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Are more races key to F1 success in US?


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#1 khaliweed

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 08:40

Hollywood director Ron Howard, the man behind the forthcoming movie Rush, reckons that F1 can be a success in the United States if it gives the Americans more than a fleeting interest in the sport.

Admitting that US sporting mentality is different to other parts of the globe, Howard – who confesses to have become a firm F1 fan after years of taking only a passing interest in it – suggests that adding to the current world championship round at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas would help boost the sport's following.

“There haven't been a lot of races in the US,” the former Happy Days star told the official F1 website, “Sports - and the idea of a home team - are very important to America. With all sports, there is the actual activity - the game that's being played - but then there is also 'your' team. It's a bit like the way Europeans feel about their football teams. F1 is this kind of roaming circus - it's that kind of wild event. I think the time zone difference also has a huge impact - it was somehow never convenient to watch the races.

“I used to watch the start, then got occupied with something else, then checked back once in a while to see who is leading, and watched the finish. Otherwise, my mind would wander somewhere else. Now, when I watch a race, I can't even get up to go to the toilet - I stay glued to the action because now I understand it well enough.”

The race in Austin – which gets its second outing in November – and the annual Canadian and Brazilian grands prix are currently the only rounds taking place in time zones convenient for an American audience but, with rumours of possible calendar additions in New Jersey and Mexico, Howard reckons that interest on the 'other' side of the Atlantic could swell.

“If you have Canada, then a couple of races in the US and Mexico - when you come to the continent and stay some time on the continent and in similar time zones - that would make a huge difference in how Americans would see F1,” he explained, denying suggestions that the sport was also 'too complicated - technically and strategically' for the US audience.

“They would catch up very quickly as it is actually very modern and fascinating - and soon they would understand it,” he continued, “But, instead of coming for one big event and then going away, I think more races are the answer to all these questions.

“Austin will continue, it would be great if there is New Jersey, there is already Montreal, then find something on the West Coast, and then maybe Mexico - that would be a proper introduction of F1 to the US.”

With his dramatised version of events from the 1976 world championship due to hit the big screen in the next few weeks, Howard admits that he has much admiration for the men who put themselves behind the wheel, even though conditions have changed since the days of James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

“I think it still takes a lot of courage to test yourself in that way,” he concluded, “It is not only the risk of death or serious injury - although that still exists in their minds - but it is also the fear of failure that is sometimes more important to men than anything else. They are testing themselves constantly and they are willing to subject themselves in the most public way.

“You can say that about a lot of athletes, but it is a bit like golf and tennis: they are out there alone - even if they have a team behind them. So you could argue that they are half heroes and half madmen – but, for sure, [they are] 100 per cent world-class athletes.”

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#2 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 12:05

F1 success in USA is relatively impossible... NASCAR = motor racing in the United States. And why shouldn't it. They put on a show 36 times a year, the tickets are cheap, and you can even see the whole track. It's family friendly motor racing. :)

Can F1 match that with 1 or 2 races and $100+ tickets? No. That's fine, it's different.

It's like expecting Cricket to as popular as baseball in USA or soccer to be as popular as grid iron in the USA. It's just as impossible as the opposite: would Grid Iron be the most popular football in Spain? Never (well probably not in next 20 years). Would Baseball be the most popular ball & bat sport in India? Never (well not in next 20 years).

Edited by V8 Fireworks, 13 August 2013 - 12:08.


#3 JHSingo

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 12:28

F1 success in USA is relatively impossible... NASCAR = motor racing in the United States. And why shouldn't it. They put on a show 36 times a year, the tickets are cheap, and you can even see the whole track. It's family friendly motor racing. :)


Maybe for now, but in the future? Probably not.

Didn't ESPN recently decline from bidding on the NASCAR TV rights, partly because the demographic is so terrible? Fox was the only bidder. Somebody will probably correct me on that.

The problem NASCAR has is this. Their fans are old. They don't buy phones, or cars, or anything like that. The drivers are old. The technology is old. At most tracks, track side attendance has dropped off pretty dramatically, and TV viewing figures aren't much better.

So this myth that Americans only understand, and will only ever understand, one form of motorsport is exactly that...a myth. That's coming from somebody who likes NASCAR.

So there is the potential for Formula One to capitalise on that, most definitely. But I think it'd take a pretty drastic change in how F1 markets itself to be successful. American sports do things differently from the way Formula One operates, and I'm not sure Formula One right now is really maximising the potential to interest the American audience. Maybe I'm wrong.

But in a country where all forms of racing, including NASCAR, seem to struggle to gain interest right now, I just don't see how a hugely expensive and mostly European sport is ever going to gain huge interest in America, whether there is two or three races there, or none at all.

#4 Winter98

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 13:53

Americans are not going to watch a series in which no top drivers are American, and no top teams are American.

End of story.

#5 HaydenFan

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 14:51

Americans are not going to watch a series in which no top drivers are American, and no top teams are American.

End of story.


But MotoGP never caught on and for the past 3 decades you've had at least one race (albeit from '95 to '04) in the U.S., Americans have kinda been the most dominate riders until just recently. Nicky Hayden had a bit of attention in his early years, and his title didn't do much. And Nicky Hayden is a fairly likable guy. Perfect for smearing all over the media, and while 2 wheel racing isn't as big worldwide as F1, it should have gotten some attention in the U.S.

And with 3 rounds, it still isn't panning out for MotoGP in the U.S.

#6 BoschKurve

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 14:58

"Let's stick to the ovals and leave road courses to the wine and cheese boys." -AJ Foyt (I believe)

#7 king_crud

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 15:03

the US has had plenty of chances to get into it, I think it should just be accepted as a niche sport. Motor racing popularity in general seems to be in a bit of a decline recently.

#8 yr

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 15:22

Americans are not going to watch a series in which no top drivers are American, and no top teams are American.

End of story.


Thats true, and also Americans are not going to watch racing that doesnt have at least 10 passes for the lead in every lap and where safety car isnt being called out at least every 5th lap.

Its the same reason why Americans dont like soccer, even if it is the most popular sport throughout the rest of the world, no, the Americans cant understand the sport where the result is something like 1-1, 1-2, 2-1 or so, they need a sport like basketball where the "goal" is done every minute and result is something like 99-106 or something. There cant be tactical or endurance element in sport if it wants to attract Americans. There should be a score or overtake in less time than 2 minutes or else Americans will lose interest.


#9 king_crud

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 15:51

Thats true, and also Americans are not going to watch racing that doesnt have at least 10 passes for the lead in every lap and where safety car isnt being called out at least every 5th lap.

Its the same reason why Americans dont like soccer, even if it is the most popular sport throughout the rest of the world, no, the Americans cant understand the sport where the result is something like 1-1, 1-2, 2-1 or so, they need a sport like basketball where the "goal" is done every minute and result is something like 99-106 or something. There cant be tactical or endurance element in sport if it wants to attract Americans. There should be a score or overtake in less time than 2 minutes or else Americans will lose interest.


how do you explain baseball then? That's a pretty slow sport

#10 InSearchOfThe

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 15:54

how do you explain baseball then? That's a pretty slow sport

It's 150 years old.

#11 olliek88

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 16:03

Yes, to an extent, but even more than that it needs a successful American driver in F1 which doesn't look like happening anytime soon. Rossi and Daly are ok but no more than that, i can see Alex racing in Austin this year depending on how his FP appearances go but thats not enough to make an impact and i can't see anyone else from the states breaking into F1 in the next 5 years, at least.

Even if an American were to become an F1 WDC and there were 4 races held across American i think it'd still remain a fringe sport, i get the impression (forgive me for stereotyping) that the only sports that make it big in the USA are "American" sports. i.e. Baseball, Football, Basketball etc.

Edited by olliek88, 13 August 2013 - 16:04.


#12 johnmhinds

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 16:12

I don't really understand why F1 is trying to push into an already very saturated US motosports market with 2-3 races when a single race in much bigger and growing countries like China and India is deemed to be enough for those regions.

#13 HaydenFan

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 16:12

Even if an American were to become an F1 WDC and there were 4 races held across American i think it'd still remain a fringe sport, i get the impression (forgive me for stereotyping) that the only sports that make it big in the USA are "American" sports. i.e. Baseball, Football, Basketball etc.


Pretty much. NASCAR and hockey have made strides in the past decade, while basketball has declined, but it still isn't going to top football and baseball. F1 and all non-NASCAR forms of motorsport are like soccer in the U.S., a sport that isn't ever going to be big. It'll catch on and have a solid fan base (already does), but isn't going to be mainstream. A U.S. F1 driver isn't going to be talked about in the same breath as a Peyton Manning or an Alex Rodriguez (before the latest PED findings and I can't think of many baseball players that the non-U.S. poster would know).

I don't really understand why F1 is trying to push into an already very saturated US motosports market with 2-3 races when a single race in much bigger and growing countries like China and India is deemed to be enough for those regions.


Did fans show up for the Indian or Chinese GP? I saw plenty of empty seats compared to the first USGP. I expect attendance to fall in time (happens in all non-college football events in the U.S.), but until then F1 will milk the country for every penny they are willing to spend on it while hoping it grows.

Edited by HaydenFan, 13 August 2013 - 16:17.


#14 mlsnoopy

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 16:18

I don't really understand why F1 is trying to push into an already very saturated US motosports market with 2-3 races when a single race in much bigger and growing countries like China and India is deemed to be enough for those regions.


Money. Their is a lot of money in the USA and americans are willing to spend it.

#15 BoschKurve

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 16:21

the US has had plenty of chances to get into it, I think it should just be accepted as a niche sport. Motor racing popularity in general seems to be in a bit of a decline recently.


Most of the race series in the US lost their uniqueness.

Here's the big problem with F1 in the US: Roger Penske and Tony George.

Both men murdered open-wheel racing in the US permanently.

I think it has a lot to do with the general apathy exhibited towards the entire thing. No matter how much excitement IRL can produce during a race, it's sort of like the old adage of, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" No one really cares a great deal about IRL any longer, and likely never will again.

The NFL is the current flavor of the decade/century or what have you as far as sports go in America. Kind of ironic since it's mind-numbing for me to watch nowadays, and I avoid watching it as much as I can. I'm an American in a minority - I find soccer more enjoyable to watch than American football. I think in many regards, American tastes regarding entertainment in general is suspect.

#16 2ms

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 16:25

The biggest problem to F1 in the US is that almost all races are at unwatchable times for American times zones. Americans aren't going to stay up to watch races from 2-5 in the morning. For mainstream success, sports need to be things that people can watch together as social activities.

Even if F1 were 50% American races, I'm not sure how much success it would have. Probably a fair amount. But it is a country where games like baseball and hockey have 160 and 80 games per season. You read that correctly...160 games per season. A sport of 2 or 3 or 4 watchable games is never going to be a lot more than a novelty there, IMHO. Maybe a novelty can still be very profitable though.

#17 l8apex

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 16:26

But MotoGP never caught on and for the past 3 decades you've had at least one race (albeit from '95 to '04) in the U.S., Americans have kinda been the most dominate riders until just recently. Nicky Hayden had a bit of attention in his early years, and his title didn't do much. And Nicky Hayden is a fairly likable guy. Perfect for smearing all over the media, and while 2 wheel racing isn't as big worldwide as F1, it should have gotten some attention in the U.S.

And with 3 rounds, it still isn't panning out for MotoGP in the U.S.


You sure it's not catching on? I don't know what the TV numbers are, but there was something like 90,000 people at the COTA MotoGP race and there is always a good crown at Laguna Seca (lack of grandstand though).

It's going to look empty at Indy this weekend, but that place seats 200,000 and the track sort of sucks for motorcycle road racing, but the other two races are great!

#18 olliek88

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 16:49

A U.S. F1 driver isn't going to be talked about in the same breath as a Peyton Manning or an Alex Rodriguez (before the latest PED findings and I can't think of many baseball players that the non-U.S. poster would know.


Talk about stereotyping against non-US folk, i can name plenty of baseball players! Such as, ahem, erm, Babe Ruth.... aaaand that's it.  ;)

#19 HaydenFan

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 18:16

You sure it's not catching on? I don't know what the TV numbers are, but there was something like 90,000 people at the COTA MotoGP race and there is always a good crown at Laguna Seca (lack of grandstand though).

It's going to look empty at Indy this weekend, but that place seats 200,000 and the track sort of sucks for motorcycle road racing, but the other two races are great!


I'm talking about being mainstream. When will F1/MotoGP be front page of the major sports magazines in this country? Not very often. When will you see highlights of races on segments of Sports Center or even the networks that cover the races? You don't see F1 highlights on NBCN own Sports Center like highlights show. And they are paying to cover the sport.

But the sport is fine. For the number of people who follow the sport, I want the sport to be huge. To rival the likes of the stick and ball sports in this country, but even in Europe F1 is barely a blip on the radar of the major soccer leagues. You think ManU or Barcelona or Roma are worried about F1 races effecting television numbers or attendance issues if a F1 race overlaps on a game day? Nope.

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#20 AustinF1

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 18:21

F1 success in USA is relatively impossible... NASCAR = motor racing in the United States. And why shouldn't it. They put on a show 36 times a year, the tickets are cheap, and you can even see the whole track. It's family friendly motor racing. :)

Can F1 match that with 1 or 2 races and $100+ tickets? No. That's fine, it's different.

It's like expecting Cricket to as popular as baseball in USA or soccer to be as popular as grid iron in the USA. It's just as impossible as the opposite: would Grid Iron be the most popular football in Spain? Never (well probably not in next 20 years). Would Baseball be the most popular ball & bat sport in India? Never (well not in next 20 years).

F1 doesn't have to "match" NASCAR in order to be wildly successful here.

#21 SpaMaster

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 18:32

He is absolutely spot on. US would need more than one race and a bit of sustained dose. There is enough interest already in US and there is a huge potential for the future. It's a car country after all and I believe the more the merrier in terms of series. When the races used to be at Indy, I remember the attendance was always great.

#22 AustinF1

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 18:36

NASCAR rode the manufacturer rivalry to its success. Fan interaction with the drivers isn't what got NASCAR where it is, but it's helped them stay there.

As stated above, to gain widespread popularity here, F1 needs a successful American driver. The big problem we have (if you even view it as a problem. I don't, as I'm fairly content being a huge fan of a sport that not everyone else is into) is that even if we get a driver into F1, they will be a relative unknown (Rossi, Daly), on a backmarker team. Even if they make it to a top team, they'll likely have a hard time attracting interest here because they don't bring fans with them to the sport. How much did the Scott Speed years help F1's U.S. popularity? What we really need is a very unlikely scenario where an established driver with a big fan following somehow makes the jump from NASCAR or IndyCar into F1. Like I said, it's very unlikely. The other, much more likely imho, way for F1 to gain popularity here is to have an American manufacturer join as a constructor and market the hell out of their F1 participation. Then an American driver who joins them wouldn't necessarily have to bring their own following along with them.

Just imagine if, for example, Ford entered as a constructor and then pelted us with marketing featuring Ford F1 cars racing at Monaco, Spa, COTA, etc.

Edited by AustinF1, 14 August 2013 - 17:08.


#23 AustinF1

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 18:37

He is absolutely spot on. US would need more than one race and a bit of sustained dose. There is enough interest already in US and there is a huge potential for the future. It's a car country after all and I believe the more the merrier in terms of series. When the races used to be at Indy, I remember the attendance was always great.

Yep. I agree with everything he said. Very insightful and well-stated.

Edited by AustinF1, 13 August 2013 - 18:37.


#24 caccamolle

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 18:48

It's 150 years old.


And bound to inexorable decline. Those fat arses thinking of themselves as athletes, so fun, but the young guys are getting it, slowly but surely.

Demographic changes are making soccer inevitable in the USA. The baseball lobby has been successful so far but will not be able to stop its growth for much longer.


But F1? Ouch, that will not happen I am afraid.

#25 AustinF1

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 18:52

And bound to inexorable decline. Those fat arses thinking of themselves as athletes, so fun, but the young guys are getting it, slowly but surely.

Demographic changes are making soccer inevitable in the USA. The baseball lobby has been successful so far but will not be able to stop its growth for much longer.


But F1? Ouch, that will not happen I am afraid.

[o/t]Make no mistake. A pro baseball player is very much an athlete of the highest order. Between pitches the game is slow, indeed, but plays are made at lightning speed. It's a slow game played by incredible athletes at that level. [o/t]

Or perhaps I misread you & you weren't talking about baseball players.

...and the "baseball lobby"? I've never heard of baseball trying to do anything to hold back soccer in the U.S. Soccer has been steadily growing here for at least 30 years now. These things do take time.

Edited by AustinF1, 13 August 2013 - 18:55.


#26 Lemans

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 18:54

I'm more worried about what will be done to the sport in order for it to be 'appealing' to Americans.


#27 AustinF1

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 18:56

I'm more worried about what will be done to the sport in order for it to be 'appealing' to Americans.

Exactly. If U.S. success means a dilution of the sport, then forget it.

Edited by AustinF1, 13 August 2013 - 18:56.


#28 Clatter

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 18:58

Exactly. If U.S. success means a dilution of the sport, then forget it.


Think it's too late and the dilution has already happened.

#29 AustinF1

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 18:59

Think it's too late and the dilution has already happened.

Yep. Probably. :mad: :mad: :mad:

#30 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 19:26

Most of the race series in the US lost their uniqueness.

Here's the big problem with F1 in the US: Roger Penske and Tony George.

Both men murdered open-wheel racing in the US permanently.


Was F1 super-popular here before George-Penske?

#31 johnmhinds

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 19:26

Did fans show up for the Indian or Chinese GP? I saw plenty of empty seats compared to the first USGP. I expect attendance to fall in time (happens in all non-college football events in the U.S.), but until then F1 will milk the country for every penny they are willing to spend on it while hoping it grows.


But couldn't we use the same logic everyone is applying to any theoretical US races and say all F1 needs to be a success in any country is just more races and drivers/teams from those countries competing?

If indeed it is that simple and all the fans from the US/China/India and other big countries lack is nationalistic bandwagoning as most people in this thread seem to think then F1 should have more races in all of those countries and not just focus on new races in the US.

#32 MikeV1987

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 19:28

I'm more worried about what will be done to the sport in order for it to be 'appealing' to Americans.


just lol

#33 SanDiegoGo

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 23:29

F1 doesn't have to "match" NASCAR in order to be wildly successful here.


Yes, it's not about dominating US sport it's simply about being more successful than current levels. F1 can happily survive along side other US motor sports. Two or three races could easily be accommodated in the US, it's a vast area with huge populated areas on each coast and in the middle. Disneyland has two sites and they do just fine. If you live in Boston, are you going to go to Disney land in Orlando or three thousand miles away in California? Likewise, if you live in Seattle are you going to go Disneyland in Cali or Florida? A race fan will go to their nearest race, but is less likely to travel across an entire continent to go to just one available race. That is of course if they can afford to go at all, but that's a different issue.

Formula 1 can be wildly successful in the US. They like like motor sport, it's not like Soccer or other alien sports. It's a ready made market, they love speed and glamour. It's tailor made. The major sticking point is cost and that's where Bernie comes in to it. He is the one asking the big bucks. If he want F1 to be a hit there, it will be. If not, it won't.

Edited by SanDiegoGo, 13 August 2013 - 23:34.


#34 E.B.

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 13:39

I always got the impression that Watkins Glen always put on a very successful event. What was its secret?

Sure, it was nice track rather than a hotel car park, and there was the occasional American F1 star competing at various times, but there must have been more to it than that.


#35 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 13:47

Well, the fact that it was 30 years ago?

#36 HaydenFan

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 15:07

I always got the impression that Watkins Glen always put on a very successful event. What was its secret?

Sure, it was nice track rather than a hotel car park, and there was the occasional American F1 star competing at various times, but there must have been more to it than that.



Well, the fact that it was 30 years ago?


Exactly what Ross has said. The races in general in the U.S. haven't been that bad (compared to other Grand Prix venues), and have been pretty well attended. The events have never been an issue. Even Indianapolis always had a huge crowd that was excited for the race. There are enough F1 fans in the U.S. and North America to fill the seats, but that's about it.

Problem with F1 is that it's too foreign. A vast majority of the schedule is on live television late at night or early morning. When most people are asleep. Watching F1 in the U.S. is a bit of an inconvenience. Waking up on a Sunday at 4-5-6 in the morning to watch a race is tough, even for the biggest of fans. That's a hard sell for F1 to Americans. And would more North American rounds help? Yes and no. IndyCar has much better racing (what F1 would become if Bernie wanted to NASCAR it up), and on the same network and still gets no attention.

Outside of NASCAR, motor racing is really a small sport. Known by most people, but followed only by a few. That's the problem with F1.

#37 Winter98

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 15:49

I'm more worried about what will be done to the sport in order for it to be 'appealing' to Americans.


You should be.

They've turned the NHL into a league as contrived as the WWE in order to garner TV viewership south of the border.

#38 AustinF1

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 16:10

Exactly what Ross has said. The races in general in the U.S. haven't been that bad (compared to other Grand Prix venues), and have been pretty well attended. The events have never been an issue. Even Indianapolis always had a huge crowd that was excited for the race. There are enough F1 fans in the U.S. and North America to fill the seats, but that's about it.

Problem with F1 is that it's too foreign. A vast majority of the schedule is on live television late at night or early morning. When most people are asleep. Watching F1 in the U.S. is a bit of an inconvenience. Waking up on a Sunday at 4-5-6 in the morning to watch a race is tough, even for the biggest of fans. That's a hard sell for F1 to Americans. And would more North American rounds help? Yes and no. IndyCar has much better racing (what F1 would become if Bernie wanted to NASCAR it up), and on the same network and still gets no attention.

Outside of NASCAR, motor racing is really a small sport. Known by most people, but followed only by a few. That's the problem with F1.

In this day of the DVR, why is the timing of the races such an issue? I rarely watch live tv anymore & F1 is no exception. My friends say the same thing. When I do watch anything live I get supremely annoyed by having to sit through the commercial breaks.

As for the foreign aspect, I can't speak for anyone else, but that's always been part the allure for me.

IndyCar = better racing? That depends on your definition of "better" I guess. Start crash 5 caution laps restart crash 5 caution laps restart crash 5 caution laps restart crash 5 caution laps restart crash 5 caution laps wash rinse repeat.

Being more like NASCAR on the track is not the answer.

Edited by AustinF1, 14 August 2013 - 16:13.


#39 Lemans

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 17:24

You should be.

They've turned the NHL into a league as contrived as the WWE in order to garner TV viewership south of the border.


Indeed. I'm Canadian so that one hurts a little.


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#40 pdac

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 19:05

What needs to happen is:

- Many races (perhaps a whole US leg of the season with 5 or 6 rounds being held in the US)
- Drivers and team principals being highly visible for a while (appearances on chat shows, TV news magazines, celebrity reality shows etc.) so the great American public know their names and faces and personalities.
- Plenty of exhibitions with F1 cars being driven in streets etc. so people can see and hear the cars close up

**AND**

- Cheap (highly subsidised) tickets for a few years

I can't see any of this happening, so I can't see F1 being a big thing over there

#41 BoschKurve

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 19:15

Was F1 super-popular here before George-Penske?


It's not definitive proof, nor should it be taken that way, but I know many people who tell me they used to watch F1 back in the 1970s and 1980s that no longer watch it.

My boss used to go to Watkins Glen for the grands prix that were hosted back then.

Personally, I think F1 has been trying to sell the wrong image for far too long. Trying to appeal to the noveau rich crowd is all well and nice, but you ultimately will lose the middle class guy in the long run.

#42 aportinga

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 20:48

It's not definitive proof, nor should it be taken that way, but I know many people who tell me they used to watch F1 back in the 1970s and 1980s that no longer watch it.

My boss used to go to Watkins Glen for the grands prix that were hosted back then.

Personally, I think F1 has been trying to sell the wrong image for far too long. Trying to appeal to the noveau rich crowd is all well and nice, but you ultimately will lose the middle class guy in the long run.


Texas priced me out :down:

#43 AustinF1

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 22:31

It's not definitive proof, nor should it be taken that way, but I know many people who tell me they used to watch F1 back in the 1970s and 1980s that no longer watch it.

My boss used to go to Watkins Glen for the grands prix that were hosted back then.

Personally, I think F1 has been trying to sell the wrong image for far too long. Trying to appeal to the noveau rich crowd is all well and nice, but you ultimately will lose the middle class guy in the long run.


As the poster above mentioned, yeah, COTA is taking exactly this approach of targeting new money ('cause old money doesn't give a shit about this kinda shit) and letting the masses eat cake. Totally backward imho, esp in a market where you need to create new fans, not drive people away.


#44 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 03:52

The problem NASCAR has is this. Their fans are old. They don't buy phones, or cars, or anything like that. The drivers are old. The technology is old.

Nonsense. They even have carbon fibre dashboards and EFI now.;)

In all seriousness they could have alloy block DOHC V8 engines if they want (such an engine is already in the parts catalouge of Ford Racing & Toyota Racing Development at least). It's not important, and makes no difference when they must all have the same...

Edited by V8 Fireworks, 15 August 2013 - 03:53.


#45 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 03:56

The NFL is the current flavor of the decade/century or what have you as far as sports go in America. Kind of ironic since it's mind-numbing for me to watch nowadays, and I avoid watching it as much as I can. I'm an American in a minority - I find soccer more enjoyable to watch than American football.

Have you ever watched Australian football (AFL)? When it is good, it is very good, very exciting stuff sometimes. :)



Yes, it's called aerial ping pong for a reason, and yes you still get points even if you miss the goal...

Edited by V8 Fireworks, 15 August 2013 - 03:58.


#46 bourbon

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 03:32

The NFL is the current flavor of the decade/century or what have you as far as sports go in America. Kind of ironic since it's mind-numbing for me to watch nowadays, and I avoid watching it as much as I can. I'm an American in a minority - I find soccer more enjoyable to watch than American football. I think in many regards, American tastes regarding entertainment in general is suspect.


Blasphemy! :p



#47 packapoo

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 05:03

The problem NASCAR has is this. Their fans are old. They don't buy phones, or cars, or anything like that. The drivers are old. The technology is old. At most tracks, track side attendance has dropped off pretty dramatically, and TV viewing figures aren't much better.


Ahhhh, so there's light at the end of the tunnel after all.
Real racing may be dead now but when those old fans toddle off, Teev will be looking for a replacement.

#48 travbrad

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:57

Without any successful American drivers (or even teams) I think it will be almost impossible for F1 to gain popularity in the U.S. Just look at the popularity of F1 in Spain before Alonso compared to after he won a championship. As much as I dislike it, the fact is nationalism is a very strong psychological force (particularly in the U.S.A. where we like to beat on our chests and proclaim we're #1 at everything).

Hiding it away on obscure channels a lot of people don't have or don't know exists doesn't help much either. It receives absolutely no promotion whatsoever in the U.S.

Even with a successful American driver and more races in America I don't think it would be terribly popular though. It's just not "macho" enough for American audiences. They want to see nonstop crashes and passes (even if those passes are pretty much meaningless due to their ease).

#49 PayasYouRace

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 10:33

IndyCar = better racing? That depends on your definition of "better" I guess. Start crash 5 caution laps restart crash 5 caution laps restart crash 5 caution laps restart crash 5 caution laps restart crash 5 caution laps wash rinse repeat.


I can see why you'd have that impression, but maybe you should be watching this year. It's not been like that apart from the 2nd Detroit and Toronto races.

#50 AustinF1

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:27

I can see why you'd have that impression, but maybe you should be watching this year. It's not been like that apart from the 2nd Detroit and Toronto races.

I have been watching this year. That's what that impression is based on. Anyway, spec racing just doesn't do much for me, or for too many others judging from IndyCar crowds & TV ratings. Add that their non-oval races are mostly street courses, & the effect is compounded. I may take my boys to the Houston GP though. It's close & they'll enjoy being able to get so close to the action.

Edited by AustinF1, 16 August 2013 - 11:30.