With the recent push to have Formula 1 racing return to America, including this weekend’s race held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin and a New Jersey street course proposed for 2022 (and possibly 2022), fans like Dan Schatt are asking whether F1 racing has a realistic chance of overtaking NASCAR as America’s premier form of motorsports.
F1 racing does have a lot of things going for it. The cars are more technologically advanced, and the tracks are more challenging and diverse. However, NASCAR has a big head start in terms of popularity and market share. However, many people feel that F1 racing will eventually overtake NASCAR in popularity. Here are a few of the reasons why:
Size of the markets
F1 races take place all over the world and attract huge audiences. But, unfortunately, NASCAR’s following is mostly domestic, which gives it a major disadvantage as global audiences look to other options.
On paper, NASCAR has more history than F1 racing as it got started in 1947 while F1 racing began in 1950. However, F1 racing has had a much more stable history with fewer controversies.
Formula 1 cars are the most technologically advanced cars in the world. They use cutting-edge technologies like KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) and DRS (drag reduction system). On the other hand, NASCAR cars have not changed much in terms of technology over the years.
F1 races are often described as “theater in motion” due to their combination of speed, glamour, and danger. This is in stark contrast to the “boring” reputation that NASCAR has developed over the years.
Formula 1 is active on social media and regularly post videos and pictures of the cars and drivers. NASCAR does not have as strong a presence on social media.
As mentioned earlier, Formula 1 racing is a truly global sport with races held all over the world. NASCAR has few international events, making it much less impressive to potential sponsors worldwide.
Formula 1 teams are allowed eight one-liter fuel bottles during pit stops compared to 12 gallons in NASCAR. This is since gasoline doesn’t have as big an impact on F1 cars as it does on NASCAR cars, and therefore they don’t require as much fuel per pit stop. Reducing fuel reduces weight and gives F1 cars more speed and higher cornering speeds.
The average price for a Formula 1 weekend at Circuit of The Americas is about $238 compared to about $509 for a NASCAR weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The much lower price point of F1 racing lures in fans who would not otherwise be able to afford to attend a race.
F1 races encourage kids and often include them as part of the pre-race events and festivities lineup. This helps promote Formula 1 to families, eventually leading entire families to become passionate fans of the sport. In contrast, it’s difficult to take your child to a NASCAR race because children are usually forbidden from engaging with the cars as they practice and race. This leads many families with children to opt for F1 over NASCAR.