Austin. Lewis Hamilton had to settle for second, but the most successful driver in Formula 1 history said Sunday’s Grand Prix in Austin looked like a breakthrough for his sport.
The 140,000 people who attended the Circuit of the Americas on race day exceeded the 135,000 who were at the Indianapolis 500 in May, at the time the largest event held in the United States since the start of the pandemic. The total number of the three-day race in Texas reached 400,000.
“It looks like we’ve been accepted into America,” said Hamilton, the five-time winner in Austin, as he reviewed the post-race shots. “Hopefully there will be more races here and the sport will continue to grow, the fans are incredible.”
Last year, the race was not held in Austin due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but F1 will run two tests in the US next year, with Miami making its debut. There was also talk of continued expansion, with Las Vegas being the most likely candidate.
Although there are no American pilots, the class has been owned since 2017 by Liberty Media Group, headquartered in the United States, a country classified as a major growth region.
The weekend in Texas featured several samples of F1’s growing popularity, which many have attributed to the documentary series. campaign to survive From Netflix, which is now filming its fourth season.
“I think Netflix has been great for Formula 1. It has attracted a younger fan base. It has had a real impact in America,” said McLaren USA boss Zak Brown. “I think it achieves what we want as a sport, which is to have a bunch of new fans. I think it’s been very successful.”
Toto Wolff, Mercedes boss Hamilton, agreed, saying: “At first we weren’t excited about Netflix, because we wanted to focus on racing performance and I was wrong. It’s obviously a huge success.”
“It has been the number one documentary on Netflix around the world for a while and has become part of Formula One and you can clearly see that it is helpful. (…) The comments we are getting from fans are tremendous, especially in the United States,” he added.
The arrival of the Mexican Sergio Czech Perez’s move to Red Bull this season as a race-winner in a competitive car was another factor to consider for fans in the region.
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