Formula 1 begins its 2023 season this weekend in Bahrain, but many teams are already engaged in a more complicated contest: The race to become American.
With the world’s largest economy discovering the racing series in a big way, the historically European sport has grown increasingly comfortable with U.S. brands and culture.
Teams that have struggled recently to gain a foothold in the standings, such as Haas and Williams, have made an explicit play toward the stateside audience.
The top dogs aren’t standing by, either: Reigning champion and 2023 favorite Red Bull is aligning with an iconic American brand.
But the company that has done the most to grow its American identity is F1 itself. With three U.S. races on the calendar in 2023 for the first time — capped off by a return to Sin City — F1 is associating itself with the U.S. more than any other country.
It’s an open question how long the love affair will last, but for now, the U.S. and F1 can’t get enough of each other.