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Racing

American Driver Logan Sargeant Says F1 Will Overtake NASCAR, IndyCar in U.S.

  • In 2022, Formula 1 Grands Prix attracted 1.2 million U.S. viewers per race, according to ESPN.
  • Sargeant will be the first American on the grid since Liberty Media’s acquisition of the championship in 2017.
  • Sargeant says anticipation is already building for the Miami Grand Prix weekend May 5-7 and his F1 race debut on American soil.

    Williams F1 driver Logan Sargeant believes Formula 1 has the potential to become the biggest motorsport championship in the United States.

    Yes, even bigger than NASCAR.

    Sargeant, who is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will end America’s eight-year hiatus from the F1 starting grid in 2023, and his participation comes at a time of the championship’s popularity growing in the U.S.

    There will be three Grands Prix in the U.S. this year with Las Vegas joining Miami and Austin on the calendar.

    Ford will return to Formula 1 with Red Bull in 2026 while General Motors and Michael Andretti have joined forces on a prospective team entry application.

    Logan Sargeant tests for Williams at Abu Dhabi in November.

    NurPhotoGetty Images

    “I think for coming into the sport straight into a year where there are three U.S. Grands Prix is a special opportunity and a privilege at the same time,” Sargeant said on Monday at the launch of Williams’ 2023 livery. “I think F1 in America is clearly at its peak and it is still on the way up, which is a massive positive. You can see how many questions from friends and family and how curious people are about the sport, it does show how much it is growing in America.

    “I want to say it seems almost as big as NASCAR and IndyCar, if not bigger, but it’s hard to say without seeing the numbers. But it seems like it’s pretty popular, and that’s a positive.

    “Obviously there’s a lot of diehard NASCAR and IndyCar fans who don’t always like it, but I think the way the sport’s going in America, if it’s not already, I think it will be the biggest shortly.”

    NASCAR is still No. 1 in the U.S. when it comes to TV viewership for motorsports.

    Meg OliphantGetty Images

    Figures for 2022 show:

    • NASCAR had an average audience of 3.03 million per race, according to SportsMedia Watch.

    • IndyCar averaged 1.3 million viewers per race, according to NBC Sports Group through numbers obtained by Nielsen and Adobe Analytics.

    • Formula 1 Grands Prix attracted 1.2 million U.S. viewers per race, according to ESPN.

    Sargeant will be the first American on the grid since Liberty Media’s acquisition of the championship in 2017 and first since Alexander Rossi started five races for the Manor Marussia team in 2015.

    “I don’t think back in the day anyone (in the U.S.) really cared or anyone really understood what it was,” Sargeant said of the past situation. “It’s funny, people text me now and say ‘I realize how big of a thing this could eventually be or how big F1 really was.’

    “It’s a completely different world now in terms of America. Honestly, everyone knows what Formula 1 is now over there (in the U.S.), and it’s nice to see the transition. Hopefully it keeps growing.”

    Sargeant says anticipation is already building for the Miami Grand Prix weekend May 5-7 and his F1 race debut on American soil.

    “It’s pretty crazy because I started racing in the carparks in karting back in the day, so it’s sort of like going back where it all started to be honest,” he said. “It’s right on my back door, it’s where all my family and friends are, they’re all going to be at the race which will be awesome.

    “I’ll have a lot of support and just to feel that home energy, that home crowd, is going to be special. Obviously it’s a new track (for me) to learn in Miami, but I think that’ll be a weekend that I will really enjoy and really special just to have the opportunity of driving there.”

    Read the full article here

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