Formula One’s popularity in the United States is is enjoying its “steepest rise”, according to Lewis Hamilton, as the sport’s owners make a big push in the country.
After years of failing to make a breakthrough in the United States, Liberty Media’s sustained effort to break into the market looks to be paying off.
The US will add a second race in Miami in 2022, helped by the success of Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’ series, and there are even suggestions of a third event in the future.
The rise in the sport’s popularity has been noticeable for Hamilton, who spends much of his year in the United States, and the acceleration of interest has recently ramped up a lot.
“I think we already knew from the beginning there was huge potential here,” explained the world champion.
“My first race in the US here was in 2007, but I had already been to a NASCAR race, seeing how it is. I have been to an NFL game, an NBA game, and they are just crazy about sports over here.
“There is never enough sports. They always want more, more action. The progress I have seen over these years has been huge.
“Of course in these last couple of years it has been the steepest rise and more and more people are talking about it, and more and more people are engaging.
“The amount of emails and messages I get from people who I have known for years in the States but never knew what I was doing and are now hooked and cannot wait to come.
“I think a lot of them are coming this weekend, so I think that is only a good thing and it is great to see that response.”
When F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali took the reins earlier this year, he made it plain that the sport’s main focus will be on the United States.
He felt, however, that the sport needed continued messaging there, rather than believing that the interest surrounding a single weekend would be enough.
“I can guarantee to you there is now big interest in the USA with Formula 1,” he said.
“What we don’t have to do, in terms of mistake, is that the US needs to be fed with F1 news every day.
“It’s wrong to go there one week, and let’s say you have an incredible push one week before the Austin race and then being silent.
“What we have is a plan of communication quite strong in the US. We need to hammer information with the right channels in a continuous way.
“It will take a lot of start-up time in terms of investment, but the payoff will be huge. So this is part of our strategic global communication campaign that we need to push this year.”
The uniforms of Formula One racing drivers are currently available at the following websites for a reasonable price: