While some love the way that the series is trying to open its doors for new followers, others are not so happy with the direction.
They feel that there is a danger the championship’s chiefs are ignoring the quality of the racing that is critical to keeping the hardcore fan interested.
But while consensus on that front may not be reached for a while, there is one thing that has become crystal clear over recent months – and it is that American business is in love with F1 right now.
A recent report from F1 sponsor analysis company Spomotion Analytics has revealed that grand prix racing has, as a percentage, more American companies involved than ever before.
The 2022 season had marked the first time that F1 had a total of more than 100 US companies on its roster of sponsors across the pitlane. That is more than double the 44 that were involved when Liberty Media took over as F1’s owners in 2017.
The number dropped slightly over the winter, though, as some partnerships were not renewed. However, from the 98 that 2023 started with, a deal between Ferrari and US tech company DXC Technology that was announced shortly before the Miami GP meant the number was back at 105. Plus, with the arrival of the Las Vegas GP on the calendar later this year, even more companies can be expected to join.
While the triple-digit number of US companies is interesting in itself, what is more significant is how the balance of power has shifted between America and Europe. For that 105 number is significant, as it means that there are now more sponsors and partners from the USA than there are from the key European markets.
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19
Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images
As Björn Stenbacka from Spomotion Analytics said: “The fact is the balance between the USA and the leading five European markets: UK, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France, has changed. There are 104 official team and series partners from UK, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France. That means the balance has already tipped over to the USA.”
While America’s sponsors are at a peak, the number of European partners has declined. Germany lost the involvement of six companies from last year to this, with three of them linked to the departure of Mick Schumacher.
In terms of where USA sponsors have found a home in F1, McLaren has taken pole position – with 25 of its partner portfolio coming from America. Red Bull is making big strides in the country too, with it having…