It’s been five long years since the premier form of motorsports has crossed the pond into the United States. Primarily dominated by oval racing fans, America’s corn fields and high rise buildings alike are filled coast to coast with rabid fans who follow the NASCAR circuit. However, this form of oval racing fails to reach the radar of anyone on the other side of the ocean. Wherever the destination, Formula One brings the world with it.
During the 2008 season, F1 had 600 million sets of eyes glued on the television tube (per race), nearly double the U.S. population. In comparison, this makes the NASCAR viewing audience appear a small sewing circle at just 5 million. Furthermore, the cumulative F1 television audience was calculated to be 54 billion during the 2001 season.
F1 is the undisputed polar opposite of what the general American expects to see when they enter a racing circuit. Bumpers are replaced by wings, roofs replaced by helmets. Full blown rocket ships on wheels will enter the Circuit Of The Americas in Austin, Texas this weekend making the oversized NASCAR stock cars look like small ill-handling trucks. While in 2012 their isn’t much of anything stock on a stock car, F1 is the future of everything automotive. For years, these formula teams have laid new technology groundwork while simultaneously paving it for auto manufactures worldwide.
The purest form of racing in the United States isn’t done on pavement. Here our tracks are carved in dirt then covered in late models or sprint cars who slide sideways and turn right to go left. While we have an equally strong base of asphalt tracks and fans, the same types of cars will be found on both with a few minor changes.