Is Netflix behind Formula 1's American boom?
- 'Drive to Survive' an OTT show on Formula 1 released its first episode in 2019
- F1 viewership has spiked ever since
- About 300,000 fans, sponsors are are expected in Miami for the race
'Drive to Survive' an OTT show on Formula 1 released its first episode in 2019. It covers both on track and off track action in the sport, claiming to provide intimate access to the lives of drivers, team principals and everyone involved. The Netflix production this week confirmed that it will be back for a fifth and sixth season.
The announcement of the new drafts came as teams were preparing to ace the Miami Grand Prix, the venue hosting its fiftth F1 race. McLaren boss Zak Brown, ahead of race day, said that the Miami GP is Formula 1's Super Bowl.
“It's going to be awesome. I've been here six years and I've never seen demand or buzz for a grand prix like I've seen for Miami," the McLaren principal told Reuters this week.
Is 'Drive to Survive' and Netflix behind Formula 1's boom in the US?
Since the Netflix show came out, ESPN’s coverage of Formula 1 races has nearly doubled — up to 1.5 million views per race. F1 is expected to top a billion worldwide fans this year, Nielsen study revealed.
“Without ‘Drive to Survive’ there would be no American F1 boom,” Kevin Clark, host of The Ringer’s F1 Show, told The New York Post.
“When we saw the numbers, we saw the reaction. We knew this wasn’t going to be a part time thing. We tapped into something," he added.
The sport is among the top 50 sports podcasts in the United States, as per the podcast rankings at Chartable.
“You want to see action. You want to see drama. You want to see the underdog making a good result. A story. Each race should have a story, and the story should not be all the time Mercedes or Ferrari wins, because that story gets old pretty quickly," Guenther Steiner, the team principal of Haas F1 Team, said last year, as per Sports Illustrated.
Alex Albon, who has driven for Red Bull in the past, told Page Six that F1 has started selling 'sold-out tickets, so far, everywhere, and I think it’s going to continue the whole of this year'.
About 300,000 fans, sponsors are are expected in Miami for the race and the crowds and spending could exceed that of the city's 2020 Super Bowl, the Time reported.
“The growth in the US is very important. It’s significant for the whole F1 world for many, many reasons," Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali said, as per Forbes.
“There’s a different level of maturity of our product that changes from country to country. We have the privilege of explaining it and starting from zero (in the U.S.). There are a lot of dimensions we need to explore. This is on our side to make sure we keep the hammer on with content and give our fans new ways to develop a knowledge of something here that is brand new," he added.
Miami is the second race in the country, the first being the US Grand Prix, run in Austin, Texas. The latter saw a 15% spike in attendance after 2019. About 250,000 fans attended the race in 2020 and the number rose to 400,000 in 2021.
Last year, the controversial kick out of Race Director Michael Masi and the thrilling result at the Abu Dhabi GP that led to Max Verstappen winning his first world title only piqued the interest of fans.