F1 will overtake NASCAR as America’s favourite motorsport “shortly” – Sargeant | 2023 F1 season


Formula 1 is on course to overtake NASCAR as the most popular form of motor racing in America, the country’s new driver believes.

Logan Sargeant will be the first driver from the United States to start an F1 season in 16 years when he lines up on the grid for the Bahrain Grand Prix next month.

F1 has enjoyed a surge in popularity since it was bought by American media group Liberty Media six years ago. Sargeant is from Florida, but has mainly been based in Europe while pursuing his racing career.

However he says interest in F1 has clearly grown in his homeland. “It seems almost as big as NASCAR and IndyCar, if not bigger,” the 22-year-old told media including RaceFans at Williams’ launch event today.

America has woken up to F1, says Sargeant

“It’s hard to say without seeing the numbers,” he continued. “But it seems like it’s pretty popular, and that’s a positive.”

While the popularity of IndyCar racing declined sharply when the series split into rival CART and IRL factions in the nineties, NASCAR has long been a huge draw for American fans, though its popularity has waned slightly in recent years.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of diehard IndyCar and NASCAR fans who don’t always like it,” said Sargeant. “But I think with the way the sport is going in America, it will, if it’s not already, it will be the biggest here shortly.”

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The popularity of Netflix series Drive to Survive is widely credited for bringing the sport to the attention of fans in America. Sargeant said he has noticed more people taking an interest in F1.

“To be honest, I don’t think back in the day anyone really cared, anyone really understood what it was,” he said. “It’s funny, people text me now and be like ‘hey, I realise how big of a thing this could eventually be or how big F1 really was’.

“It’s a completely different world now in terms of America. Everyone knows what Formula 1 is now over there. It’s nice to see the transition and hopefully it keeps growing.”

Liberty has pushed hard to expand the sport’s reach in America and has added a third race in the country this year. Sargeant will appear in front of his home crowd in Miami, Austin and Las Vegas this year.

“I think coming into the sport, straight into a year where there’s three US grands prix is a special opportunity and a privilege at the same time,” he said.

“F1 in America is clearly at its peak and it’s still on the way up, which is a massive positive. You can see how many questions from friends and family and how curious people are about the sport and it does show how much it’s growing in America.”

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