Rise of Motorsports

Netflix Series Brings Light to F1 Racing


Heidi Williams

A picture of a replica of rider Fabio Quartararo’s racing bike at Circuit of the Americas during the MotoGP weekend which occurred from April 14-16. Quartararo won the 2021 MotoGP World Championship. He joined the Yamaha racing team in 2020 after replacing Valentino Rossi, a MotoGP legend. Quartararo is loved among fans and is currently placed in ninth with 49 points.

Heidi Williams, Reporter

Whether it’s the sound of a V10 engine in a Porsche, a rotary engine in a Mazda or a V4 engine in a Ducati, engines are all capable of turning the heads of many people for miles. 

Though only those with a distinct taste love these sounds, Formula 1—which is most popular among European and South American countries— has recently seen a rise in U.S. viewership. After F1 returned to ESPN in 2018, the viewers have been piling up; just last year, the 2022 season gained at least 1 million viewers per race according to NBC News. In just one season, F1 is able to receive 1.9 billion viewers. 

With the debut of the Netflix series “Drive to Survive,” many young viewers started watching the sport as a newfound love began. The series featured an inside look on the lives of multiple drivers and how the teams strategize. Many viewers started to fully understand the adrenaline rush of  watching a Grand Prix. Across many different platforms, the young fans of F1 spread their opinions and fanart, attracting more and more viewers. 

Though I’m not a huge fan of F1, many of my friends are. They constantly send me videos based on their favorite drivers and love telling me how their weekend went, which would mostly involve F1. Whether it be waking up at o-dark-thirty to wake the races or heading out to Circuit of the Americas for a watch party, their weekends are full of fun. In just a year, many of my friends started watching their new favorite sport and telling me all about it. More and more people everyday will start watching F1 as it rises in popularity among the youth.

Even though there are multiple different types of the car racing world, including NASCAR, IndyCar and rally cars, many people tend to forget about the motorcycle side. Though it hasn’t had its rise like F1 or a social media advantage, MotoGP is one sought after sport. With only 400 million viewers every year, many critics do say that MotoGP has “real fans,” unlike F1. However, finding those fans in America is quite difficult because once again, a majority of the viewers are in European countries such as Italy and Spain. 

MotoGP visits the U.S. once every season to race at Circuit of the Americas, and there you truly understand the viewers dedication. People from all over the world travel to watch every race. Even here, people will ride their own motorcycles from around the country to meet up for this event.

Even though there are multiple categories of motorsports, all viewers share the same love of something: the vehicle itself. With the recent rise of electric cars, many fans fear that the sport they love is going to change dramatically. The engines themselves make a huge difference in how fans enjoy the sport.