Red Bull principal Christian Horner said the huge popularity surge enjoyed by Formula 1 means that rather than turning to celebrities like Taylor Swift to attract a crowd, now such figures are “lucky” if there is space for them.
Formula 1 these days is revelling in a booming fanbase, with the packed out stands across the calendar meaning the demand to host a grand prix is arguably at an all-time high.
Much of this insatiable appetite for Formula 1 can be traced back to the success of Netflix’s docuseries Drive to Survive, which helped the sport crack the American market at last, with a younger audience tuning into the sport.
Christian Horner on role reversal for celebrities like Taylor Swift
Horner would discuss the remarkable rise in Formula 1’s popularity with ESPN, and used an example from the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas to highlight it.
Back in 2016 pop icon Taylor Swift performed a concert as part of the United States GP race weekend, Horner saying such a draw was needed to get fans through the gates.
Now, he says celebrities like Swift would be “lucky” just to be part of a grand prix event at all.
“If you remember Austin a few years ago, we were having to get Taylor Swift there to get a crowd there,” said Horner.
“Now, she’s lucky if she’s allowed in, if she can get a pass! It’s changed so much.”
Formula 1 will take its next huge step on American soil in November with the debut of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, an event which Horner predicts will take the buzz around Formula 1 up “another level” still.
And with Horner’s 50th birthday arriving just two days before the inaugural Las Vegas GP race on November 18, he joked that it was nice of Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali to put on such an event to celebrate.
“Las Vegas I think will just take it to another level,” Horner predicted. “It’s unprecedented the interest that we’ve had in that race and the hype.
“And it’s just very nice of Stefano to put a race on for my 50th birthday on that weekend!”
Horner’s Red Bull team will very likely have the F1 2023 title double secured by the time Las Vegas arrives, with Max Verstappen currently 125 points clear of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez at the top of the Drivers’ Championship, while Red Bull are 256 points clear of Mercedes in the Constructors’ standings.