F1: Red Bull’s Horner Likens F1’s TV Fame to ‘Kardashians on Wheels’

–Mark Cipolloni contributed to this story–

TV’s depiction of Formula One is “like the Kardashians on wheels at times,” according to Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner, referring to the sport’s popularity following Netflix Inc.’s wildly successful Drive to Survive documentary series when interviewed on Bloomberg TV Monday.

“We’ve seen massive growth,” said Horner in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “Drive to Survive has introduced F1 to a whole new audience, a younger and American audience.”

F1 has exploded in the US, with three races planned for 2023 and new episodes of the Netflix series on the way. The 2022 season also averaged 1.21 million US viewers per race on ESPN/ABC, up 28% from a record set the prior year, according to ESPN. In November, the penultimate race of the season will be held in Las Vegas for the first time since 1982.

The Las Vegas Strip will be closed down for the race, something unheard of previously.

“I think it will be the biggest sporting event on the globe this year,” said Horner. “The demand for that race is off the charts. Anybody who is anyone will be at that weekend.”

Ford Motor Co. announced recently that it will make a comeback to the pinnacle of motorsports after an absence of over two decades, partnering with Red Bull in 2026.

“We felt it was right for us to align ourselves with a manufacturer to give us access to some of the R&D,” said Horner. “We get to benefit from their knowledge and technical know-how and certainly in the electrification. That process has started already.”

Cadillac is also trying to enter F1 with Michael Andretti’s team. They have submitted a Letter of Interest to the FIA and are working to prepare their formal proposal due in April.  A final decision on their acceptance will be by the end of June.