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The Student News Site of Denmark High School

Denmark Unleashed

The Student News Site of Denmark High School

Denmark Unleashed

F1 on the Rise

Hearing more about Formula 1 now than ever before? The sport’s popularity is growing exponentially in the United States, capturing the hearts of new viewers. Since 2018, viewership in the US has doubled, while NASCAR, America’s most well-known racing series, has seen a dip of 5% in views in the past year. The adrenaline-inducing speed, captivating races, and enthralling drama have entranced the American audience, pulling them into the F1 fandom. So, what has led to the sudden increase in exposure to Formula 1 in the United States?

The most prominent reason is the emergence of more Grand Prix in the United States. New races were held in Las Vegas and Miami in the past years, exposing Americans to Formula 1 by bringing it to their backyards. It’s hard to ignore F1 when the cars are roaring through your town. The Las Vegas Grand Prix was a street race, meaning that the cars actually raced through the streets, not around a circuit. That means roads had to be shut down, most notably the Las Vegas Strip, to build grandstands and make other preparations for the race. Residents and tourists alike were confused and went out to find out why streets were closing. In discovering that it was due to an upcoming Formula 1 race, many became interested and even attended the event, likely sparking a new interest in the sport.

A person watching a video that uncovers a F1 racer, McLaren. (Sisanda Dlamini)

Netflix has also contributed to the rise of the sport through its docuseries Drive to Survive. The show goes behind the scenes of the season each year, starting in 2018, revealing the inner-happenings of each team. Many fans enjoy the show because it allows them to feel more connected, as they get to see how the teams operate in more detail than ever before. Although slightly dramatizing the rivalries, Drive to Survive also highlights the relationships between the drivers, which is a lot of viewers’ most coveted aspect. Throughout Formula 1 history, there have always been pairs of drivers with a tight bond that the fans tend to gravitate towards. From the shared respect between racing legends Micheal Schumacher and Kimi Raïkkönen in the early 2000s to the “Twitch Quartet” consisting of Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, George Russel, and Alex Albon on the current grid, more open drivers tend to be more liked by fans than those who are less personable. Obviously, the series also covers the races. It does a great job of explaining what is happening, helping newer fans grasp the different rules and strategies in the sport. If nothing else, Drive to Survive makes becoming involved in F1 seem much less daunting and encourages new fans to join the fun. 

“The adrenaline-inducing speed, captivating races, and enthralling drama have entranced the American audience, pulling them into the F1 fandom.”

The teams have also placed greater focus on social media in recent years to appeal to younger fans and stay relevant to ensure the survival of the fan base as the older generations begin to fade out. For this reason, many teams have become much more active on platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, some even creating their own apps that contain exclusive content and frequent race updates. To further humanize the drivers, and usually promote their sponsors, challenges between teammates or other teams have become a staple in F1 media. Red Bull and its sister team Alpha Tauri are often seen test-driving odd vehicles such as monster trucks or hovercraft. As you would expect from professional drivers, it usually turns into a race. Ferrari has their own series called C2, derived from the fact that their driver’s names, Charles and Carlos, both start with a C. They engage in very different challenges than the Red Bull teams. This year, they held a song guessing competition and saw who could put on their entire race suits on first. 

After learning about all of the media the drivers in Formula 1 do, one might think that they are glorified influencers who take a car out for a spin on the weekends. That could not be more wrong. In the next installment of this series, the technical intricacies of the sport are going to be covered, explaining why the drivers have to be the best of the best.  

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About the Contributors
Madeleine Knop
A sports enthusiast who suffers from the youngest sibling complex. My days are occupied by softball and making oddly specific playlists for epic car rides (currently at 25 playlists). I love to discover new interests to obsess over for a month until I find a new hobby to hyperfixate on. I’m hoping to channel this characteristic through writing for the school! GO DANES!
Sisanda Dlamini
You probably don’t know me but maybe this bio will help. This is my second year in Denmark and I'm a junior. I'm obsessed with motivational speeches and encouraging others. I believe people offer a new outlook on problems and therefore teaches you to value both success and failure. I hope I will be able to help inspire students with my words, and encourage them to keep going.

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