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Despite Maximum Efforts, Formula 1 Loses Nearly 650,000 of Its American Audience Majorly Due to Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s Dominance

Sabyasachi Biswas
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Despite Maximum Efforts, Formula 1 Season Loses 650,000 of Its American Audience Due to Max Verstappen’s Dominance

In recent times, Formula 1 has managed to garner a huge fanbase from the United States following its massive push to get hold of the North American market. Admittedly, they were able to penetrate the vast market thanks to Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’ and an increased presence in social media. However, recent reports suggest that the sport has lost about 650,000 fans, and the reason behind this drop might be RedBull and their driver Max Verstappen.

Widespread speculations point towards Verstappen‘s dominant run being the only reason behind fans withdrawing from the sport. This has turned out to be the case, despite there being three American races in one calendar year.

F1 has tried hard to make F1 more exciting. This includes restructuring a Grand Prix weekend and trying out new things, such as the new qualifying format. However, so far, it is safe to say that it didn’t work. Despite all the efforts, a huge portion of the fanbase in the US is now turning away from F1, mostly because of the failure of other teams to rise up to Verstappen and Red Bull’s challenge.

Viewership loss in The United States is a big blow for F1

Following the massive surge in viewership in the United States over the last few years, sports channel ESPN signed up for a massive broadcasting deal with F1. Interestingly, before this surge, they used to pay only a sum of $5,000,000 a year.

Now, however, ESPN, a part of Disney, pays $90,000,000 a season to Liberty Media. As a part of the deal, ABC also gets to broadcast several Grand Prix races throughout the season.

However, according to the GP Blog, ESPN hasn’t been able to make much from this new contract. ABC recorded 2.6 million views in the 2022 Miami GP race, which made it the most-watched F1 race in American history. Unfortunately, in the following year, Miami GP saw the viewership dip to about 25%, which means about 650,000 fewer people tuned in to watch the race.

The major reason for these massive drops might be RedBull and Max Verstappen, who have made F1 boring, in the eyes of many viewers. A few incidents also indicate that the 2-time drivers’ championship winner is not America’s favorite and many of the fans are disappointed with his dominance.

The 2023 F1 season is all about Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s supremacy

The current season has had 11 races so far and astonishingly, Red Bull picked up all the 11 wins. Their star driver Max Verstappen picked up nine of them, while his teammate Sergio Perez picked up the rest two.

With the recent win at the Hungaroring, the Austrian team broke McLaren’s record by winning 12 consecutive F1 races (including one they won in 2022). As for Verstappen, he is very close to breaking Sebastian Vettel’s record of winning nine consecutive Grand Prixs.

Despite this, F1 has been trying to put in the best possible effort to keep a hold on its existing American market and increase it even further. They are trying to get the American people to enjoy the sport more, which is why there are three races taking place in the country in 2023.

About the author

Sabyasachi Biswas

Sabyasachi Biswas

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Sabyasachi Biswas is an F1 journalist at The SportsRush. With over one and a half decades of love for the sport and five years of experience in the field, he dreams to be a regular at the paddock when the lights go out. A Red Bull fan and F1 fan in general over the years, he enjoyed watching Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel, and Max Verstappen dominate the track. Apart from F1, he's also a big-time Madridista and Federer fanatic. He was a sub-junior level footballer, won inter-district quizzes and debate competitions back in school. A travel freak throughout, he tries different cuisines and learns new cultures whenever he's away from the keyboard.

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