United States crucial for Formula 1
By Mat Coch
Sunday 30th May, 2021 - 2:45pm
Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has identified the United States as an especially important market for Formula 1.
The sport has long had a difficult relationship with the US and has never gained traction with local fans in the same way it has elsewhere.
F1’s commercial rights are now owned by Liberty Media, an American organisation, which has worked to renew the sport’s identity Stateside.
That has seen the addition of the Miami Grand Prix, which joins the calendar next season alongside the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas.
“[The] US is a crucial market for Formula 1,” Horner observed.
“I think it’s great that the interest in the US is growing, and it’s fantastic to see more and more sponsorship and investments.
“Recently, we’ve announced two new partnerships coming into Formula 1 from the US as a direct impact of the popularity of the sport growing there.
“And, of course, for Red Bull, [it’s] Red Bull’s biggest market in the world, so strategically it’s a vital market to embrace and master.
“I think Formula 1 has never quite managed to capture the imagination of the American public previously, and I think there’s a real opportunity to do that now.”
Horner identified the presence of an American on the grid as a key part of the puzzle when it comes to breaking into mainstream popularity.
Americans have won the world championship on two occasions: with Phil Hill in 1961 and Mario Andretti in 1978.
However, in recent decades there has been a notable absence of the Star-Spangled Banner in F1; Scott Speed and Alexander Rossi the most recent exponents, though neither had front-running machinery.
Rossi has since become a front-runner in IndyCar, winning the Indianapolis 500 in 2016.
Formula 1 currently boasts an American-registered team, though Haas’ facility is based in the ex-Marussia factory in Banbury in the United Kingdom.
Dorilton Capital, owners of Williams, are also American but have continued to run the team as a British operation.
While doubts linger over this year’s United States Grand Prix, it remains scheduled as the 18th round of the season on October 22-24.