F1 boss rejects claims US races are ‘cannibalising’ the sport

Formula 1 is set to visit the United States three times in 2023, with races in Austin, Miami and Las Vegas.

As America prepares to welcome Formula 1 for the first of three races this year, Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has defended the number of events held in the United States amid the sport’s growing popularity across the country.

Las Vegas joins the calendar this season, following Miami’s addition last year and Austin’s inclusion since 2012.

Formula 1 has found an expanding fanbase in America due, in part, to the Netflix show ‘Drive to Survive’, which recently aired its fifth season.

Some have argued against the number of races in the United States, believing it excludes worthy tracks elsewhere in the world, while others fear that the events will eat into the popularity of each other. 

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“It is pretty clear that every race, not only in America, has a different personality, a different cultural approach, a different quality, a different segmentation of fans,” Domenicali told reporters. 

“And by the way, sometimes we forget that just couple of years ago, we were thinking: ‘Do we really need to stay in the US? Is it really the market we should be in?’  

“And thanks to the stubbornness, we are here. We had two races last year, and this year, we are adding another one. So in the blink of an eye, we are getting there.  

“I don’t see any kind of cannibalisation, everyone is different, everything is different. I don’t see any problem there.”

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While an American hasn’t won a Formula 1 race since Mario Andretti at the 1978 Dutch Grand Prix, US fans will have a driver to cheer for on the grid this season.

Logan Sargeant was signed to Williams for the 2023 season, becoming the most recent and only current American to race in the sport. 

Sargeant came close to scoring points in his first Formula 1 race around Bahrain, finishing in 12th behind Yuki Tsunoda and Alexander Albon.