Formula 1 broke new ground in America this year, despite Verstappen's dominance
Triple world champion Max Verstappen wrapped up the Formula 1 season in style with a record-breaking 19th victory in Abu Dhabi.
Triple world champion Max Verstappen wrapped up the Formula 1 season in style with a record-breaking 19th victory Sunday in Abu Dhabi, completing one of the most dominant campaigns ever.
Yet despite the Dutch driver’s success, it was a banner year for F1 in the U.S. as the global sport penetrated deeper into its top-priority market, with tantalizing hopes for the future.
This season featured three American races — a familiar race in Austin, a second-year race in Miami and the first-ever race down the famous Las Vegas Strip. The same three contests are on the calendar in 2024. By contrast, no other country hosted more than one race this season, and Italy is the only one slated to hold two next year.
Formula 1 and its American owner, Liberty Media, made a staggering $600 million bet on the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend, which was widely seen as a success. After resolving a track snafu that left fans frustrated last Thursday, Las Vegas delivered one of the most thrilling races of 2023, with countless wheel-to-wheel battles, multiple fights for the lead, strategy gambles, safety car resets that shook up the order and a last-lap overtake for second place.
“In many ways [Formula 1] had been undermonetized. There was an opportunity to better market it, to better capitalize on some of the revenue streams, to go out and grow it in America,” Liberty Media President and CEO Greg Maffei told CNBC. “America was always on our minds.”