Guenther Steiner, principal of Haas Formula 1 team, knew how big F1’s U.S. popularity had grown when he was stopped multiple times on his way to breakfast in Las Vegas.
He was approached by “at least five-to-10 people,” he told Front Office Sports. “The race is in a year, guys!”
Steiner was among several F1 representatives in Vegas for its Fan Fest, where drivers tested out a short track and F1 laid out plans for its permanent paddock area.
- Between the paddock development and associated land purchase, F1 is spending $500 million, according to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.
- “The vibe that is already in the city is really hard to describe,” Williams principal Jost Capito told FOS. “It’s unbelievable. Everybody seems to know about Formula 1.”
Coming to America
Both Williams and Haas are strengthening their U.S. ties. Williams plans to add American driver Logan Sargeant to its F1 team in 2023, if he qualifies, and Haas selected MoneyGram as its new title sponsor.
“Now, having an American sponsor and the owner being American, we can take more of that identity on.”
Capito noted that having an American driver won’t be enough — “you need a successful, performing American driver.”
Steiner added that F1’s surging U.S. popularity could lead to more American drivers in a few years, as more aspiring racers look to that path and “not only into NASCAR or IndyCar.”