Formula One is a bright one. With more and more viewers pooling in, in anticipation of every new season of drive to survive, the fruitfulness of the sports betting market within the U.S, and the anticipation of the Las Vegas Street race, one can confidently say that F1 as a sport will only get more popular.