For a very long time, Formula 1 seemed to be a sport that wouldn’t fully catch on in the United States. A market that was out of reach for many years, with Circus of Americas being the only race set in the states. However, in 2016 Liberty Media purchased Formula 1 for a whopping $4.4 billion and changed the direction of Formula 1 forever.
Before Formula 1 was purchased by Liberty Media, the sport was considered to be only an international sport by most Americans. A sport that had over 600 million viewers in 2008, lost over 200 million by the time Liberty Media had purchased it.
The leaders of the sport did not find much interest in reaching out to the younger fan base. That was a huge mistake on their part and was a big reason as to why the sport was losing fans every year. The generation they were appeasing to were much older and wealthier, but that too has its own limits.
Liberty Media’s approach was to hit the U.S. where their attention was going, Netflix. The content giant was key to the growth of Formula 1 in the U.S. and to its now younger fans. Through the Formula 1: Drive to Survive series, the sport had a new way to connect the fans to the drivers in the car.
Stars like Lewis Hamilton became bigger, and racers like Australian born Daniel Ricciardo became household names. The docuseries gave great insight as to how competitive the races are and how important a millisecond can change everything.
Because of Drive to Survive, other sports like Golf are turning to Netflix to do the same, with the hopes that it will have the same effect on their viewer population and overall growth.
Formula 1 Race or Festival
Although Formula 1 has the Circus of Americas in Austin, Texas that broke records in 2021 with over 400 thousand fans tuning in, it pales in comparison to the great city of Miami. Located at Miami’s Hard Rock stadium, the 3-day weekend turned into a mega festival.
Concerts, celebrities, big brands, sponsors, and thousands of fans packed the city of Miami for the first ever Grand Prix race in south beach. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team sponsored a city event that was lined with Mercedes brand cars and authentic F1 cars. An engineer from the team answered a few questions about the F1 cars for the fans in attendance.
The events even included a Formula 1 simulator. The weekend attractions continued with pop up shops and restaurants that added to the festival going on throughout Miami.
A few racers got into the culture of Miami by wearing Miami inspired racing helmets.
While the festival was exciting, we can’t forget why the events are going on in Miami. The race itself was an exciting one that saw Redbull driver Max Verstappen take the checkered flag. Although Max started out at P3, he quickly overtook Ferrari driver, Carlos Sainz, for P2 just behind points leader Charles LeClerc.
By the Lap 9 of 57, Max would finally overtake LeClerc for the rest of the race. There were a few moments where LeClerc looked to be closing in on Max, but the defending world champion held onto his position and the top spot on the podium.
After a 1st place victory in Miami, Max is now only 19 points behind LeClerc for the championship. The next race on the schedule is in Spain at the Perelli Grand Prix, May 20th-22nd.