Racing in Formula 1 isn’t an inexpensive venture. The teams at the top all have something in common — an abundance of sponsors.
The teams at the bottom also have something in common — a lack of sponsors.
While sponsorships aren’t exclusive to Formula 1, or motorsport in general, the scope of sponsorships that Formula 1 attracts is entirely different.
Winning is an essential factor in attracting these sponsors.
In the United States, it’s the only thing that matters.
And that’s the challenge for teams like Haas and Williams.
With the popularity booming, the pressure is on to make stronger partnerships.
Guenther Steiner, principal of Haas Formula 1 team, knew how big F1’s U.S. popularity had grown when he was stopped multiple times on his way to breakfast in Las Vegas and was approached by at least “5-to-10 people.”
Steiner was among several F1 representatives in Vegas for its Fan Fest, where drivers tested out a short track and F1 laid out plans for its permanent paddock area.
Between paddock development and purchasing land to build it on, F1 is spending over $500 million.
Williams principal, Jost Capital, told Front Office Sports that “everyone seems to know about Formula 1. The vibe in the city is tough to describe.”
The American Connection
Haas and Williams are working to build up their ties within the U.S.
With headquarters in North Carolina, an American owner, and now a new American sponsor (MoneyGram), Haas has the ability to lean into the identity of being a real American Formula 1 team.
Williams is going in a different direction. Already having American ownership, Williams plans are to add American driver Logan Sargeant to the team in 2023, should he secure enough super license points this weekend.
Capito has commented that having an American driver isn’t enough and that “success and performance” will be paramount.
The increase in popularity, coupled with more American sponsors and an American driver, could ultimately lead to more American youth aspiring to look at the Formula 1 path rather than just NASCAR or IndyCar.
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