F1 Winter Break
Calling F1 fans in the USA: Tell us how the US media is reporting the Austin Grand Prix
Posted By: James Allen  |  15 Nov 2012   |  12:13 am GMT  |  288 comments

This weekend marks the return to the United States of Formula 1 after an absence of five years.

And as the USA is the second largest market for JA on F1 readers, with over 700,000 American visitors this year, we want to hear from you about how the event is being covered by the national and local press as well as TV and Radio.

Oscar Wilde said that ‘the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about’ and that’s certainly true of this event. So is it being talked about or not? Let us know.

The event will be televised by Speed Channel, the penultimate race of its contract before F1 moves onto NBC. They will show all the practice sessions, qualifying and the race.

But what about sports news items, ESPN Sports Centre, CNN and the like? Is F1 on the map this week?

Austin is the 10th different venue for the Grand Prix, as it seeks to take root in the USA after numerous failed attempts over the years.

The event looks like being a success in Year One at a local level in Austin – most of the 120,000 tickets for the Circuit of the Americas have been sold, with three day passes going for $159. There is strong demand in the USA; it appears that only 80% of these tickets have been sold to US fans.

Austin’s location, within three hours drive of three major cities (Houston, Dallas and San Antonio) with a combined population of 22 million people, is encouraging, but only if the event is covered in the media.

The tricky part is always getting the customers to spread the word and come back in Year Two, but McLaren has lent them a hand by hiring Mexican Sergio Perez, which should ramp up demand from Mexican fans, based only a few hours drive away from Austin across the border.

Susan Combs, the state comptroller, who has organised for the state of Texas to channel $25 million of its Major Events Trust Fund into the event, told the Financial Times that “you’re going to see the global markets taking a look at Austin” – indicating that Austin’s interest is in putting itself on the map internationally.

But it needs the oxygen of publicity in the US and on that we would like US readers to keep us informed of how much penetration it is getting.

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They're not, I haven't seen anything.


There is no local coverage of the race today. Being born and raised in Austin, and seeing how it has been changed in to a liberal cesspool It is no wonder none of the local stations are not covering. This town sucks, I wish I was born in Dallas!


I saw something with an F1 car spinning donuts on the back-page of the WSJ. Let me grab it from my boss and see what it's all about.

John from California

Nothing apart from Speed random commercials. If I didn't have internet you wouldn't when knew f1 existed. F1 will get what they pay for.


Yep. What race?


I was wrong. I actually found an article in the Seattle Times, buried way down the links in the sports section (after NASCAR):


And it isn't very hopeful, analyzing why F1 is doomed in America.



So much investment, so much effort, and nothing on the air beside Speed. Funny enough, FOX doesn't have anything after the 4PM Eagles Redskins game, so they could repeat it rather soon OTA for all of US to watch. But with their F1 deal ending, what possible interest do they have to help promote a sport property that will run directly against their prized NASCAR investment?


@ thejudge13

The teachers fund invested in FOM which is returning around a 30% annual profit.

Bernie's troubles in Germany have no bearing on that.


@Sebee Investment - too right, but coming the way of F1.

Maybe this unoticed story in the Austin papers 2 weeks ago shows why FOM have been too busy for F1 promo's.

Apparently, the 'Teachers retirement fund of Texas' along with a Candaian fund have bought 9% of Formula One??? - I still can't believe it's true.

Did nobody tell them of a pending legal case in Munich? http://wp.me/p2HWOP-qY


I've seen nary a report here except for the US cable network SpeedTV. I'm sure that local Austin and Texas sports channels are reporting on it, but the it's been completely ignored on main US networks and news outlets where I live. I'm not a big watcher of the US sports network ESPN, so perhaps they've covered it, but it's been widely under - or "un" -reported here.


I've seen nothing on ESPN, nothing at all, and I'm a regular (fanatic?) viewer of that network. None of its half-dozen channels has made any reference to it.

There have been some major domestic sports stories in the NBA (will Phil Jackson return to coach the L.A. Lakers - rather like Sir Alex Ferguson being called out of retirement to rescue Man U. from a bad season - or won't he? He didn't); the NFL (season has reached its halfway point); college football (the season is in its final stages); and, most relevant for present purposes, NASCAR is down to its last race of the season, a title-decider. Fewer than 20 points separate the top two drivers - one of whom, Jimmy Johnson, is seeking his sixth title. That's the race that's getting the national build-up.

Don't forget, the Presidential and Congressional elections were held little more than a week ago. Moreover, Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut the week before. To use a sports metaphor, that's on the home court of most of the major media outlets (Connecticut-based ESPN included, albeit their area didn't feel the full brunt of the storm). So even the sports networks had an angle on the impact of the storm, for these reasons alone.

All that said, ESPN and the other sports networks were a TV refuge for those of us fatigued by the incessant campaign commercials and election coverage in the run-up to Election Day. Given that, and the number of people also looking for distraction in the wake of the hurricane, there was the opportunity for F1 coverage to reach what amounted to a captive audience. But the networks didn't mention word one about the race. Austin? The only references have been to the Texas Longhorns college football team.

All that said #2: I don't know what level of national marketing and promotion the teams, drivers, sponsors and FOM have attempted generally or with respect to this race specifically. On the evidence I've seen, not much. The only thing I've seen that remotely markets F1 nationally has been the Mobil 1 Oil Tony Stewart/Lewis Hamilton television commercial. In fact, it's the first F1-related commercial that I've seen, ever, that was run at some time other than during an F1 race. EVER. That's not going to cut it.

Even this ad makes no mention of Hamilton's significance. For non-gearheads watching the ad, and for gearheads without varied racing interests, he's just a young guy talking with Tony Stewart, two-time NASCAR champion. The ad makes no reference to the coming race in Austin - something that could easily have been done in a voiceover to tag the end of the ad.

Naturally, this campaign becomes visible shortly before Lewis goes to the Petronas-contracted MB team (unless they've changed to ExxonMobil without me noticing). That'll bring an end to this ad campaign, taking that avenue of increasing F1's brand recognition with it.

All that said #3, bottom line: At best, there have been so many major hard-news and sports stories that F1 simply got lost in the shuffle attention. At worst, the lack of consistent, year-round marketing effort by F1's stakeholders means, there will not be, cannot ever be, any national "buzz" around F1 here. A two-week effort in mid-November simply won't work.

In hindsight, although it makes sense for many other reasons, putting this race into this slot on the calendar really hurt its chances of receiving significant coverage. As I mentioned, major domestic sports are at key points in their respective seasons. Football (most visibly the NFL, but even at lower levels), holds sway over the American sports media, and the American sports mind, like no other sport. It approaches religious proportions. And in Texas, that's particularly true. Do web searches on "Friday Night Lights," "Texas Longhorns," "Dallas Cowboys" and "Houston Texans" to see what I mean.

I doubt that the F1 schedule makers took account of these dynamics, if they were even aware of them. Simply put, putting F1 up against football (to say nothing of the national elections) at this time of year was a mistake. Like a quarterback with a bad offensive line, it had no chance.

(Sorry, as usual, for the length of this post. I've been "off the air" too long, so I guess it built up! The storm didn't affect my home, thankfully, but my office building still has no power. If you've seen pictures or video from NYC of the flooded Battery Underpass, know that I can see that from my office window).


Great to have you back with your quality comments


Thanks, James! Did you get a Stetson for the occasion? They do keep the sun off, I'll tell ya.


Sadly not. Much to my disappointment only a handful of automotive websites seem to be mentioning the race. Of course SPEED has done a great job of building excitement for the event but most of the people I know going to the race are European!


I live in Milwaukee, WI and I get all my information from euro websites like yours.

I have not seen a word in the national press.


James, I'm from Minneapolis. Same here as the poster from Milwaukee. One thing, I never view the national press, so if it is there, I wouldn't know. :>)


Just 180 miles to the SW of Austin in the nation's 4th largest city, absolutely zero mention of Formula 1 in Houston media that I can determine.


Whoa! Houston is the 4th largest??


Houston is south west of Austin?



yup, but ESE of Austin last time I looked 😛


Argh. I meant SE of Austin....


It will be interesting to see if the race gets mentioned on the Daily Show or the Colbert Report this week or next week after the race. Certainly, if F1 wants to get attract a younger audience, exposure on either of those shows would be ideal, which is why I was surprised not to see any F1 drivers scheduled to appear as guests on either show. A missed opportunity.


Daily Show.... or Craig Fergusen/Jimmy Kimmel/Jimmy Fallon. I imagine whoever wins might find their way to one of these shows.


That's what I'm worried about. Comedians using the race as a platform to make snarky comments about motorsport in general - except for Jay Leno, of course!


Hey Tim,

I don't like "snarky" comments either. And by the way, we both are using the same name to post on this site. Would you like to keep "Tim" and I'll change my name? Would you please let me know?



Craig in Singapore



Ah that is disappointing. I'd really have thought the teams and the driver managers would have pushed to get some of the drivers on these entertainment talk shows. I recall seeing Vettel on David Letterman once; who I'm not sure got Vettel's dryness!

Imagine if Bernie had arranged to have the title contenders Vettel and Alonso together on one of these shows like the Daily Show, and have the interview goad them to let the public see some animosity between them haha!

Non followers need to get a feel for the sports personalities to get interested. With the probable exception of Ferrari, the layman will just see a blue car, a silver car, a white car, etc going round the track, with no real attached connotations to their meaning.

They're not going to have notions of "Oh here comes the off-form, tyre eating Mercedes", or "Brace yourselves, here comes the Red Bull of Vettel to start its qualifying lap. What magic is it gonna pull out of the hat this time!"

If the general public had seen the likes of Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso on a prime time talk show, they may have formed a likeness to one of them and thought, "Hamilton seems cool, I like his ear rings... (haha)", or "Vettel's a cheeky one", or "Alonso seems like a true competitor"... I'm gonna watch the race to see how they perform and root for them.

Such shows would be ideal for non fans too since the interviewer could ask basic questions about the sport to get them introduced. And I'm sure clips of Kimi's radio banter would have been entertaining for the audience without boring them on techy details and rules! 🙂 The drivers themselves could have bigged up the circuit too to make Americans think, "Ooh it sounds like we have something special here"

I suppose these things take time... but yeah, it's important to promote the personality of the sport. Maybe F1 needs to shake up its marketing team! Rant over!


I have to say, given the comments already here, I just CANNOT understand who on earth is in charge of marketing at F1/cvc?

If any 'industry' chap is reading, ask James for my email and I'll at least manage to get some coverage!

I truly am dumbfounded that with so many experts in their field, the appaling sense of apathy/incompetence towards promoting Formula 1 events.

I have tried to comprehend what the business model Mr.Ecclestone is trying to nurture, and I believe that I understand to a degree. Money, obviously plays a significant part in it all, but he simply cannot be so short sighted as to neglect such basics as promotion. And I'm not talking about 100's of millions of dollars either. Even on a shoestring, the amount of positive promotion that can be generated by being smart is incredible. In my businesses I have done it, I know. (I had a full year advertising campaign in Vogue UK in 2008, and believe me, I didn't pay close to even a tenth what that should have cost; I was a 'sole trader' at the time)

If someone believes in the product, and can apply that belief towards their energy and enthusiasm promoting said product, then it is easy to drag someone along with you. It takes an ability to stand back from the minuteia and that is where F1's problem with promotion must lie.

Politics, politics, that is F1; but whilst it can be 'brain consuming' for the individuals involved, it can be beneficial in the end goal of what one chooses to market.

It really wouldn't take the greatest leap of faith to turn around the inherant problems 'behind the scenes' and use it to advantageous effect.

Until there are a couple more folks whom are as sharp as Mr.Ecclestone, with a deep knowledge of the sport, yet unaffected by the politics of it all, I simply see F1 becoming an empty vessel of a spectacle, sure expanding into new territories, but failing to capitalise on that. That, in turn, will never generate the level of passion from a european perspective, and that cannot be healthy for the sport as a long term 'growth' prospect.


F1has a marketing team?


It feels to me that, despite all the talk from Withmarhs/FOTA, the whole of F1 is still arrogant. To me they feel like ” we're Formula 1, of course they know about us”. I'm from Argentina, that's why I know about F1, if I'd been borned here on california I probably wouldnt know about it.

They need to make a bigger effort.


Exactly. There's been all this talk of "We need America, America doesn't need us. We need to make the effort." but it sounds like it's all just been talk, no action.

Sure, advertising costs huge amounts of money and times are tough but the sport is clearly able to invest (new venues, lower championships and the like) and they should have been willing to splash out on tv and radio adverts on mainstream channels, billboards in major cities, paying teams to get drivers on tv, paying for classic F1 highlights tv shows to be shown or making a documentary about the sport to entice people.

Perhaps I'm too naive on such things but it doesn't sound like the sport has gone out of its way.

Still, hopefully it'll be a good race and the title goes on to Brazil! 🙂


Nothing on ESPN.com or the ESPN networks. Fox doesnt have a dedicated sports channel, just Speed and I believe Fuel.

Speed is showing the practice live and running it much later in the evening for replay. I work so I am recording them all. Speed does have a website (speed2.com) which should be streaming extra (if any). Down side to the web is it is access is only provided if your cable provider takes part in the program (you have to log in with your actual cable company account to gain access).

F1 in USA always lacks promotion. I am wondering how NBC will do it better than speed. Bob Varsa is a great analyst/play by play...David Hobbs is getting older and it shows on the air....Steve Matchet is ok, but without his contacts in the sport, his data often reads like most of the better F1 informaiton sites (JA/BBC).

The main problem with the US is the fact that most of the races are shown live at 430am Pacific (730am EST). You lose a large population with out the West Coast of the USA able to view at a decent time.

The US GP usually gets great viewership, as it is in the US and the time makes it feasible to watch. I cant wait to watch it and I hope I can visit Austin in the years to come (its closer and nicer than NJ imho).


Ecclestone's licensing terms destroy F1 in the US. F1 Decade was awesome, but that became too expensive. The single broadcast (usually) of the qualy and race is crippling - every race should be on sunday afternoon whether it's taking place at 3 am or 8 am.

No way the US buys into F1 without a LOT more airtime. They need to show the vintage footage on friday night at midnight; not F1 Debrief - who the fark is going to pay attention to that after a few hours of beers???? The marketing folks are incredibly stupid.


Agree on seeing some vintage racing.

I've watched a few races in the BBC highlights version and it's actually pretty good you don't miss much of importance.

Would be great to see a network re-airing some of the great vintage races in a similar format.


I could not disagree more. US fans aren't going to stop watching the NFL to watch F1 if it's broadcast anytime after noon on a Sunday. Sure half of the F1 calendar takes place before NFL kicks off, but networks will likely want a consistent time slot. Honestly, being broadcast live overnight to 8AM depending on the location is optimal. All you have to do is setup the DVR and you have the whole race to watch as soon as you wake up on Sunday morning.


Would love to see more vinatge footage. Watching the legends drive those cars is amazing to watch when compared to today (which will be old in the future).

Race time is going impact the casual fan. I am up early on Saturdays and Sundays most of the season to watch it live, if not DVR.

You are dead on about needing more air time. I had the pleasure of watching a race while in London a few years back...the pre race show was just like the NASCAR prerace we get shoved in our face on Speed everyday and almost all day on a race weekend.


Our home's in Cincinnati, OH. So far, there's been no mention of Austin in the local paper nor on any of the national broadcast networks nor on the cable networks other than Speed. NASCAR and the NFL virtually dominate all sports media. I expect only the New York Times and the LA Times will provide anything meaningful on Austin.


You don't know the LA Times. We got nothing! I haven't seen one article yet. I just searched their site and found an aricle from June. Looks like there is an internet only article on Lewis moving to Mercedes today.

It's pathetic. I've been reading the paper for 30 years and they've never covered it much.

I 1980 I called Shav Glick, the old Automotive guy there and told him I was going to Europe for the year, and I could cover F1 for him. He blew me off 🙂 and I think he wrote one article on Monaco that was about it.

It doesn't look like this is the year for F1 to 'catch on' here... 🙁


Nothing in the N.Y. Times so far. Or The Washington Post. In Canada there's no mention of F1 this week. North America is big on football. It's the mid-season for the NFL and we're into the playoffs for the CFL (Canada), so lots of coverage on that. Mind you I haven't seen any NASCAR coverage in the "Times" or "Post".


The sold out notion may be all an illusion. Wait and see how many seats are ocupied on race day and how many were bought hoping to flip them for a profit. Same happend at Indy first year, bet tickets are more available next year if they cant flip them by race day!


A trip to ESPN.com tells the tale: baseball post-season honors, NASCAR, and football. The sport has no American teams or competitors. Like the WTCC, which appeared in America unheralded, F1 has a lot of work to do before anyone outside of Austin pays close attention. T'is a pity as there is a lot of good racig on offer.


I wouldn't expect a whole lot. ESPN gives zero coverage to sports they don't have a financial stake in. And since they are broadcasting the Sprint Cup finale in Homestead on Sunday, they have even more reason to ignore f1.

I hate to say it, but I doubt the media here see more than a handful of people skipping a football game to watch the Austin GP, and it will be covered as such.


I don't watch TV, apart from F1, so I can't say how the mainstream media is covering it.

I can say that TV sucks, and as F1 is moving over to NBCS which is a premium channel on my cable provider, I'll be dropping my cable TV altogether after the season.


I haven't saw anything at all here near new york city. All media has been about this hurricane that came through.

I can't wait to see this race!!!


James, a major NYC paper (owned by Murdoch) has an article about Red Bull. However it is the 2nd to last article on the paper's web site, where one has to scroll to the bottom. But that's not the worst of it. The article is about Kaka, and how he wants to, someday, play for the "Red Bulls". You'd think Murdoch would be cross-promoting F1 throughout his various media holdings/empire. Oh, and by the way, there are more than 75,000 Brazilians living in the greater New York area – with a huge concentration in Newark’s Ironbound section, and East Newark being the most heavy concentration of Brazilians in the country per capita.

One really has to seek out info, it doesn't appear readily to the casual fan.




Just an added thought - The timing and irony of Speed (Murdoch/Newscorp/Fox) giving up F1 after this GP and Brazil couldn't have been worse for the promotion of F1 in the U.S.

Murdoch jumps into F1 in the UK and 1 year later drops it in America. The same year F1 returns to the U.S. Odd. So Newscorp is not going to spend a whole lotta time & expense promoting something they're getting rid of and help a competitor who'll be taking over next year.

Brian Roberts, head honcho of Comcast/NBC/Universal, will not lift a finger 'til Comcast's contract kicks in. So F1, promotion-wise is in limbo vis-a-vis these two companies.

The track people already have the taxpayers of Texas ponying-up $25mil, so they ain't gonna ask for more $, nor spend it themselves.

That leaves who to front the cash for marketing this GP?



There really needn't be much cash for marketing, just a couple of salaries really and some overheads.

Thats where I think F1 has stumbled.

If you are thinking of needing large sums of money, that would fall under the category of advertising, not marketing, in which case if F1 as a prestige brand, is paying for advertising, they really are doomed! In my opinion (and not too little experience) advertising is THE biggest waste of money any business could incurr.

If one needs to pay to tell a potential customer about your product, then simply the marketing wasn't good enough.


Further to that above, I've just conducted a wee experiment on marketing this event. I will be interested to see the efficacy of this!

Being so late in the day, it remains to be seen, but I will post results......


I live in Seattle. Sadly, I have not heard a single thing in the local news about the upcoming US Grand Prix.


I live in the Seattle area as well. My first thought when I saw James' headline was...

"There's a race?"

In all reality the only reason I know that there's a USGP is because I'm already an F1 fan. If I wasn't, I'd have no idea.

A thought about F1 on NBC Sports over Fox/Speed - on a November Sunday afternoon, Fox's schedule is filled with the NFL. Hence this year's USGP is on Speed. NBC has the room in their schedule to place the USGP live on network tv, which is something Fox simply can not do.


Slightly off topic, but the race is not broadcast live in Canada. It is only shown at 7 p.m. Eastern, and only on TSN2, the secondary offshoot of main F1 broadcasters TSN. (Actually it is shown live in French Canada, but only on offshoot RDS2 to regular carrier RDS.)


Whew! I get RDS 2 so I can watch the race live. I thought F1 was more popular in Canada. I can see it being bumped for the CFL, but I thought it was more popular than NASCAR (at least among my friends). The english broadcast of the Canadian GP was also bumped, but fortunately it was live on RDS 1 (who I feel provide superior coverage to the US Speed channel). Thanks to Jacques and Gilles, F1 is huge in Quebec.


I have to say I'm very impressed with TSN pushing this over to a national network with OTA signal in all major cities. They didn't have the time slot and did the right thing pushing it to CTV2. This means that this North American event can be seen live in probably 90% of the households in Canada. As it should be. Now give it ratings Canadian fans!


Unfortunately CTV2 is not available in Quebec.I'll miss the BBC commentary, but the French RDS isn't too bad.


Unfortunately, it will get much lower ratings as most casual sports fans wouldn't think of going to CTV2 to find F1 or any other sport. This year's Canadian GP was on CTV2 instead of TSN and it got only half as many viewers as it normally gets.


Actually, it looks as though it's being carried live on CTV2 most markets. Check your local listings as they say. TSN is carrying the CFL playoff game which has probably never been a conflict before!

Incidentally, there's been no mention in the Canadian media but today's Globe and Mail has a piece on how NASCAR TV ratings are down 25% since 2005 and attendance at the biggest tracks is off about 40%. Crucially, sponsors are withdrawing which might allow an opening for open wheel cars again, or maybe Motorsport in general is in long term decline.


Up in Minnesota, you wouldn't know there was a GP going on if your weren't a F1 fan. Its a shame really.


I'm in Australia, but I've scanned the guestlists of national US talk shows(day and night time) for the week leading up to the race and I haven't seen one F1 related name.

Yesterday I read an article where Martin Whitmarsh stressed the need to promote F1 in the US, which is great, but why wasn't Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button booked to do Letterman (race team co-owner) or Leno (major car collector/enthusiast)?

Where was Mario Andretti-COTA Ambassador who has driven the track?

A purpose built racetrack that looks spectacular..

You would think the two biggest talk shows in the country hosted by petrolheads or 'gearheads' would be a walk up start.

The F1 community and teams in particular could and should have launched a major offensive and saturated the airwaves. An opportunity missed.

I'll be in Austin in a couple of weeks(great timing huh!) and I'm keen to have a look at the track...turn 1 doesn't look Grosjean/Maldo friendly.


I've asked this before, but, I'd appreciate it if anyone knows of a F1 friendly bar in New York where I can watch the Brazilian GP?

Haven't missed a race in over 25yrs...don't want to start now.



Join the F1 Meet Up group in NY. They will have a bar booked for the race, which you can sign up for. That's how I watch the races in San Diego since I canceled my cable subscription. As for media coverage in San Diego for the Austin event, there was a piece on the BBC World Service slot last evening on the San Diego NPR station KPBS.


I found this on the web. It's called "The Australian". It's in Manhattan. I've never been, so I can't vouch for it one way or the other. Here's the link if James will allow it.


Good luck.




Cool, thanks for that.


Brilliant, this one is Plan A.




You should come join the New York Formula 1 Meetup. We 1,200 members usually meet at a bar called Feile in Manhattan (though this weekend we're at the Classic Car Club).

We usually get 100+ people together for every race of the year live (despite our time zone challenges).

I'll personally be at Austin but you can check our group out at: http://www.meetup.com/formula1NYC/



I can't speak to the main networks, or the news channels as I don't watch them. But can say that there hasn't been nary a word about it on ESPN.

Which isn't unusual for them, if they don't have a contract to cover it, they don't promote it. They didn't care about NASCAR until they got the Busch/Nationwide series, and didn't cover football (soccer) until they started carrying MLS games.

They do have an F1 website, but in order to find it from their main site you have to click on a link to an F1 article that is under the racing section of the main site if you don't know that it already exists.


F1 is never mentioned around here - and I live near Detroit, the "Motor City!" If it's not NASCAR it's not covered.


Are you THE. jack Beckmann NHRA champion?


Sadly, no. But at least I still have my eyebrows (if you saw last weekend's racing...).


Not as bad as Antrons burns!


There is a similar mentality in Australia. The way the Australian media cover F1, anyone would think the Melbourne GP is the only race on the calendar.

Unless its V8 Supercars, the Australian news will give a quick 3 second notification at the very end of a sports report (which is consumed by AFL, even when out of season!). It usually goes something like this: "and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel has qualified on pole for tomorrow's such and such GP, Mark Webber will start from 4th". That's it!

If not for JAonF1 and the Official F1 website I wouldn't be able to find out any of the latest F1 information or news.


I'm from Australia also, and at least there is some coverage here and the public get behind the event for the most part. Media reporting of all other races did pick up a lot when Webber arrived on the scene, particularly in Canberra (near his hometown of Queanbeyan).

The American mentality must be totally different. I have no idea what the teams and drivers are doing over there to promote the event, but its a two way street. The media have some responsibility to generate interest if it is ever going to work.

It's a golden opportunity. An awesome looking track in what promises to be an awesome venue. I wish it all the best.


Yeah but the Australian media weren't that interested until he started winning races. Every news story I saw in his first five years refered to him as "Australia's Mark Webber" because mainstream Australia didn't know who he was.

Grayzee (Australia)

+ 1!!


Wednesday 14th: Brit in California here: My wife is the TV (esp news) addict in our house, and she reports seeing nothing so far... We had to downgrade our cable package so I won't be able to watch Speed's coverage either ;-(


...Additional: A web article I found titled "Why F1 racing still struggles to woo U.S. fans" sums up what has already been explained on JA's site (about to poor US F1 coverage - 2012 and 2013). And the final paragraph sums it up:

- "But U.S fans shouldn’t expect the sport to start catering to them anytime soon. Ecclestone and F1 have shown in the past that they simply don’t understand the market and they don’t care to try. And that’s the real reason why grand prix racing likely won’t ever be more than the fringe sport it is south of the border."

- Article written by Jeff Pappone with Globe and Mail


I don't see any buzz in the media except on the internet...


From Illinois: I cannot recall seeing any coverage in U.S. media outlets except on the Speeed Channel or web sites devoted to motorsports. I went to all the F1 races at Indianapolis, and we're going to the race in Austin. Most of my friends don't know F1 and think it is similar to a Nascar race. I really hope the Austin race is a success . . . but remember there were close to 200,000 fans for the first F1 race at Indy, and we all know what happened there in the long run.

P.S.--Also, you mentioned ESPN's Sports Centre. Is it as good as their Sports Center show? 🙂


Canada's TSN who have exclusive F1 broadcast rights are reporting that a Finnish Flash won the last grand prix.

Nothing about this US GP James, is this new?


The only blip I've seen (aside from the masterful job the Speed crew has done)has been a very cavalier quote from stock car promoter Bruton Smith (haughty prick that he is)stating that F1 has never, and will never work in this country. This as a few weekends ago when NASCAR was staging an event at one his oval tracks that is located in Texas.


Fans like me are excited and have planned to Texas from New Jersey and Pennsylvania and want the race to be a success. More over Austin is like Europe

The NASCAR guys wont want F1 to be a success. They are sending signals to the press saying, F1 doesn't belong here and cant sustain.


Media, is welcoming F1 as it will boost the economy while some writing the impact on the environment which I dont think is worst than the gas/oil wells.

But overall I feel, the main stream media is not much worried/care about the race.


Why would NASCAR have a problem with F1? They are totally different types of racing. There is no competition between the two series'. I can understand if IRL feels threatened, but not NASCAR. Surely in real life F1 is not viewed by NASCAR the way it is in Talladega Nights? 😉


Unfortunately, even with too many 24 hour news channels, only a couple news stories dominate: right now, the "fiscal cliff" and General Petraeus are about all you see.

I'm gonna take a look around the sporting websites to see if they are covering it. My gut feeling, unfortunately, is that it's not getting much, if any, coverage.


In reply to myself... cnnsi.com had it as the 6th "other articles" list... in the "racing" section. Not too great. And didn't see it anywhere on ESPN.com


I'm a huge F1 fan living in Dallas and honestly haven't read or seen much about it. It's quite dissapointing really. I'd hoped to have seen the odd news item somewhere but havent. Having moved here from Ireland 6 years ago I've found that it can be a bit like living in a bubble here with only national politics or NASCAR/baseball/football making the news. I have to go to Sky News or BBC to get any news outside of those areas generally. Likewise for real sports news.

Having said that, I've met more F1 fans here than I ever did back home so there does seem to be plenty of enthusiasts around so hopefully the weekend is a massive success.


In a few words ...NOT AT ALL ....I am in New Mexico, damn close to Austin ...:(...not a word !!


Invite the drivers to some late night shows - Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno could do something with an F1 car, etc. I believe Vettel was on Letterman. CNN sometimes reports on major F1 news but not on individual races, at least I have not seen much.

People hear friends and I talking about F1 and they ask if we're talking about Nascar which I don't really follow and half of them don't know what F1 is.

I believe one of the reasons is the time difference, most races happen anywhere from 2:00 am to 8:00 am for European races, although I record them I stay up late or wake up early, most people wouldn't do that. Another thing going on right now is Football season and I'm sure most people will be watching that when qualifying and the race are on apart from hardcore F1 fans.


Here in NY, no coverage at all so far (other than the odd ad on Speed Channel). I may have seen something brief about it on Fox News.


I am a news junkie as well as an F1 junkie. I'm sorry to report that the only places I've been hearing anything about Austin is from all of you British sources. Nothing on the news sources. Can't say about ESPN. Hopefully, as it gets closer to the weekend there will be some hype.

Thanks to you and the other F1 media in Britain for your stellar coverage, and I share your anticipation as it draws near!


Nothing so far here in Seattle



Here in Austin, the coverage has been non stop, but mostly covering non-sport news (preparing for traffic, political battles over funding, etc). There was a particularly funny report they did in the local nbc station asking random people in the street about how much they knew about the race (a-la Jay walking for fans of Leno) - people expecting a race in an oval and four hour race responses were not uncommon.

Having said that, there is real excitement about the race. I heard in the radio that tomorrow they are expecting 60 charters flights, two thirds of them coming from mexico, the rest from europe, canada and latin america. I also have many, many friends coming from mexico (reminds me of the days when the champ carts series was held in monterrey, mexico).

Lets see how the excitement holds up in following years (or increases if we get a second mexican driver!)


United States of Fomrula 1. I like that 😉


Two roads into track and state of texas has not made any improvements.

No story line about updates on the event.

Should have arm bent backwards by tv carring race to carry free updates about the event


No linkage between event and pre-event coverage

Some one dropped ball on this $ 258,000,000 nig time


There has been NO media reporting AT ALL at this time (except on SPEED, which is a given). It might still be too early for USA to care, though.


So far, the talk has been pretty quiet. Except for the Speed Channel. They've been great with their coverage and were really the ones who have driven the sport to the level its watched. If you search through the blogosphere, they're really the ones that the fans prefer, and the Speed channel is the ultimate channel as far as race enthusiasts go. The announcing team, with Will Buxton have been great and offer a great combination of Steve's Matchett's experience, David Hobb's (comedic whit and prior experience), and then Bob Varsha's experience from covering F1 for several years. The sad part is we aren't sure who's going to be leading that broadcast when it goes to NBC, which sucks, because the guys over at Speed do it for the love of the sport, not necessarily for the money. Which is what it is going to take to get the sport off the ground here in the states. The broadcast is only so short and you have to have great announcers to help carry it. If not, then the show can get a little boring for NASCAR followers. My wife and I are traveling to the race this weekend and are excited to see the atmosphere as the last time I attended a race, was in 07 race at Indy. If only more people could hear the cars, it would capture their attention. Or If Seb and Fernando get into some accident and then get out of their cars and beat the crap out of each other like Bowyer and Gordan this past weekend in NASCAR. That'll get it some national headlines. 🙂 Overall, it will be a great experience and NBC will need to put its big boy pants on to carry it on 2013 and beyond.


I second (third) the compliment to the SPEED F1 team. Besides their race coverage, the bi-weekly "Formula 1 Debrief" show has become a must-see!


Agreed that the Varsha/Hobbs/Matchett/Buxton team is fantastic! I hope NBC has the sense to hire them all.

As for the role of fisticuffs, I think that's a sad commentary on what is considered news in the US. And maybe elsewhere too.


Unfortunately I can't see the "Boys, have at it" philosophy of governing driver behaviour in NASCAR ever being allowed in F1.

I live in the UK so can't really comment on the coverage in the US media - from the comments above it seems to be about as great as the Sprint Cup coverage in the UK 🙂

I did enjoy the Bowyer/Gordon incident and ensuing melee in last weekends Phoenix race and am REALLY looking forward to the Austin race this weekend.


It might help get on the radar if a multi time champion gets out of his car on friday and starts a fistfight with one of the new young guns. headlines galore! lead story on sportsdesk


I haven't a lot of coverage in the media, besides Speed. I will be going and I can't wait! Turn 12 tickets... 🙂

Matthew S (from Texas)

I'm an F1 fan who lives in Houston, the most populous city in Texas and the 4th most populous city in the nation. I've followed F1 religiously since 1988.

I just checked the website of the Houston Chronicle, our only remaining newspaper. F1 is not mention on the front main page. Lindsay Lohan is mentioned. There is a story about the possible lack of a Papa Smurf balloon at the upcoming Thanksgiving parade. No F1.

I checked the Sports section. I could not find "F1" or "Formula" or "prix" there, either.

The only people I have heard talk about the race is people who were already F1 fans.

Sorry, this is the reality of F1 in America.


I'm in NJ and visit areas between Philadelphia and NYC pretty frequently. I haven't seen any ads, banners, hoardings anywhere on the major highways (I95, NJ Turnpike, US1) nor have I seen any ads on TV, shopping malls, Walmart, Target or at the grocery store. There are small screens at the checkout lines in most grocery stores like ShopRite, Wawa and SuperFresh showing football, basketball, baseball or NASCAR stories. I've asked a few of the locals from work (including one who's from Austin) and no one knew that there was a race in Texas.

There is also a general feeling among most Americans not familiar with F1 that it is an 'elitist' sport. If F1 wants to get popular here it must start with races aired on free TV, free to view on the internet for younger fans (students will never pay big bucks unless they're fans already), more exposure and promotion from Hollywood and with ads in places I mention above. Americans are crazy about fan merchandise and F1 merchandise is extremely hard to find here. You can go to any mall and get everything from hats and backpacks to T-shirts and tattoos of your favorite baseball, football, hockey or basketball team but there is no store I've found selling F1 merchandise (except the ones outside Indianpolis Speedway on raceday). F1 can start with fan shops in major cities selling merchandise from all teams, having competitions marketed on the backs of cereal boxes where fans can meet drivers and win tickets to GPs. USA has so many sports competing for viewers' attention that they are marketed everywhere from radio to special team flavored M&M candies. If F1 doesn't do in America what the Americans do, it will be forgotten as easily as it has been in the past.


I have not seen any coverage yet outside of SPEED and the Austin American Statesman. But that isn't surprising. F1 gets little coverage here unfortunately. It would be nice to see ESPN send someone to cover the race but it is heavily involved in NASCAR.


I haven't seen any advertisements at all for the race this weekend. And I live in Dallas, TX, just 4 hours away! Thats a bit ridiculous.


I'm living in the US at the moment, and attending the race on the weekend. I can honestly say I have not seen any advertising or heard the race mentioned outside of the F1 coverage on Speed TV.

Part of that may have been due to the slight distraction of the US Presidential election.


We're attending the race (flying in from Washington State), but out of everyone I've told about the race, only a few even know what Formula One is. Hopefully that will change over the years.

That said, I don't watch/read the news much, so I can't provide any info in that area.


I'm a fan who has traveled to Austin from Canada. I've been here for almost a week and I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. I've been attending the race in Montreal religiously for the past few runnings and there is a substantial difference in the attitudes and excitement in the city. I see the various placards, billboards, etc but no one really seems to know much besides the fact that some "rich people from Europe" are coming for a race. That's very different from the atmosphere in Montreal leading up to the Grand Prix. Some of that may be down to the lack of history here - they really don't know what's about to hit them. In terms of media - local coverage in Austin seems adequate, but I've not noticed a real change in national reporting on F1. Certainly the domestic racing news sites and services are very fired up about it, but the so-called "main stream media" has mostly given it a pass from what I can see. I noticed more interest in the cancellation of next year's planned GP in New Jersey than I've seen for Austin.

Now, all that said, I've really enjoyed Austin thus far and I've got mostly excellent things to say about the promoters and host city. I hope they can carry it off and grow the event because I'm looking forward to making it an annual visit.


I live in New Jersey and get the NJ and NY news daily and have been following F1 since Emerson Fittipaldi first championship year (1972). There has been almost no coverage of the Austin GP in this area.


Here in "swing state" Ohio we've hunkered down to avoid the heavy bombardment of election media frenzy for months. Don't need more publicity thanks - just the oxygen. Now its live streaming Petraeus updates and Fiscal Cliffs – you get the idea - wouldn't know if there was a Grand Prix going on outside the front door, let alone in Texas... Heard there is a season finale in something called NASCAR this weekend, in a state that only just finished vote counts. Just be glad F1 isn’t in New Jersey… Sorry - can't be more help...



This a America, if is not Baseball, Basketball, American Football, Nascar or Indy it is of no interest to the media.

With the sole exception of the Speed channel, not a single hint that F1 even exists yet alone has an event in the USA this coming weekend.

Speed gives excellent coverage of virtually all GP broadcast live. They just lost the broadcasting rights for 2013 and beyond and I believe that next year the new franchise will not be showing F1 live except streamed on the internet.

As exiled Brits living in Ohio for last 13 years, without Speed following F1 live next year is going to real hard.

COTA is sold out, but there will be another 300 million on this continent who will have no clue that the USA GP is on this coming weekend.

If it was on an oval and you can't guarantee several major wrecks each race the TV stations will not show any interest.

Sorry if my viewpoint offends but that how it looks in rural Ohio


That last but one sentence was supposed to read.

"If it is not on an oval and you can't guarantee several wrecks per race, the TV stations will show no interest"


Ah, suddenly Grosjean's and Maldonado's value becomes clear 🙂


For Sure Phil, put them in Nascar and they will be very much at home 🙂

The reality is that the true American F1 fan will always search out and watch the Grand Prix races.

But the Nascar fans, want to see the cars all the time on an oval track. Drag racing is also well covered for the same reason the cars are always in sight.

BE has no clue how to operate in the USA.

This is a lost opportunity, the big teams could have toured the the states bring drivers and cars which would have gained media attention.

Instead they are just turning up at COTA and will have no idea that virtually no other Americans will be watching the show on TV.

But they will see the track stands full and get the wrong impression completely.

Bernie, a few of us Brits here know how to do it !

Companies like Ferrari & Mercedes have just missed the best chance they had of brand promotion in their biggest market.


I'm from Canada, funny thing I spoke to a woman from a bank in Austin this morning, she didn't there was a race in town. Bizarre


JA, so far, not so much. I watch ESPN, CNN, read the NY Times and of course many web sites and there is nothing about Austin. Really too bad. Overall awareness, even with my car buddies is about zero.


There is something about Macau death, which if you read will get you some F1 ads right hand side.



I live and work near Boston. I watch news and stay online most of the time. Sadly I saw nothing about US GP so far. The only thing I saw was an e-mail ad about prize draw to attend Austin GP probably by Hilton (not 100% sure).


I am a Brit living in Washington DC,

No Coverage on the television, no coverage on the radio and no coverage in newspapers.

However it's approximately 18 plus hours by car to Texas from here. So that is probably to be expected.

Speed channel, a great channel has coverage, part of my cable package. You pay for a group of channels, not just this as a stand alone channel!

Coverage of F1 is the speed channel, without it F1 coverage would be dismal!


Front page of Yahoo News here yesterday.....that's pretty big....


The local network affiliates in Houston have had little to say so far.


Living in Los Angeles, I have not heard anything to this point on the GP. Not even a mention in the motor sport sections of the ESPN or FoxSports websites as of Wednesday. ESPN does put up a link on their mainpage after races on Sunday, but never anything featured. FYI - The way the whole ticket thing was handled in Austin did not go down well with lots of people - The PSLs and misinformation given to us when calling COTA. I had my deposit refunded and bought a ticket to Brazil instead.


F1 is not a mass market product in US. It can be a very successful niche product. National coverage has been zero as always. That is not important for the moment. The idea of hitting the national sports radar is a 10 year project. Just have good events with stable financials. That is step 1.


So far, it's not being reported on at all. I just checked the "motorsports" section of my local, E. W. Scripps-owned newspaper (the 80th-largest in the country by circulation), and there's not a single F1-related story in the first ten pages. That's over five weeks without a single mention of F1.

I've also not heard a single word about F1 from my local TV and radio stations in... well, longer than I can remember. I'm not sure it's ever actually happened.

And I just checked the websites of every single local TV station. In their sports sections, there's not a single mention of F1. A couple don't mention motorsports at all. Of those with a specific section for Motorsports, that section is actually called "NASCAR". That should tell you all you need to know.

So far, in East Tennessee, there is precisely zero coverage of F1 at all, and with the exception of the racing from Speed TV and maybe a brief 20-second segment from the national news networks like CNN et al., I don't expect to see or hear a single word about F1 all weekend long.

And it is strongly rumored that since they've lost the F1 contract for next year (and are on the verge of being closed down anyway), Speed have greatly dialed back their coverage plans for the weekend. Their commentary team won't be live at the track for the majority of the weekend; instead they'll be sitting in a studio in North Carolina as they do for every other race. (I know they're there now, but apparently they fly back to Charlotte before a single wheel hits the track.)

Couple that with the fact that the race is on a little-watched cable channel instead of a national network (more than 1/3 of US homes don't even *get* Speed), and I don't see this race getting even as much publicity as Indy used to manage, at least within the US market.


An update after today's practice sessions: There is still zero coverage from my Scripps-owned newspaper, and from most of my local TV stations.

HOWEVER, I almost fainted when I realized that one sole local TV station does have Formula One in its Sports news.

You do have to go out of your way to find it, and you do have to click a link called "NASCAR" to get to it, but it's there.


Click on Sports, then under "More Sports", click on NASCAR. Scroll past the NASCAR news, and you'll see honest-to-goodness real F1 headlines mixed into the "Auto Racing" section. You can also click on Auto Racing to see a longer list of articles.

And that's it -- you don't get any article summaries, images, or anything else to tease you into clicking. There's literally just a list of six to nine word headlines, all crammed together with no visual interest.

But still... For the US market, this is stunningly detailed and in-depth coverage. Whole articles on F1 from the Associated Press, and you've only got to jump through about four or five hoops to get to them. I'm literally stunned.

And that says what a totally and utterly dismal job of marketing Bernie has done in the US market.


And incidentally, I said it before when the race in Austin was first announced, but I'll say it again now. Austin was a *terrible* location to choose for an F1 race. Look at where the largest population centers are in the USA, and you'll see that it would have been hard to choose a *less* convenient location for most US F1 fans. Somewhere in North Dakota, perhaps.

Texas, stuck at the very southern center of the country, is far too distant for fans in most US cities to realistically drive to as it'd be a two-day drive in each direction, and if you've got to fly, it's barely any easier than it would be to go to the race in Canada. It's more convenient for the average Mexican to get to than it is for Americans.

For Americans, Texas is convenient for... Texans, and that's about it.

Add together the population of every major city in Texas, and you have barely half the population of New York City by itself. Add together every metropolitan statistical area in Texas, and you have just barely more than the combination of Los Angeles and Long Beach together, and significantly less than New York, New Jersey and Long Island combined. And unlike Texas, those places have other large MSAs near them that could also feed a race.

One look at this map tells you everything you need to know:


The sensible places in the US were somewhere in the northeast (anywhere from Indianapolis to Pittsburgh would be within a day's drive of around 1/3 of the entire US population), Northern California (feeding on all of California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona).

I'm a good example: I went to four of five of the eight races held at Indy, driving every single time (12 hours round trip). There's basically zero chance of me going to Austin (34 hours round-trip); if I'm going to fly I might as well fly somewhere outside the US and make a vacation of it.

I still predict this race will be a flop. It'll look great for the first couple of years because we haven't had a US race in four years, but it will taper off quickly once the reality of the travel issues kick in. By the third or fourth year, expect the majority of the fans in the stands to be Texans, and folks from northern Mexico. And I'll be flat-out amazed -- I may even eat a ten-gallon hat -- if it lasts as long as Indy did before being cancelled. (And Indy doesn't set a high bar; it had a lousy track, and a custom-built track should be able to far outperform that.)


I think the specific location was chosen with the intent of appealing to both American continents (Circuit of the Americas). I think they've tried to cast a wide net over the market. Whether or not this proves to be successful, time will tell.


By far the largest readership of this site in the USA is California. Almost double the next largest state audience. Texas is number 6

Mike from Colombia

Hi James,

Would love to get an idea of your readership by country....especially because the quality of UK F1 coverage is second to none.

I am an expat here and refresh your site 5 times a day at least! I switch off the sound on Fox Sports Colombia and listen to Five Live commentary online...almost syncs perfectly!

Just wanted to say a huge thank you. Having access to this site and your commentary has hugely increased my enjoyment and feeling of participation in this sport.

Separately, my thoughts on F1 in the US. The US has a gluttony of sports to watch and a feeling of divine right that as the leading and a population of over 300 million they should excel in that sport. When it comes to international competition, the US audience is not interested in seeing a compatriot merely "participating"..but winning and beating the Brits, froggies, latinos etc.

A US superstar driver has to arrive before F1 can drag over a mass US audience. How is that going to happen? Are there any US drivers really good enough at the moment? Bernie would have to drag a US driver straight into a class leading Red Bull and have him win a couple of races. The US audience is not going to have the patience to try to follow the struggling career of a Scott Speed or Michael Andretti...and to see them being whipped by Europeans and Latinos.

If they see their guys getting beaten, then the easy reaction will be that it is down to the car and that this is not real racing. That it would be better to see their guys racing wheel-to-wheel around an oval in almost identical machinery.

Bernie would have to gift a US driver a seat with one of the top 3 teams. Hoping for organic growth through more grands prix or relying on the media circus is just not going to work.


Thanks for the info, James. That rather backs up my assertion.

Actually, an even better demonstration of why Texas is simply the wrong place to put a US race is NASA's skyglow (light pollution) map. People make light pollution, so the greater the population the more light pollution there will be. It's therefore a pretty good indicator of where the people are (and aren't).


The bulk of the population is pretty clearly on the west coast, and in the northeast. Texas is essentially as far as you can get from most of the US population, without setting your clock to Mountain Time...


Most people don't even know it's happening. But I'm in New York, so I'm hoping its different in Austin when I arrive tomorrow. 1) This should be broadcast on parent FOX, not Speed 2) ESPN and Sports Illustrated aren't even putting this on the front page 3) No HBO Sports specials highlighting the significance of this race. No features from any other networks.

A shame really. F1 needs more publicity in the US. Too much NASCAR crap.


What F1 media reporting?

Regards, California


As a Bitish expat living in Houston, I have encountered very little exposure locally. Most people I speak to have hardly heard of F1, let alone that there is a Grand Prix happening on their doorstep this weekend.

I am going along with two friends who have flown over to go with me. What I find disappointing is the gouging going on by COTA; $200 for three days parking, and hijacking all hotels within a 100 mile radius and jacking up the prices to absolutely astronomical amounts. When I went to Indianapolis in 2006, prices were fair. I'm not sure they will get a lot of repeat visitors if they do the same things next year. Far too greedy. Just waiting to find out just how much it'll cost to eat and drink seeing as we can't take anything in.


I am in NYC and for the moment I have heard no mention of the race on any of the local news channels or in newspapers. Most people here still have no idea what F1 is. Its kind of sad...

However, my friend in Texas said it was mentioned a few times in the local papers and hotels near the track are all sold out.


Hi James:

Except for Speed, there is almost no coverage of F1 in the US (I follow several F1 sites, all UK based, and have for at least 10 years). As much as I love the NYTimes, it's skimpy coverage is an occasional "Monday Motorsports" note, or a story buried under "Global Sports), though whenever there's a story re the NJ race it's featured online fairly prominently. As far as Austin is concerned, I looked around a couple of places online and what stories I find are all from AP and Rueters and all negative--eg, questioning whether F1 belongs in Texas (btw I've lived in NYC for 26 years but I grew up in Texas, went to college in Austin, in fact) and featured negative commentary by NASCAR promoters. I'm afraid that whether the race is as classic as say, the last one in Abu Dabai, or a procession, a perfunctory crowning, the post race coverage might be just ho-hum. I hope I'm wrong. I also hope the NJ race goes forward; it's coverage might be far more positive prior to the race. Austin coverage is probably more positive in the Central/South American press.


total b***x over here in the USA, I've got a nice fat VPN link into the UK, phew...getting the real stuff live

BBC thinks I'm just around the corner!


Good luck with that, we can't get it live on the BEEB in the UK!!


They're not, at least not in California.


We only have one remaining newspaper out here in Honolulu and it barely covers NASCAR, much less F1. You are lucky if you see three sentences of reporting after a GP is over. Of course, it may be easier for us to get to Suzuka than to Austin.


It seems unanimous that the US is largely not interested this time around. Hardly surprising as this is the 5th/6th time F1 has tried to crack America isn't it?

I think they had the perfect and best chance at Indy but they stuffed it up with their unbelievable stupidity in 2005. Although perhaps a more subtle re-introduction is what is needed for F1 to slowly gain momentum.

F1 needs to be more accessible though. Nascar, Indycar drivers etc go to great lengths to engage the fans without trying to pretend to be superstars like the F1 boys. Guys like Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel (less so as he has at least appeared on Letterman) need to be fronting the campaign in America to do the job for their sport. Sadly their "schedule" doesn't seem to have allowed it this year.

They should also be using F1 names familiar in the US to promote the show, (Zanardi perhaps).


Whilst 2005 was a shambles, fans still came the following year. In fact the 2005 incident ironically put F1 on the map in America and actually made it into the news!


I agree it's hardly suprising that there is little coverage in the news media, but then it has always been that way in the U.S. As a youngster I went to the U.S. Grand Prix during its heyday at Watkins Glen in the 70's, and I remember being outraged that our newspaper never had any mention at all of the race.


If F1 is going to thrive longterm in the United States, there will need to be an American driver who is super quick. Another 'Mario Andretti' is what is needed.


If Ferrari or F1 can really get Apple involved, then the sport will get traction in the US. Location wise, I feel cities like Las Vegas or Chicago could be a lot better venue than Austin Texas. I guess Bernie must have tried.


To be honest, here in the UK, F1 doesn't get too much mention on mainstream tv or radio outside of actual F1 broadcasts themselves. In my opinion anyway. If it's included on news reports, it usually is a summary sentence at most, sometimes a short report might be shown, but that depends on the length of the news broadcast and how much other news there is. In newspapers and online it is another story - there is usually pretty good coverage, but given my perceived level of coverage in the UK, it's no surprise that there's so little in the US, even with it being a new return.


I'm from England and am disappointed in what I'm reading here, it's a shame that the American people will miss out on a great sport and will contine to be subjected to race cars going round in cicles.

It was interesting to see the race also being blamed for an increase in people slaverey and prostitution. I wonder if the problem is already there and only highlighted with the extra enforcment.


Can't comment about this race, but I was on holiday in Washington DC during the Monaco weekend, and the Washington Post sports section didn't have a word about it - was squeezed out by school football reports I think.


How can they build an entire new circuit and still only charge $159 for a 3 day pass? It's twice that to get into Silverstone just for race day. Someone is getting the smelly end of the stick there.



My brother lives in NYC. Nothing advertised or spoken about unless you look really, really hard for it. Nothing on mainstream TV.

But then I am not sure why anyone is surprised by this.

Scheduling the F1 race on the same day and time as the final of the NASCAR season was always going to be a problem. It was never going to get coverage no matter what we thought. Yes the American pop. is generally absorbed by NASCAR/Baseball and any thing else in American sport however if the F1 was one week later, when NASCAR/Indy and most other motorsports in USA had finished, then it may have been a little different.

And NASCAR, after last weeks WWE bout in Phoenix, clearly took up any potential gaps in TV scheduling. Nice plan Mr Helton!!

F1 will never complete against other traditional sports in America. It will only ever fill a gap. And F1 in USA will never work without a ‘top’ American driver competing ‘at the top’ in F1

And as someone else pointed out on this site, the F1 drivers and teams have to promote themselves better and get out amongst the fans this weekend, not like their usual 15 min appearance at general public signing sessions.

They have to lose their ‘prima donna’ or reclusive tag (whether deserved or not) as it will never win them votes in USA.

I would love to be there and hope it is a great success for all involved and present.


Well James, i think this question is answered.


Would be grateful if fans can keep us posted throughout the weekend. I'll see the local coverage myself when I'm there, but the national coverage is interesting


Here's a question, given that USA is more than effectively the same size as all of Europe, its like asking the question, what coverage does a race in UK get in Portugal?

My point being, if there is no desire by F1 to promote the race, why would there be a desire by media to do it for them?

If F1 does not want to promote itself in the States, then guess what, it won't get promoted. Therefore, how can fans get interested if the corporate entity who wants that interest is too arrogant to go out and EARN it. Works like everything else, no?

As for COTA, sounds like their doing a decent job of promotion on a localized front (i.e. localized in the USA = national in Europe; note, UK is only half the size of Texas with double the population and a population density of almost 20 times that of Texas).


I'm sure we will James. Just a pity that by then it will 'be too late'.

I'm very sad to be reading everyone else (here in US) tallying with my own observations.

Another new race track bites the dust (after a year or two). It looks GREAT from the Google map Satellite view!


Wow this is crazy. Spend a fortune on a purpose built track and it doesn't even make news anywhere across the country & I thought Australia always a little slack.


I have seen some mention on the websites for Sports Illustrated and ESPN, and also the Indianapolis Star. One ESPN writer mentioned in a chat that they are sending Terry Blount to cover the race while the rest cover the NA$CAR finale in Florida. But since ESPN doesn't broadcast F!, it will get about much attention as a videotape of a blindfolded dog catching a frisbee. I don't follow much in the way of newspapers or late night talk shows.

There were a lot of skeptics from media members here about whether this track would ever get built and hold a race. So there is probably some reluctance to "eat crow" and now there is skepticism as to the long term..will be like Indianapolis-very popular at first but taper off as Bernie raises the fees. Some media people like Kevin Lee and Curt Cavin of 1070 radio in Indianapolis say they hope it works but in reality IndyCar will have a great course to race on four years from now once Bernie decides he can milk more money from some other dupe.

One smart thing Austin did was hire Mario Andretti as ambassador as he is about the only old time open wheel driver to still have recognition (Tony George strikes again).


I replied earlier but now don't see my post. Why?


I live in Austin and have loved F1 since I was about 8 yrs old. I read through the comments and I have a few overall observations. Both on a national level and on a local level, sport in the US is big business and big $$$'s. There is a lot going on and there are many players who don't want to give up their attention and money to F1 (lets start with baseball, basketball, football, and golf). Even within austin, music venues and performing arts want the dollars that come into town. It has become very messy with the worst accusations being that F1 brings global child prostitution rings to town. (which has REALLY made a lot of people who were before ignorant of F1 to be outright against F1). Remember we are in an extremely ethnocentric locality. People here just don't know, understand, or even care much for what is outside this area. I wish it was different. I wish I hadn't been born here, but it's just the way it is. I hope F1 succeeds here because I feel with time and conditioning, Austinites, Texans, and even Americans can come to enjoy this wonderful sport as much as it is enjoyed all over the world.


No reporting outside the normal F1 reports on Speed. I was surprised yesterday that the Tony Stewart Lewis Hamilton commercial was shown twice in one day on ESPN. To be honest, all motorsports get limited airtime in the US. Even NASCAR gets very very limited play on ESPN outside of their NASCAR show (once a day) and races. The only highlights they showed of the NASCAR race last week was the brawl...go figure.


I don't think you can read too much in to this. I've just had a quick scan though the sports pages of some of the UK's main news websites (BBC, SKY, Daily Mail, The Sun, The Times etc)and other than SKY, you'd be hard pushed to see a mention of F1 without digging deep.


Thursday 6:35 am local, just heard a 30 second mention on the local TV channel out of Waco TX. There are also a fair number of people I know with no F1 allegence who are aware of the race and COTA. Unfortunately, around here, if it ain't NASCAR it ain't racin'. Some of us prefer real racing to watching Bubba drive in big circles. I live 100km from the track...will be there today & through the weekend, and plan to be back next year.


I asked my friend who is staying in California at the moment, whether she has heard anything about the upcoming US GP. She said she didn’t know there was a GP going on.

I sometimes feel that the media really isn’t interested in having a good F1 coverage. Even in Europe (except UK). In Poland they broadcast FP1, 2 and 3 and qualy and of course the race itself, but on a dedicated sport channel which is available only for those who have cable TV. The race is usually broadcasted live on a public channel, but this Sunday it will be re-transmitted! That’s a real shame, especially as instead they are broadcasting “Die Hard” for at least the billionth time! (sight)


Motorsports coverage in the USA isn't great anyways. It's always on the back page, small articles in the mainstream media. It's not like the BBC or anything like that.

Formula 1 is in competition for viewers this Sunday...with the NFL. And on Saturday with College football.

I'd say in the USA, motorsport falls underneath Football, Baseball, College Football and Basketball.

Don't expect 50 years of caring about team sports to be replaced overnight. The best bet is to make it seem like a MUST DO event because of celebrity and international superstar fame.

Americans LOVE European posh life...sell that. Sell an international mind blowing event...and you'll have people spending the cash.


I havent heard a single damn thing. I dont watch Speed, though, except to watch F1.

Noone gives a crap about F1 in the states, unfortunately. Ecclestone is an idiot; he had many chances over the last 15 years since Indy and kept his eye on his bank account.


Anything outside of Base Ball, Basket Ball , American Foot ball and NASCAR is considered Alien here.


The media is reporting on this F1 race with the same coverage they give to European football ZERO. How sad. They'd rather talk about nascar, basketball, athletes wives and girlfriends more than this. If F1 wants to succeed in America it needs a couple of things. Better access to the televised races, a worthy American driver, American sponsors to help promote it here, and eventually an American team. If you ask any American about Ferrari they know about them, they gawk at them when going down the road. F1 needs to leverage Americas passion for exotic cars and get the drivers and cars in front of the people. F1 does live demos all over the world, but not in the US. Do a 10 city tour, have F1 cars, Ferrari & Mclaren road cars. Bring the drivers for meet & greets. Bernie has enough money to make it happen and if he did he would get much more in the form of viewership and ticket sales.


Totally agree with your ideas Mark!


Formula 1 WIVES reality show!!!! #1 in USA for sure!


Haha, yes, not a bad idea actually. "The real wives of Formula One!"

Maybe we could get Kim Kardashian to hook-up with Alonso or Vettel, that would put F1 front and center on every U.S. news outlet, lol.


F1,what F1?

I live in Michigan and barring Speed no one has bothered to report \ highlight it.


Not heard anything in the media here in Maryland on the east coast. I've encouraged a few work colleagues to watch it this weekend.

I'm a Brit living in the US. I've been here about 10 years and to be honest James, 90% of people haven't even heard of Formula 1, let alone know about a race going on at the weekend.

Soccer's slowly breaking through here but it's been a long slog. The fact that well known players such as Beckham come and play here during the twilight of their careers helps the prestige a bit. I just can't see something similar happening with F1 though.

Americans need to be heavily invested in their sports and the fact that there are no US teams and no US drivers doesn't help the process any, I'm afraid.


James, don't forget, next year coverage is moving to the NBC *family* of channels - mostly an obscure NBC sports channel. To say it's moving to NBC without thus qualification gives quite the wrong impression.

The biggest hurdle to F1 adoption here in the US has always been the time difference. The casual viewer simply cannot follow F1 here as most races are in the early a.m.

Even a real fan has to watch tape delayed. Not exactly good ingredients to grow the sport.


F1 needs to stage some accidents and get the drivers to start brawling.

Works for NASCAR and WWE.


I live near Austin and at least here the local press has done an excellent job. Newspaper, TV and radio are 24/7 F1. Folks around town are all abuzz over the GP. My friends in Dallas and San Antonio also report good local media support. Sadly, the rest of the US racing scene is focusing on NASCAR as there last race of the season is this weekend with the championship still not settled.


I am in Toronto Canada. Hard to find anything in the US media about the event. However followed the link from a post above to a local Austin news site KXAN.Com. They have some interesting and amusing info on the race.

They polled a few patrons in the local bar about F1, with a few questions.

1. How long does an F1 Race Last.? Answers - 3.5 hrs, 2.5hrs.

2. How fast is a F1 pitstop.? Answers - 60 Secs, 35 secs.

This was an interesting comment

"The race at Circuit of Americas in time -- probably no more than about an hour," said former F1 driver Bill Dollahite.

Who is Bill Dollahite.?? I have never heard of him as an F1 driver. I looked him up and Yes, he does drive racing cars but no record of being in F1.

Also other related stories - Hotle rooms are still available and on a brighter side - all the Steakhouses are busy with F1 Guests.


I met Bill Dollahite last weekend. He owns/runs a test track in Austin and is a great guy. He knows his international racing well but never drove in F1. You must understand that most of the US media do not differentiate from F1 and any other open wheel road racing formula except maybe for Indycar.


When Kimi raced in NASCAR there was a renewed interest from media. Many people here did not warm up to him for obvious reasons :-). What people need is drivers to come in the forefront and talk to them. Perhaps F1 could have done an advert of 10 min and put it up in all major news/entertainment channels showing some dramatic overtaking moves, crashes, speed etc. They could then have a brief 3 minute intro of the main drivers and teams in the context of WDC and WCC. This way people will know there is something exciting in F! also.


So, James, the general consensus appears to be that F1 is not registering on the radar of mainstream U.S. media and therefore the public as well.

Hardly a surprise though is it. F1 say's how much they want to be in America but have not built any national media campaign around there return. No full page ads in the national newspapers, no drivers on the talkshows (sorry but a one-off appearance by Vettel on Letterman, which just looked awkward too, just won't cut it here). Then again, who would be willing to pay for this national media campaign?

It's been mentioned as well that without an American driver or team that can challenge for wins the average American and national media will simply have no interest.

Bottomline James, F1 will only get out of America what it puts in in terms of effort. It's not enough to simply "turn-up" and expect America to come running, when will Bernie start to understand this.

Sadly, I give the Austin GP 5 years max (and I'm being generous here) before F1 dies a slow death due to zero national promotion...


We discussed this at the Montreal Fans Forum in June 2011. There were some great ideas from US fans about how to market the US GP in the US, but as you say, no-one wants to spend the money to do it.

Teams and sponsors haven't done enough, clearly. And F1 never does any central marketing..


Hardly surprising when the person in charge of marketing the sport was recently suggesting a French GP the week before Silverstone - the day of Le Mans!!! France!!!


And there lies the main problem James.

It's very frustrating as F1 has huge marketing potential and could become big here but there is simply no national marketing effort or plan in place.


I've heard nothing in the media in Michigan. It seems unbelievable that an investment of this size could be made in an entertainment event and what appears to be zero investment has been made in promoting it beyond the core audience. I can only assume the lack of big F1 personalities on Today, GMA, Letterman, Tonight, etc. like you would see for similar sporting events of this magnitude is down to the switch in broadcasters. Fox probably doesn't want to build NBC's audience for next year. I can only hope that when NBC begins its coverage they will put the full force of all their media channels behind it. In the meantime it appears that F1 talks like it wants to be in the US but is not following through. Unless significant marketing dollars are spent Austin will be boarded up in a few short years and we'll be back to square one (again).


Ecclestone gets $25m from the state of Texas coffers for 10 years - race or no race - he's not bothered what happens.

Why are the F1 stars not all over American prime time TV and chat shows - because they couldn't be bothered doing the media commitments.

Same old F1 in America - I've even heard journalistic mutterings that Austin will struggle to fulfil the 10 year contract - maybe even 3 years.


As I'm sure many others have already responded, I'll add that I've seen little to no advertising or coverage of the track or F1 in general in national/regional media.

I don't get why a proper roadshow/demonstration (not the wimpy tour round New Jersey Vettel did) wasn't planned maybe the week before the race in a major city? Why didn't a major or media savvy team bring a car and driver on one of the morning shows (like the Today Show)? No drivers were touring the late night shows (letterman, leno, jimmy fallon, etc.). No press junkets.

F1 cannot blame Americans for not paying attention or being disinterested. This is a major market with A LOT of other things to hold our attention. F1 has to organize and have an actual strategy.

PS - Holding more than one race won't cut it.


I'm sure hearing a lot about the race out here in Calif. There's a huge F1 fan base here in Southern Calif. F1 needs to bring a race to Calif, bring Long Beach back. I love the guys on Speed Tv who call the race but face it Speed TV is all about Nascrap. and WHY WHY is this race up against stupid Nascrap finale in Homestead. I'm watching F1. All F1 needs is more exposure, I've done my part by turning 30 Nascar fans into die hard F1 fans, they are addicted now. I'll be in Texas next yr.


You have to understand. FOX is all invested in NASCRAP and NFL. The is it Rumor is next year NBC plans to cut F1 Broadcast hrs in half compared to SPEED!

So this is where we are at!!

We Fans are trying to convince NBC to keep the SPEED TV F1 Crew together in hopes of saving it https://www.facebook.com/ConvinceNbcToKeepTheSpeedTvF1CrewTogether


Come on guys just al LIKE THE PAGE so we can help these poor sucker to get some sense of racing in there country.!!!!!!!!


Not a peep here in southern California, I'm heading to Texas this morning. I'll be interested to see how things are in San Antonio later today. I can't wait for my first F1 race experience!


Live in Seattle and got nothing as usual.


I live in New York and the papers sports sections have shown nothing about it. The tv sports channels don't even know what F1 is. When the Jersey race was canceled I saw a 5 lines "article" about it. F1 will NEVER be popular here. Just give us the loyal fans a good show this weekend.


I think the problem is that nobody in the US really watches speed other than race fans who would already be aware of the event. I hope that next year when (nbc sports?) does the broadcasting they'll advertise the race on their channels- this way people who had no clue about the event might hear about it.


It will always be very difficult for F1 to compete against Nascar and Indy. They are in general easier to understand and more exciting to watch. In Nascar and Indy no body cares about or mention Lap times, let alone Sector times, they only care about Top Speed and position, they will make sure that there are more than a few yellow flags to keep the cars always close to each other, you will never see somebody starting from Pole and never being challenged for the whole race, there are more overtakes in a few laps in Indy or Nascar than in the whole F1 season. F1 is about strategy the American Series are about excitement. In F1 wheel to wheel is occasional in Nascar and Indy is the norm.

It will be way to difficult for F1 to make and impression on the American Public unless there are radical changes to the F1 rules.

The good thing for Austin is that as long as Perez and maybe Gutierrez are in Formula 1 and there is no GP in Mexico the stands will be full.


Nothing in the media...heck, even speed.com has a NASCAR background behind the F1 articles I've read today. It'll take more than one visit to gain attention. Look how long it's taken MLS to gain traction for the sport here...and it still has a long way to go. Bernie needs to bring the show every year for a lot longer than he did with Indy for anyone to take notice.

6 Wheeled Tyrrell

Although I never see local news here in Miami, I read national news, mostly NPR and CNN and I have to say I've seen nothing reported in these outlets regarding the race, only Speed for obvious reasons is making noise. I would think NBC should've been reporting extensively since it benefits them to have a successful event that people recognize, but then again F1 in the US is the redheaded stepchild of televised sports.

Ecclestone and FOM do a terrible job of promoting the sport here in the country, I don't see how they can expect the US to come around to embracing F1 if the sport doesn't even market itself when these events are happening in american soil. How they justify pocketing 50% of the sports revenue without giving back to further development of markets for the sport is beyond me.


I remember Vettel appearing on one of the late shows after Canada. Drivers should do more things like that if they want to make the US more aware of Formula 1. In the US sports stars become personalities and f1 has some of the best personalities (Kimi). The drivers just need to get out there and show the US what they have and who they are on and off the track.


Nothing but crickets... I don't watch much TV, but I haven't seen a single ad or reference to it on TV, the radio or online. Pretty sad really. If you don't seek it out you won't know it exists. A few million could go a long way towards raising awareness.



I am from Ireland and arrived in Miami on Friday, travelled from the UK with people from Austin who had vaguely heard something about the Grand Prix... I've been watching the US media since I arrived and have seen nothing about the race. I've been in Charlotte, Atlanta and now in Detroit nothing anywhere, even in Detroit.

Though last night while looking for a cinema in Novi to see Skyfall, I nearly crashed the rental car; inside a building There was a large image of JB at Monaco in a McLaren heading up to Casino Square, it was an indoor go karting venue! That's as much F1 as I've seen or heard about over here and don't expect that to change until I get home on Saturday.

BTW, I did consider going to the race and extending my stay, but F1 is just so expensive it's impossible to justify in the current economic environment and anyway Silverstone already ate my F1 budget for this year.

Roger T. Kaputnick

The F1 race in Austin is receiving ZERO coverage outside of the motorsport press. F1 is getting what it deserves.

Formula One has absolutely no idea how to market and promote itself to an area that doesn't fall at its feet in adulation over the sport and its power brokers.

Did any drivers come to America early to be a guest on any major late-night chat shows? Did any team PR people try to bring their drivers to ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, Conn., to run the "car wash" of interviews through various ESPN properties? Did teams stage any Austin F1 sweepstakes or promotions, either online or at point-of-purchase?

I always crack up when people like Martin Whitmarsh say "this will be the time that F1 makes it in America." Well-meaning, but clueless.

F1 never will make it in America without proper promotion. The sports and free-time landscape in the States is more cluttered than any other nation on Earth.

If you want to make it in America, you need to do more than just show up from foreign shores and say: "Hey, we're really big. And we're here."

And you also need to schedule a race away from the NASCAR finale and two NFL home games in the state of Texas. That scheduling folly reeked of the arrogance that permeates F1.


Spot on regarding lack of F1's self promotion in the US. Why would teams schedule promo runs in Manchester and Santiago, most recently, when theres hardly a need for more exposure in these countries? What Austin needed was a demo car running on Congress way before this race to get the towns juices flowing. Red Bull were the only team to run a car in town and even then tried their best to put people off ...

Local TV media here in Austin have run many formula 1 items, but crucially theyre COTA centric with no mention of the drivers, teams or sports history. A KXAN 30 min special last weekend was mostly interviews with old dears moaning about noise and traffic etc.

6 Wheeled Tyrrell

Agree 100% Roger. It's ridiculous to have to point out that the commercial rights holder needs to promote the sport if it wants to grow in a market.


We have to remember that this is America, a country that has no interest in any sport they don't win at.

The U.S will never have any care about F1 until a U.S WDC is crowned.


Out here in Sacramento, California, I have seen nothing mentioned of it sadly.

Cool Hand Luke's Brother

I live in a little place called the Isle of Man, famous for its TT motorcycle races. These races get virtually zero coverage in the British press and nothing on TV until recently when ITV4 started covering them but that is a very small satellite/ cable station with very small viewing figures.

Having said all that the actual attendances at the actual races are very good, about 30 thousand people travel to the island to watch the 2 week festival. This may not sound a lot but the islands population is only 80,000 so another 30,000 fills the place up and TBH there is not any more free hotels and/ or campsites available for the fans to stay in.

Maybe the US F1 GP can similarly, fill their grandstands with real fans without the PR and prime time chat show appearances. Is it really THAT necessary?

Is that not what matters really at the end of the day? Full grandstands and happy F1 fans?

I am very envious of the quoted price above for a 3 Day Pass, it could actually mean that it would be cheaper for me to go to the US GP than to Silverstone! A lot of the stands may well get filled by fans from outside the US?


Wow, I've been reading this comments and now I know why F1 hasn't been a success in the past I mean I live in northern Mexico and this race is mentioned in my local radio and newspaper much more than the other ones, almost every day.


I don't understand what F1 fans and organizers expect from the media. In the US even the "national" sports aren't popular everywhere, expect maybe the NFL. In my opinion the expectations I am reading on this list for media coverage and "national excitement" will never happen.

What is considered successful? I would expect a full grandstand, a well run race, a good, safe travel experience for foreign visitors, and excitement within the racing fan culture. Isn't that enough?

Note, the Texas Longhorn football team is not playing this weekend. This tells me there has been some thought about the race scheduling in Austin.

I believe if F1 had 4 races in the US they would make money, and have more people in the stands than they had in some of the locations I've seen on TV (India, China,).

Also, we are living in a different media world than even 5 years ago. I don't read the USA Today paper for sports. I go to specific web-sites like this one specializing in that sport.

Go Big Red!



There are several ways to define 'successful:

1) Was the race a commercial success for the track? Were the stands full and did the promoter make a profit?

2) Was it a good race? Was it exciting or boring?

3) Was it a commercial success for the sponsors? Did the show draw the right demographic and are the sponsors satisfied?

4) Was the race a success for the broadcaster(s)? Were the audience ratings there to support advertisement costs? Did the pay TV networks sell enough product to make money after paying rights fees?

5) Did Bernie get paid?


Agree with you 100%.

The only time racing gets mentioned up here in Toronto, Canada is the lead up to the Indy 500 or when the Indycars are in my city, Toronto. Nothing about the Canadian Grand Prix till after the event. NASCAR gets pretty much the same treatment, though its on more as there are more events, but no one really reports on it leading up to a race other than SPEED or whoever has rights to broadcast it, but nothing like a week's worth of reporting on a daily basis. Heck, baseball only has the regular game broadcasts and summaries on sports reports or more coverage on sports channels.

There will be good coverage of the race itself, and probably some sports reports will give a summary of results after its over and that'll be it.

I am curious as to what typically happens in the UK during the days leading up to a race and how long after its over is it reported on? Is there any real difference.

Only thing I see on my BBC Canada channel is if a driver bothered to show up on Top Gear to do a lap. Are the Brits inundated with F1 talk during the days leading up to the British Grand Prix or is it a similar experience (specialized channels) as over here.


Hey Tim,

do you want me to drop my use of "Tim", when I post on here? I was the sole poster on here, using it for over 2 years. I admit I'd prefer to keep it. Just let me know how you feel.




Does it really matter? Just a thought!


Not really.

Go Big Red!


Yes it would, if I started calling myself Martin P

Perhaps Tim & Tim1 or 2?


Thanks for your 2 cents, but I think you overspent.

Just a thought!


Hi Tim & Tim. This is great, your identity crisis is just like a long-running soap!

Good luck.


To: Timmy




Sorry no dodging, in my defense to a slow reply I went to the Bruce Springsteen concert last night! I suppose since I came along later then I'll sign as "Timmy".

I mention the concert for two reasons: One, to make the older Tim jealous, and two, to illustrate that here in the states (as I'm sure in most other countries), there is a lot going on for the entertainment dollar.

I live in Omaha. I asked 4 general sports fans if they knew about the F1 race. All of them said almost verbatim: "Oh, that is this weekend?" and "That's at Long Beach, right?" I know this isn't scientific, and I am not in TX.

With all of this said. I think Austin is a wonderful place to have the race. It's a great city, and certainly big enough to host this sort of event. Any complaints heard afterwards about infrastructure or inconvenience I will take with a grain of salt.


Try Tim Caterham, then.


Yeah, it's hilarious. Is he dodging me? LOL.

Nah, I give him the benefit of the doubt. Just an honest misunderstanding.


Tim (the one who won the contest), when there was only one Tim.


Like Lotus and Lotus in F1 in 2010!


I've seen nothing outside of Speed. Bernie should be picking up some of the post election commercial time.


Today's Wall Street Journal has an article on the race. This paper also has been reasonably good following F1 throughout the season.


I saw that on WSJ Europe. Is it in US as well?


Yes, it is in today's U.S. version of the WSJ.


It's on the Life & Culture section of the U.S. edition's website.


Do they have a sport section? If so, that's not a good sign!


Depressing reading, but not surprising.

I agree that what F1 needs is the "Colbert Bump".

Needs to have a bunch of the drivers on talkshows before the next race, thats how all other promotion for entertainment is done. Just avoid Letterman, the interview he did with Vettel was horrible and he only wants to promote Indycars insteed.

Kimi and Colbert would be a interesting combo though.


I was coming here to say almost exactly the same thing - that in the U.S., at least, if you want to promote something, you have to put people on talk shows - Letterman, Leno, Daily Show, Today Show. All hard to do when the race is in Texas, but would be easy to do when (if) the race in New Jersey goes forward (wondering how Hurricane Sandy will affect plans for that).

Having a race in the U.S., and hoping that national media will pick up on it and cover it in a way that will drive interest is not a winning strategy. The marketing campaign to tell the U.S. television audience that they should turn on the TV on Sunday afternoon, or DVR the race, has to be aggressive and has to be spearheaded by FOM.


Five years since the last race?

Wow. I hadn't noticed.

Guess that shows how big a place the US has in mind for racing. I read stuff about the US every day but I don't think about it for racing.



News from South of the border, I know you asked for US fans but Mexico City is about 1,200 kms away from Austin, or 2/3 the distance from LA or half the distance from NY, so we are close.

Guadalajara, Checo's hometown is even closer, and Monterrey, Esteban Gutierrez' home is as close as you can get after crossing Texas borders (about 3 hour drive)

Mexican fans will fly or drive in good numbers I assume, (I am planning for next year)so when Checo claims it is the "Mexican GP" he knows there will be good following in Austin

Coverage in Mexico for F1 is quite common and takes over other local or regional motor racing news in papers, radio and TV coverage. It does take back seat to Football (Mexican and UEFA)and NFL season now underway

Broadcast is done by FoxSports Latin America with 3 reporters from Argentina (1 on site) and 1 from Mexico and as of this year we get FP1,2,3, Quali and Race all live

By the way watching India at 3 to 5 am takes really dedicated fans, not like you comfy UK followers.

As you know there is a long history of Mexican GP and Mexican drivers, (my first GP attendance was in 1968 with Graham Hill winning in a Gold Leaf Lotus, probably before you were born, so now you know why I am not a Ferrari fan)and in the mean time we were involved with Indy/Cart races as well, where Adrian Fernandez (Checo's manager now)was quite successful

Mexicans are mostly Ferrari fans (I guess) and Brazilian drivers since there were no Mexicans driving for a long time and Senna was huge then

Montoya had good following because he started his International racing in Mexico and was well known

Checo is on Telmex's TV and street ads so everybody knows who he is, wether racing fan or not

Hope this is of some use, and congrats as usual, I am already beginning to feel F1 whithdrawal simptoms, so keep us posted through the winter


People complaining about lack of F1 coverage in local media needs to understand that unlike NFL,NHL,NBA and MLB, F1 is not something that you or your kids can do in your backyard. So Motorsports will always take a lower priority especially with NFL in full swing, and NBA gearing up for the new season.

Don't lose heart though since i've never seen any media mention much about MotoGp either outside of any unfortunate incidents. But that hasn't stopped Motogp from hosting 2 races in US and both of them are usually absolutely packed.F1 should stay in US for a long time, and should look to have atleast 2 races here . If you can have 2 races in Middle east, i cannot see a reason why you shouldnt have 2 in states.


I am in California, the local news paper (Sacramento Bee) has a one paragraph F1 blurb after every race, which occurs at the end of a NASCAR report. As for the US Grand Prix, there is a Grand Prix in the US this weekend? Good thing there is internet so I can get European news


James, you need to email the link for this article (with all our postings) to Mr. E and CC it to FOTA AND CVC. Mr. E doesnt really care IMO, he still gets his fee. CVC should care, they are the ones that own F1 and I'm sure they would like to add value to it, I'm sure a large US.audience would help in their future flotation. Last but not least, FOTA should care simply because it adds value to the teams sponsors.


they need an american car entered and a cowboy american driver who would go off half cocked.....hey how about jeff gordon?


guys I havent heard anything about this race. I dont even know people outside the fan circle know about a race going on here.



Wasn't this race initially supposed to follow the Canadian GP in June?

Granted the heat in Texas might be severe, but in terms of the American sports landscape, the timing would have been much better.

The U.S. sports media at the moment is fully consumed with the National Football League, college football, the start of college basketball, the NBA and the Nascar Chase for the Cup. There's simply no bandwidth for media to fit in coverage of something that's basically unheard of for the majority of U.S. sports fans.

Watch an episode of Sportscenter and pick the highlight that would get dropped in favor of F1 coverage. There's simply too many, big sports in full swing right now.

Another commentator on this site noted that ESPN gives heavy coverage to sports properties it has a stake in (i.e. Nascar), making it even less likely the GP will get much coverage. I'd expect the NY Times will do a piece, beyond that probably nothing.

In contrast, there are far fewer big time sports events in June, possibly providing more of a window for coverage of this type of event.

Very surprised to see companies like Mercedes and Red Bull haven't been airing commercials promoting their brands and F1 drivers in the lead up to the race.


Nothing in NY so far...

Btw James, what did you mean by "There is strong demand in the USA; it appears that only 80% of these tickets have been sold to US fans."? The two sentences seem to indicate the opposite (evidenced by "only")


You have a photo outside the editorial office of The New York Times, my local paper. It prides itself as the "newspaper of record" but has virtually no coverage of F1. I hope things improve with this weekend's race. I'm also a MotoGP fan and there is little if any coverage here. I love F1 and can't wait for Sunday! Thanks for your wonderful coverage James!


Well the NYT blog by Brad Spurgeon is popular and he writes for the Herald Tribune and gets a good show in there.


Brad is very good, have enjoyed his work for some time, but something changed in his link with the Times' website and I can't find him. I used to read him regularly. His blog used to have a headline on the Time's online sports page, and on the mobile app, but no longer.


Blimey, no coverage in the US of A!

As Kevin Kline says in 'A Fish Called Wanda': DIS-A-PPOINTED!


The only item in the LA Times is a small listing in thesports section TV guide. Not one article about the race. Very sad.


Bring F1 back to Watkins Glen, that is the ONLY place in the US where F 1 is loved. James let me tell you that there is not even one show about f1 on tv. Speed channel has done a HORRIBLE job at promoting the sport. Hopefully NBC will have smart people and realize that a weekly show with news and a bit of the sport's history will help a lot. They don't need much, just hire a british journalist to do the news from there, some interviews in the factories and hire some local journalist that knows about F1 to talk about history. And the icing on the cake would be to play one full old race per month as a classic race. You don't need to be a genius to please the fans/viewers.


Doesn't Watkins Glen still owe FOM money?


I'm currently in Michigan and I haven't heard or seen anything. To be honest I haven't watched much TV or news the last week but still, you'd think there would have been a build up to this in the last few months.

I think the networks are partly to blame for this. They don't see it as an American event but rather an event on a rival channel competing with their own so they will be very reluctant to promote an event that could draw viewers away from their channels.

Not everone has SpeedTV so the deal with NBC is a better one for national appeal but will only kick in next year. So that might be a bit better since NBC has a much larger audience and appeal.

The FIA, Formula 1 group and the teams do have to take a bit more responsibility with new events and come up with better ways of marketing the sport, themselves (teams) and create appeal. And use the INTERNET!!! That's the new 'cable'.

Too much short term thinking, what do you think James?


Well, you know my thoughts on F1 and short term thinking!


Bernie only has a'short term' to think, I suppose.

If BCE has signed Austin for 10 years, he only has to sit & watch the money trickle in, even if they never have another race.

Why bother promoting it?


I'm a Brit living in California and I've seen zero coverage here. But then why would I? F1 has done practically nothing to promote itself here, yet it expects the press to pick it up and give it a free ride. Things just don't work like that over here. The USA is a commercial beast and F1 is in shark infested waters over here. I think F1 will need some sort of centrally managed marketing and promotion in order to crack the US, otherwise it will never pick up interest here unfortunately.


I've been in Dallas the whole week and I haven't seen any media coverage at all. People I speak to dont know it's happening. Happy to go back to Sweden in time for the race.


Isn't it simple? Coverage is minimal because the US audience is so small.

TV audience for the November 4 Abu Dhabi race didn't crack that day's top 100 *cable* TV shows: http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/11/06/sunday-cable-ratings-walking-dead-easily-wins-night-real-housewives-of-atlanta-breaking-amish-talking-dead-long-island-medium-dexter-more/156337/

And that's not entirely down to the early hour: at 6 AM, TNT pulled in decent viewership for 'Law and Order'.

Do we need more proof that the US is a small bunch of hardcore fans, with little awareness and interest otherwise?


The Wall Street Journal today has a nice half page article (by AJ Baime) on how the race came to be in Austin and the prospects for F1 in America.


No coverage in the USA, I hear you cry.


So a country of 250 million people, 1/2500 of whom have bought a ticket for the race weekend? I don't think it matters too much.

Smacks of a similar set up as when the 94 World Cup was in the USA. Little coverage locally, save for the odd article.


Stupid, stupid decision to have it the same week as the NASCAR finale. I know the thought could be that there's not much crossover (in reality, I don't think it comes into Bernie's brain that he should consider what other sports are on that weekend), but it takes away media attention. If it was any other week, I think F1 could have got some more attention. And, having the race on a Sunday afternoon in Texas, in NFL season, when the Cowboys and Texans are playing at home at the same time? Bad move.


Bingo. Not to mention all of the other NFL games going on in other markets.

Our European friends just don't understand the sheer dominance of the entrenched sporting distractions in this country.

Combine that with the fact that most Americans don't believe that auto racing is a real sport, and that every would-be racer only aspire to NASCAR or Fast and Furious nonsense and you have the perfect recipe for yet another USGP failure.

If F1 wishes to succeed here they should hire passionate American F1 fans to promote and develop it.

I have a ton of GREAT ideas and my services are available.

Unfortunately the powers that be in F1 don't care what you have to say unless you have money...


An avid F1 fan here, currently studying in New York.

Let me help you guys build some perspective of America's massive size. America is many times larger than Europe so the marketing dynamics here greatly differ to what you have over there. You have to think geographically. Nascar has a large following in south eastern states, do they have a national following? I'd say no. Same for ALMS which also has a large following California but certainly not national. You would assume America has a huge motorsports culture as a whole, but if you think of it in context with geography, their sphere of influence is quite limited.

So in were to assume that a single race in Austin will establish Formula 1 in America, how wrong you are my friends. Now a race in New York would be a completely different story because this city is one of, if not the most influential city in America and with the proposed New Jersey race, it would generate huge interest. But Ausitn??

You also have to consider Formula 1 as a brand. F1 works because it is such a global series. Nascar in the other hand constantly battles with stereo types, news reports of crowd violence and of course the crashes. If Americans start to associate F1 with Austin, it might have some problems dealing with the Red neck stigma in other regions.


Next year NBC(does our Olympics) gets F1 here in the States and then it will get a lot more coverage. Right now Fox is losing rights to F1 and NBC does not have them yet so it falls into a dead spot.

With that said, it is sold out and you cannot do better than that.


I live in Reno, NV and nothing in any press/TV other than The Speed Channel. I did see a last page article in the WSJ... and they claimed to "be almost sold out" on the tickets expecting over 100,000 people... Which would be HUGE for a not NASCAR racing event. We shall see... I will keep an eye out, but really don't expect to see a lot.


Like the other 200+ comments, there is never a mention of F1 in the mainstream media. ESPN at one time had the TV contract for F1 but when Bernie dropped them, they retaliated by almost never mentioning F1.

ESPN was the one who put NASCAR on the map. They promo'd every 15 minutes, week after week. I mean how else are you going to attract an audience to watch grown men go around in a circle for 4 hours? Advertise, advertise, advertise. They drummed up interest in the drivers as personalities like Earnheart. Then they started coming up with tricks like in-car camera's, helmet-cams & foot-cams. ESPN alone built up NASCAR.

Advertise enough and the masses will start paying attention. Do you remember "Oh what a feeling- Toyota"? That's how Toyota started in the US. Advertise, advertise, advertise.




I used to be one of the F1 presenters on ESPN in early 1990s. Good times


I saw an interesting news about an Austin resident (originally from England) who was at the first F1 race in 1950 at Silverstone has tickets for this weekend's race in COTA.



They need to have not only been promoting the race, but also doing it for some time leading up to it. Not just an ad on TV, but a series of things leading up to it. Get Andretti in there to talk it up, try (haha) get Raikkonen in there (some might even recall his brief venture into NASCAR)... Schumi is surely somewhat recognisable. Slap together a few of the more brilliant overtakes of the year so far, maybe a few of the big crashes for further dramatic effect. Get some guys from the US who've been in an F1 car, whether it's actual former drivers or just guy's who've had a test/promo/whatever thing, to talk up the sport and the skill involved in driving an F1 car.

Often you'll hear people saying it's a boring sport, hardly even racing, with just everyone following the leader, no overtaking (which certainly has been the case in the past). Another one is that the cars are so amazingly high-tech that they're a piece of cake to drive. So tackle these head-on. Show the overtaking that goes on now, show helmet cam or t-cam footage that shows the drivers fighting with everything they've got, talk about the massive g-forces acting on the drivers.

If you want to break into the US market, simply holding a race and expecting it to just sell itself is just wishful thinking. Furthermore, selling it now does some of the work for any further US races they want to run on the calendar in following years. Build the hype now. Get everyone wanting F1 to come to a city near them so that when it does, they're already interested.


I actually like it somewhat that F1 isn't as popular here in the US as Nascar. There are the few of us where I work that are into F1 and we watch every qualifying session and race. We love the technology and everything else about F1. We also love to hate Nascar and everything about it including how clueless most people are about real racing. All they care about is how that Interstate Battery car is doing etc. When some of them see F1 though, they are pretty amazed at the speed, so it does seem that if it was marketed properly, more people would follow.


Remarkable... races at carparks in the desert with empty grandstands don't get this much negative attention.

My understanding is it's been sold out for quite awhile, then additional grandstands put up and those sold out.


As an Aussie living in California, very dissapointed with the lack of coverage. Why aren't they running this race in Laguna Seca?


Agree with earlier comment there has been a lot of local coverage around Austin. But nothing where I live in Houston. There is a good article about the event in this November's United Airlines in-flight magazine


There seems to be a strong local push in Austin, but otherwise in the rest of the US, absolutely NOTHING.

Here's a cool clip of promotional segment on a local Austin news network http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p32hW5FahFc


Thanks for the link! Looks like an awesome documentary. Looking forward to spring 13 when it hits the stands.


This shows the lack of interest in formula 1 by american television in general. I am from Brazil, and i have been watching formula 1 since i was a child back home. When the race is going to be in Brazil, all media report on it. Now i am living in Australia, and 99% of the programmes they broadcast over here on TV is from America, which is nothing more nothing less than rubbish. By the way thats what these media enterprises from America love to broadcast, rubbish.


Great comments from all the Nth American fans. I think F1 needs to stop talking about how good it is to be back and how F1 needs the US. They just need to get off their butts and do something, a few interviews here and there mean nothing. Put in the hard yards people, drivers owners engineers all team members. Don't just do things for the corporate end.

Sergio Nascimento

The problem is marketing, The F1 people has to do their job selling their fish, otherwise they will not get the return they want. Here in the USA you have over 100 talking shows, morning shows, news etc...., not one F1 personality show up in one to say anything about the race, not even Michael Andretti, "the supposed Ambassador".

To win in America you have to give 100% or else, F1 now is only giving 1%.


A quick google search revealed some articles on LATimes.com and Forbes.com

Even if the sport doesn't completely catch on in the US (which it won't as we have enough sports to hold our attention), something the sport should aim for is at least casual knowledge of its existence, ocassional media coverage and a modicum of relevance in US popular culture (something the Premier league has). That would probably grant significant value in exposure for sponsors interested in the US market.


looked at the sports section foor google in the usa. on the bottom there are now some articles.

But most are more related to the last race and the start of this adventure.

ONly a few are about the sport.


Matthew S (from Texas)

As of Friday morning the race is now on the main page of the Houston Chronicle web site.

The majority of the article is about the parties and celebrities and glitz and glamour. There are 24 paragraphs, and some more of the word "party" is mentioned in 10 of them.

The article mentions two current drivers: Alonso and Vettel.

The article mentions the following celebrities:

Ron Howard, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde, Mario Andretti, Eva Longoria, Enrique Iglesias, Steven Tyler, Peter Fonda, Dennis Quaid, Matt LeBlanc, Robert Rodriguez, Andy Roddick, Patrick Dempsey.

Oh, and this very important piece of info:

"Former “Friends” star LeBlanc has RSVP'd 'and will arrive on a jet Saturday night'...



I see many comments about how this race is doomed and a failure. I am not buying the argument, the race is sold out! I think it will be in the future as well.

I don't think the current USA media rights situation can be overstated. Next year NBC will promote. The Today Show, Leno, Jimmy Fallon: I would imagine guys will be on the air. How do we know F1 teams and organization haven't tried to promote in that manner? Fox is still the 4th network, really no interest in building the brand. They also don't have late night TV or a universally respected news outlet to promote this stuff, and it's competing against their biggest money maker the NFL. I don't think they are going to try and shift viewer from the Fox over the air channel to Speed Sunday afternoon. NBC doesn't have Sunday afternoon NFL, they will try to promote.


I think my last ramble re-enforces the idea of a spring or summer race in the USA.


flew into dallas from germany. no one knows anything about f1 race in their state. "dun even know wha a formula car looks like" was a good comment i heard when i asked a station attendant. f1 doesnt have a snow balls chance in hell here in hick town. sorry guys but it is true.


F1 is a niche sport in America, and will likely always be a niche sport. Even NASCAR is a niche sport, as in reality not that many people here actually follow NASCAR. There is nothing wrong with being a niche sport, but F1 will never become a mainstream sport like the NFL, basketball or baseball.

At best, it might be able to become as big as a sport like horse racing, something that people care about for a couple of major events, but forget about for the rest of the year. As an analogy, the USGP could be like the Kentucky Derby or a triple crown race, which a great deal of people are interested in, but very few care about the rest of the calendar.


I moved from the UK and live in Chicago, all my work colleagues know that I'm a huge F1 supporter and not one of them have mentioned it to me this week.

Most Americans don't even know what Indycar is (they think it's NASCAR) let alone F1. So F1 hasn't a hope here until it goes to New Jersey/New York.

Val from montreal

Hey , when Wayne Gretzky got traded to Los Angeles in the late 80's , hockey in California took off like a rocket ship .... Its because the "great one" was bigger than the sport itself .... F1 is less popular now in the states because on all honesty there is no stand-out superstar driver that gets their attention ... All I can rembember is in the early 2000's F1 had some popularity in the states and it was because of 1 certain german driver : Michael Schumacher driving his Ferrari .... Indianapolis gp was sold out gor the most part from 2000 to 2006 .... Many americans knew nothing about F1 back then ( and still do ) but in general Ferrari and Schumacher were known to a minimum at least .... Ask any american who the hell Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso is and they wont have a clue !! But adk them about Michael Schumacher and the chances of a positive response is at least 50/50 ......

Matthew S (from Texas)


I think the magic word in what you wrote was "Indianapolis", not "Schumacher".

Indy is America's very own Temple of Speed. Americans know about Indy. You could have an ostrich race at Indy and people would show up.



Having read all of the above I just hope that next year's MotoGP round at the circuit is FAR better advertised.


Here are some interesting comments James regarding F1's return to the U.S. from Caterham's American test driver Alexander Rossi.

I find myself agreeing with much of what he says too:



It is all about the NASCAR final until I found one story about Perez this morning.

"A concern for the teams is this weekend's conflict with the season finale in NASCAR, which enjoys a huge fan base and television exposure in the U.S.

"I think the major problem is that whatever weekend you stick a Formula One race there's going to be a NASCAR race," Horner said. "They seem to race every single weekend."

Nothing on the local or national TV news here in Denver, Colorado.



What car is Jr. Driving?

Texas, this is San Francisco why would we cover a race in Texas?

Go Niners.


It's an F1 news vacuum in Hawaii so far. But then it typically is.


Sounds like the US is focussing on it's own sports and ignoring F1 until after the event.

Much like here in the UK, football gets wall-to-wall coverage (I call the sports sections of papers the footie pages!) with F1 mentioned when something interesting happens.

We may consider ourselves as the 'home' of F1, but we don't get huge coverage in the mainstream press at all. It does pick up around the British GP, but there can be nothing at times.

Better to judge the coverage a few days after the event, see if any interest has been stirred. Having Brazil next week should build on it slightly too.


Sun 18 Nov Update: just after the race -

- Wife and I went to a sports bar to watch race on Speed: needless to say we were the only ones to watch, tucked away in a small corner!

- Bar staff had no idea of the race being on.

- We have still seen NO mention of it anywhere on the media (except Speed) beforehand.


nice report in the NYT today


James, I live in northwest lower peninsula of Michigan. The Traverse City Record Eagle did not carry anything at all. But the Petoskey News-Review today, Monday, had a paragraph on the race & on another page it listed the top 15 finishers with their country, car & time. 🙂


Tuesday, and F1 is forgotten in the local media. At least race weekend saw a paragraph in the local paper and a brief mention on TV. F1 is like pro cycling...only the TdF gets mention, no other Grand Tour events seem to exist. Likewise, while the USGP got minimal coverage, you would think there was only one race to decide the championships. I live in Temple TX, 82 miles from home to parking lot P near turn 1.


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