Revealed: What American fans really want to see from Formula 1

Elizabeth Blackstock
The Formula 1 grid in Austin.

The United States is a growing market for Formula 1, but American fans hope to see the sport embrace the country beyond the new glitz and glamour of Las Vegas and Miami.

Formula 1’s growth in the United States has been as rapid as it has been unprecedented, but the series doesn’t always seem to know how to best attract and maintain the American audience.

While I don’t claim to know all the right answers to F1’s strategy, I’ve dedicated my career to speaking with American fans as the sport has evolved here, and I do know the biggest criticisms and critiques that have been holding the sport back.

Of course, F1 wants to make waves here in the States — but the fans have much more they want to see.

Affordable events

The largest criticism I’ve encountered is ticket prices. Despite there being more races in America than in recent years, ticket prices have skyrocketed, pricing out fans who had hoped more races would mean better access.

“I think if F1 gave us three races that fans could actually afford, it would be different,” a longtime fan named Jim told me at the 2023 U.S. Grand Prix.

“It’s just weird that the sport will spend all this money to repave a parking lot and then charge us out the wazoo to roast in it. Miami, Vegas — those don’t really feel like races. Not really.”

Meaningful, not glitzy, races

“I love F1, but the attitude has been toward ‘glitz and glam’ when it comes here,” North Carolina race fan Kat Flandermeyer said.

“American motorsport is about the common person, and F1 doesn’t seem interested in us.”

F1’s recent push into the States has largely seemed confined to attracting celebrity attendance rather than race fan attendance.

Fans want to attend a Grand Prix (or, at the very least, watch one on TV) that actually highlights the sport — not the spectacle that surrounds Formula 1.

A real American team

While Haas is an American team, many fans in the U.S. feel as if it has ignored its home country in favor of adopting a more international persona. Some have even gone as far as arguing that the team seems disdainful of the U.S.

One fan named Manny went so far as to say he felt that Haas seemed embarrassed to be American thanks to its lack of American drivers, personnel, or marketing.

Andretti Global, in its partnership with GM and Cadillac, has promised something far different: A team that would truly be proud to represent America, from its power units to its drivers.

Pushback from F1 and the FIA, however, have continued to leave fans disillusioned and skeptical that they might see themselves represented in the international motorsport realm. recommends

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American broadcasts

American fans have seen a strong improvement in F1 broadcasting over the past decade, where commercial-ridden NBC streams were replaced by ESPN’s live broadcast of the Sky Sports stream.

However, we’ve lost many American cultural touch points on the broadcast. The result is that F1 doesn’t feel connected to the country.

An insistence by F1 to introduce an American broadcast or even an America-specific pre-race show could help offer a greater sense of connection to the sport.

Respect for American motorsport

Kate, an American motorsport fan and historian, made one of the finest points yet: F1 simply doesn’t show much respect for the deep history of racing in America.

Disciplines like IndyCar or NASCAR are often entirely disregarded unless they intersect with F1 somehow, and nothing shows that quite like the Super License system that offers so few points to IndyCar champions, effectively ranking America’s highest level of open-wheel racing as being lesser than an F1 feeder series.

If F1 plans to truly make waves in America, it needs to show adequate respect for the disciplines that call this country home.

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