F1: Popularity of F1 has far surpassed IndyCar in the USA (Update)

Correction: We were terribly mistaken about the average price of an F1 3-day ticket at COTA.

The lowest cost seats started at $390 each and went up to $1,000 a pop.  So, the average price paid was closer to $600 per person rather than $300 per person.

Ticket revenue was in the neighborhood of 140,000 x $600 = $42 million….not including hospitality suites.

Contrast this to the one-and-done IndyCar race at COTA in 2019 that drew maybe 30,000 fans (that is generous) at an average price of $30 per person

When you think small, you remain small, and fail more often than not.

October 25, 2021 

Fans around the world were left gobsmacked on Sunday when 140,000 fans packed into the Circuit of the Americas for the United States Grand Prix at an average ticket price of over $300 per seat.

You read that right, over $300 per seat.

When ESPN2 gets 800,000+ to watch a F1 race in the wee hours of a Sunday morning, you know the tide has shifted away from small inward looking domestic racing series, to the huge global powerhouse called F1.

The announced weekend attendance for the USGP at COAT was 400,000, and it looked every bit that big.

Fans flocked to watch the Formula One race as the sport returned to America for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.

And in scenes barely believable during the global outbreak, some 140,000 packed into the stands shoulder-to-shoulder with hardly anyone wearing masks. We saw similar scenes at the Indy 500 this year (130,000 fans), and guess what, no major outbreak of Covid.


Looking down from atop Turn1 before the start of the race Sunday at COTA

3 largest sporting day crowds in the USA in 2021

  1. USGP at COTA Raceday: 140,000
  2. USGP at COTA Saturday: 140,000
  3. Indy 500 Raceday: 130,000
  4. USGP at COTA Friday: 120,000
F1 fans emptied onto the track after the F1 race and loud cheers could be heard for the top-3 drivers even 30 minutes after the race was over. It was a wild scene.

In comparison, NASCAR continues to suck wind with even their now smaller grandstands only about 1/3 full.


Because NASCAR pissed off their core fan base by banning their beloved confederate flag, so their fans vote with their wallet and stay home.

As they say, ‘get woke, go broke.’

Soon there will be not one, but possibly as many as 3 F1 races in the USA as its popularity skyrockets to heights not seen before.

The F1 race at COTA has all but killed the attendance at Texas Motor Speedway for both NASCAR and IndyCar.  There are just so many race tickets a market can handle, and America race fans would prefer to pay $300 for a F1 race at COTA than $25 for an IndyCar or NASCAR race at TMS.

Or maybe they just got tired being dizzy watching cars go around in silly circles for 2 or 3 hours.

And to think, some journalists have written ridiculous stories suggesting Colton Herta should remain in IndyCar instead of pursuing F1. We still can’t stop laughing at that one.

Every grandstand, very large grandstands, were packed to the rafters at COTA
The most densely populated grandstands for the NASCAR race in Kansas Sunday – the S/F line. Left or right and the crowd size was minuscule.