The Impending Americanisation of Formula One

Ryan Ashenhurst
Ryan Ashenhurst
Ryan Ashenhurst
Contributor

Formula One’s new owners are looking at ways in which the race weekend format can be changed in order to make the sport more appealing to American audiences. Coupled with Lewis Hamilton’s recent calls for F1 to be more like the Superbowl, there is a strong sense that the sport is about to get like, totally rad. 

Taylor Swift performed in front of her biggest audience to date following the US Grand Prix.
Taylor Swift performed in front of her biggest audience to date following the US Grand Prix.

With regards to the promotion of F1, Hamilton recently told Time Magazine that,

“The way Formula One is run is not good enough at the moment. The Super Bowl, the events Americans do, the show they put on is so much, so much better.

So if you were to mix in a little bit of that template through there, I think we’d be more inviting to the fans.”

– Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton’s personal infatuation with the United States puts him in a position of relevance and if sources are to be believed, the race weekend format could be changing drastically in a bid to make the Championship more appealing.

The US GP in 2005 at Indy severed relations between F1 and the US following. Over a decade on, the sport is still looking for a fix.
The US GP in 2005 at Indy severed relations between F1 and the US following. Over a decade on, the sport is still looking for a fix.

The proposal under serious consideration reduces the tradition three-day race weekend into two-days at the cost of Friday Practice. Liberty Media can’t just scrap the sessions given the team’s heavy reliance on these sessions to develop set-up and fine tune the cars. If Liberty were seriously looking into a two-day spread, the Friday practice sessions would possibly run on Saturday at the expense of a support race series.

The biggest proposed change introduces a sprint race on the Saturday too along with a shortened race on Sunday. These changes would be the biggest in recent times and might create a more entertaining format, albeit one that initially alienates those who have followed the sport for a long-time.

Circuit of the Americas has been a big success in terms of racing.
Circuit of the Americas has been a big success in terms of racing.

But if this is the cost of putting the sport in a better position on the stage of global sports and particularly the American Motorsport scene, maybe these changes should be embraced. Although the indigenous Drag Racing and NASCAR scenes shouldn’t quake in their boots just yet.