It’s Time for You to Become an F1 Fan


2018 Austrian Grand Prix. (Photo by pedrik, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Elijah Murray, Sports Writer


Formula 1, commonly known as F1, is exploding in popularity and there is no better time to hop on the bandwagon. Viewership is on the rise not only in general, but among women, youth and Americans. It’s not hard to see why the sport has gained such traction in such a short amount of time, but before we get to that, let’s start with the basics.

What is Formula 1?

Formula 1 is the highest class of racing for open-wheel, single-seat race cars. Governed by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, the sport began operations in 1950 and across the time span of F1’s existence, there have been countless legends and tragedies. Up until the late ’80s and early ’90s, the sport was known as the most dangerous in the world, with the early era even called “The Killer Years.”

F1 racer Sir Jackie Stewart stated that, during the ’60s and ’70s, drivers who continuously raced in “Grand Prix” had a two-out-of-three chance of dying while racing. However, even with all of this risk, this period is widely accepted as the “Golden Era” of F1, and racers and spectators alike who were alive during the time often look back with fondness and say, “Ah, when sex was safe and racing was dangerous!”

Luckily, with today’s safety regulations, tragedies do not happen at such a frequent rate. While the sport will never be completely free of unforeseen incidents, no racing sport will, and every safety improvement is wanted. For example, the new Halo, a ring around the driver’s cockpit that protects the driver in a crash, saved two lives in this season alone.

The 2022 F1 season comprised of 23 races, with 10 teams and 22 drivers. This season was the first with new car models and regulations, which saw a shakeup in which teams took a step forward versus a step back. The top three teams are Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes. There is the “midfield” which comprises the majority of the grid and also the most excitement. Those teams are Alpine, McLaren, Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin.

The final section of the 10-team grid is what is known as the “backmarkers.” These teams have lower budgets and try their best to make do, but it doesn’t always go their way. Those teams are Haas, AlphaTauri and Williams. Now that you know the basics, let’s discover why you should get into F1.

Why You Should Watch Formula 1

According to Sports Illustrated, this season there was an average of 1.21 million U.S. viewers per race, up 28% from just the season before, which at the time was record-breaking itself. 17 of the 22 races on the calendar boasted at least one million U.S. viewers and the brand-new Miami Grand Prix was the most-watched race, racking in a whopping 2.538 million American viewers.

Much of this boom in popularity among Americans may come from the Netflix series “Drive to Survive,” which gives fans an inside scoop on the drama between drivers and teams throughout the season. There is absolutely no better time to become a fan — not only will F1 come to America for a third race this season with Las Vegas joining Miami and Austin as hosts, but for the first time since 2015, there will be an American driver on the grid.

Logan Sargeant is a very promising young driver who will make his debut in F1 this season, driving for Williams. If you’re more of a team person as opposed to an individual supporter, look no further than Haas. Haas is the only American-owned team on the grid and, although they aren’t the best team, they are poised to make a push up through the midfield next year with a new driver pairing and an improved budget.

The sport will only continue to grow and you don’t want to miss out — at least give it a try.


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