How Will Formula 1’s Growing Popularity Affect IndyCar?

It's a good time to be a motorsports fan

Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet qualifies third for the NTT IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 on May 22, 2022, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Can the right coverage spark fandom in a particular competition? In the case of Formula 1, the answer seems to be a resounding “yes,” with Netflix’s Drive to Survive credited with causing a dramatic uptick in the racing series’s popularity in the United States. But that, in turn, leads to some other questions — namely, are newly-minuted F1 enthusiasts confining their interest in auto racing to one series, or are they looking to branch out into watching, say, IndyCar or Formula E as well?

Writing at The Washington Post, Glynn A. Hill explored the effects of Formula 1’s popularity on the IndyCar Series — and on motorsports in general. IndyCar vice president of marketing SJ Luedtke told Hill that the series was “really pleased and excited about the momentum we’ve seen.” And Luedtke wasn’t alone in that sentiment.

NBC’s Leigh Diffey concurred, telling the Post, “I like the fact that it has been able to attract not necessarily motorsports fans to the sport. We don’t need to really dig into F1 or IndyCar or NASCAR. It’s just the sport holistically people are interested in.”

Nonetheless, IndyCar does face some challenges — including emphasizing the ways in which their series is distinct from what Formula 1 is offering. But it also seems logical that awareness of motorsports as a whole could benefit the different permutations of it available to watch. It’s definitely something that bears watching in the years to come.

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