Formula One's American connection grows stronger
By: Joshua Strauss
Feb 23, 2023
Photo Credit: Associated Press
In the wake of a relatively tame season of Formula One, defined by the unmatched dominance of two-time world champion Max Verstappen, the off-season has been anything but.
The 2022 offseason was flush with driver and team principal transactions, meaning the 2023 grid will see many new faces and many old faces in new uniforms. In addition to new drivers entering the grid, Ford Motors announced that starting in 2026, they will be partnering with the defending constructor champions, Red Bull, and sister team, Alpha Tauri, as their power unit provider- marking their return to the sport following a more than 20-year gap.
Ford isn’t the only American auto manufacturer working to join the grid; General Motors submitted a joint bid alongside American driver, Michael Andretti, to join the F1 grid racing under the Cadillac Andretti brands.
Although the American Auto manufacturers are still a couple of years out from officially joining the grid, new driver Logan Sargeant is set to make his debut as the first American Formula one driver since 2015 this upcoming season. Racing for Williams, Sargeant joins the grid when American interest in the sport is at its peak thanks in large part to the Netflix series Drive to Survive and active efforts by F1 Parent Company Liberty Media.
2023 will mark the second running of the Miami Grand Prix and the inaugural run of the Las Vegas Grand Prix. For a sport defined by its opulent nature, it’s clear why the American connection with F1 has grown so strong. With ticket packages for the Las Vegas Grand Prix reaching $5 million and American faces joining the grid, the ability to capitalize on American sponsorship dollars has never been more prevalent.
The American impact was highlighted during the 2022 season, with the Miami Grand Prix setting a record for viewership of an American F1 race with an average audience size of 2.6 Million.
As F1 continues to grow its presence in the United States, Sargeant believes that the sport is on track to overtake American racing juggernauts Nascar and Indycar, stating, “Obviously, there’s a lot of diehard NASCAR and IndyCar fans who don’t always like it, but I think the way the sport’s going in America, if it’s not already, I think it will be the biggest shortly.”
Only time will tell if Sargeant’s prediction comes true, but as more and more Americans join the grid, the ceiling will only continue to rise.