Formula 1 Racecar Series Gains Popularity

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Rondolfo Gonzalez

Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel qualified for the pole position with the best time of 1:35.657 during the qualifying session of Formula 1 United States Grand Prix held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, November 17, 2012. (Rondolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman/MCT)

Reese Levine, Editor-in-Chief

In America, car racing is dominated by NASCAR, IndyCar and NHRA drag racing. However, the world’s most popular car racing series is Formula 1, and only now is it starting to make inroads into the American market.

Originating soon after World War II, F1 has evolved into a billion dollar industry with races in 19 countries on four continents. By contrast, the NASCAR Sprint Cup sticks to three main tracks in Bristol, Indianapolis and Daytona.

For anyone interested in car racing but not sure which series to start following, F1 is the most exciting and interesting choice. On tracks with many right and left turns and at speeds reaching 205 mph, F1 is a thrill to watch.

Media coverage of the events is comprehensive, making the races easy to follow and understand. Practice sessions are run on Fridays and Saturdays, with a qualifying session Saturday as well to set up the positions for the actual race, run on Sundays.

Live coverage, on-car cameras, interviews, and features on the drivers and technology immerse viewers in the race, and whole weekends can easily be spent following the action.

Attending an F1 race is also a great experience through which car-racing aficionados can mix with hundreds of thousands of like-minded people. For example, the Australian Grand Prix attracts almost 300,000 people each year, with attendance predicted to increase in the future.

After years of intermittent racing in America, F1 is finally starting to make a place for itself. The U.S. Grand Prix is currently held in Austin, Texas, at the Circuit of the Americas racetrack.

Another race, called the Grand Prix of America, is scheduled to be held on a street track on the border of New York and New Jersey starting in 2014.

The future of F1 in America is not guaranteed, however. With so many successful events on the international circuit, F1 has no pressing need to expand its United States market. The only way we can guarantee that F1 continues to be shown on American television and holds races here is to introduce a new generation of fans to the sport.

As the most well run and exciting car racing series out there, it would be a shame if millions of Americans were to miss out on the opportunity to watch it.