Off to the (24) races
Yesterday, Formula 1 announced their race calendar for 2023, which will feature a record-breaking 24 races and take drivers, teams and thousands of support staff further than ever before in a season spanning March to November. Bought by Liberty Media in 2017 for $8bn, the Formula 1 Group has taken a number of steps to widen its appeal beyond its hardcore racing fanbase since coming under new ownership.
The quick pit-stop version of the story is that those steps worked, as F1 is having a global moment. The release of the popular Netflix series Drive To Survive — and a nail-biting controversial end to the 2021-22 season — saw viewership and online interest for Formula 1 explode in recent years. That's been particularly true in the US, a market which historically hasn't cared much for racing beyond NASCAR.
Suffice to say, the F1 group is capitalizing on this renewed interest in the sport that’s been around for 70 years. The record-breaking 24-race schedule includes a stop in China, the first following a three year hiatus, and the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix — the third race scheduled in the US. No other country has more than 2 appearances on the calendar, F1 is finally cracking America.