Haas team principal opens up on F1 decline due to Max Verstappen

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has addressed the decline in Formula 1's American TV ratings.

While Formula 1 has experienced a surge in popularity in the United States in recent years, concerns have arisen due to the reported dip in American viewership numbers. 

The success of Netflix’s captivating “Drive To Survive” docuseries played a significant role in propelling F1 into the spotlight across the country. 

Recognising the potential of the American market, F1 now plans to host three races in the nation this year.

The maiden US-based event of the year took place in Miami in May, and although on-site attendance demonstrated improvement compared to the inaugural event last season, television viewership figures faced a decline. 

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Notably, broadcaster ABC registered a 25 percent decrease in its audience figures compared to the previous year’s event.

The ongoing F1 campaign has been marked by a sense of predictability, with Red Bull emerging victorious in all 12 races conducted thus far. 

This lack of competitiveness at the forefront of the field has been cited as a possible reason for diminished TV viewership.

Guenther Steiner, the team principal of American F1 outfit Haas, appears unruffled by the reported drop in viewership. 

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Addressing the issue, Steiner stated, “I think TV ratings is one of these things – I’m not an expert on TV ratings and TV, so don’t take my word as the gospel here.”

Acknowledging the shifting landscape of media consumption, particularly among younger demographics, Steiner emphasised that traditional TV metrics might not be fully indicative of viewership trends. 

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He shared insights from discussions with experts in the field, noting, “But I think there’s a lot of things watched now not on TV, especially young people, and I think there is not a real instrument yet to measure this.”

Steiner further highlighted the need for a more contemporary approach to gauging audience engagement. “As I said, I’m not the guru of TV ratings, but I just spoke with some people who know about stuff and they said they think we need to go to a more current way to measure eyeballs on a race.”

Having already raced in Miami, Formula 1 will return to America at the Circuit of the Americas in October and Las Vegas in November.