How many of you can say you were F1 fans before Drive to Survive came out? Well, we believe you, but there is a whole new generation of Formula 1 fans who have flooded the space – both online and in the grandstands.
This exponential growth is at least in part down to what many have dubbed ‘The Netflix Effect’.
Series five of Drive to Survive is now out, and although Netflix don’t release viewership figures, the fact that the show has returned for a fifth season indicates that it is proving hugely popular.
This has naturally had a knock on effect on availability of Formula 1 tickets as well as the enormous boost in status of the sport and the F1 drivers themselves. Interestingly, there are certain countries and demographics which have seen a bigger boost in popularity than others…
F1 tickets in highest-ever demand
The 2022 Formula 1 season was a record breaking year. The rebound of live events after the pandemic no doubt played a part in the return of fan footfall. There is little doubt that last season, which saw some races increase their 2021 figures by as much as 73%, benefitted overwhelmingly from the Netflix Effect.
On top of that, the stunning, photo-finish climax to the 2021 season when Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the world title for his first ever drivers’ championship, left fans thirsty for more thrilling battles between the two in 2022.
The Spanish Grand Prix witnessed the biggest increase, while races across Europe, in particular Italy, Netherlands and Austria also enjoyed significant jumps in attendance.
The total number of F1 fans who attended races in 2022 was a record 5.3 million which, compared to 2019 (the last full capacity season before the pandemic) was up by 1.2 million – an impressive 29%.
The message is clear – if you have a 2023 Formula 1 race in mind, book your F1 tickets while you can.
Increase in women watching Formula 1
One of the most noticeable and immediate observations following the first series of Drive to Survive was a huge increase in interest in the sport among women. With a reputation for attracting a predictably male demographic, Formula 1 saw the Mexico Grand Prix sell 30% more tickets to women in 2019, the year after the series first aired.
More recently, Andrew Westacott, CEO of Australian Grand Prix Corporation, told Sky Sports F1 that, “ticket purchasing used to be 75% male to 25% female. Purchasing for this year  was 60-40, so there is a huge increase in female purchasing.”
F1 fever sweeps America
Nascar and IndyCar have proved the most popular motorsports among Americans for decades, but in the last few years, the F1 craze has definitively crossed the pond.
Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner famously stated that, “F1 needs an American Max Verstappen” to help grow the sport Stateside.
However, while the USA has historically hosted only the US Grand Prix each year, Miami debuted in the calendar alongside Austin in 2022. This season, Las Vegas will join the fray, making it three races in the States in a single season for the first time in history. The fire of Formula 1 fandom seems to be spreading despite the lack of an American superstar driver, thanks to Drive to Survive.
In a study involving 6,650 US adults, over half admitted that Drive to Survive had had an influence on them becoming fans of Formula 1. 30% stated that this had been a major effect and 23% said it had been minor.
Paul Martin, founder and producer of Drive to Survive, commented on the effect the series has had in the US. “When we went to the Austin GP it really hit home. Attendance had gone up and tickets sold out in record time and people in hotels and at the track just kept referencing the show.”