Formula 1 audiences in the United States appear to be facing a downward trend for the 2023 season, according to initial estimates measured by the Nielsen company.
This decline in viewership could be attributed to the remarkable dominance of Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen, a situation that some argue has rendered races less captivating.
However, Hass F1 team principal Guenther Steiner remains unflinchingly optimistic.
Addressing the issue of declining viewership in the U.S., Steiner offered a unique perspective, suggesting that in the current era where digital platforms and streaming services have become integral to sports viewership, the traditional metrics used to gauge viewership might not be fully calculating the audience.
"I think that a lot of things are watched today outside of television, especially by young people, and I think that there is not yet a real instrument to measure that." said the Italian.
"But I'm not an expert in ratings and television, so don’t take my word for it!"
The F1 team principal expressed a compelling argument that the current methods used to measure viewership might be outdated.
"I think there are more people watching than we actually know because we still measure TV viewership the way we did 20 years ago," he said.
"I've spoken with knowledgeable people, and they've told me they think we need to move to a more modern way of measuring viewership of a race."
When it comes to sponsors and the business side of F1, Steiner remains upbeat, highlighting that the interest from potential sponsors is substantial.
"There’s still a lot of interest in general. We are talking with different parties at the moment," he said.
"I think we can also see this interest when we see, during a race weekend, the amount of advertising present on the circuit. As a team, we have a lot of discussions going on.
"In a normal discussion about sponsorship, people want to know all the facts. They are taking their time and are in no rush to sign for next year. But the discussions are good."
He acknowledged that sponsors are meticulous and thorough in their negotiations, stating, "In a normal discussion about sponsorship, people want to know all the facts.
"They are taking their time and are in no rush to sign for next year. But the discussions are good."
In the end, the full picture of Formula 1 viewership might be more complex than it appears at first glance, and addressing these complexities could be vital in understanding the true state of the sport.
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