In 2017, after Liberty Media took over ownership of Formula 1, Daniel Ricciardo had urged them to get a Las Vegas GP on the race calendar. And Voila! He has a permanent seat in F1 when the sport makes its way to the Vegas Strip for the 1st time ever. And compared to when he made the wish, the popularity of F1 has skyrocketed. To shine a light on how much F1 has grown in the USA, an F1 Team Principal has belittled Taylor Swift to give a fitting comparison between the popularity of the two.
In 2016, along with Liberty Media taking over F1, another new thing happened. The pinnacle of motorsport raced for the 1st time ever in Austin, at the Circuit of the Americas. Those were the days before DTS commercialized the sport. So, to attract audiences for the race, Taylor Swift performed live at the venue.
Today, F1 followers have massively increased. And Red Bull Boss Christian Horner reckons that the sport that needed Swift to attract audiences in the past no longer even has the space to accommodate her in the paddock unless she gets a VIP pass. This was exactly what he said in the latest episode of ‘Unlapped’, an ESPN F1 show when he was asked about the hype around the Vegas race, which is expected to bring in revenue of approximately $1.3 billion.
Horner said, “It’s unimaginable. If you remember Austin a few years ago, we had to get Taylor Swift there to get a crowd there. Now, she’s lucky if she’s allowed in – if she can get a pass. So, it’s changed so much and I think Las Vegas will just take it to another level. It’s unprecedented, the interest we’ve had in that race. So it’s very nice of Stefano to put a race on for my 50th birthday on that weekend.”
In the same way that F1 relied on Swift’s success in the past to build its audience, Horner has also commented on how Max Verstappen is relying on his engineer to cement his top spot on the podium.
Christian Horner Reveals How Max Verstappen Leans on His Engineer For Consistent Success
At the Belgian GP, more than his exploits with Red Bull on the racetrack, Max Verstappen provided fans with entertainment on his team radio. On multiple occasions at the Spa, the Dutchman annoyed his engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase aka GP. But, Lambiase did not hold back. He held a rather stern tone as he tried to discipline Verstappen. And Christian Horner jokingly stated that the duo needs marriage counseling to heal.
“You know, sometimes it sounds like they need a bit of marriage counseling,” Horner said in an interview with SpeedCity Broadcasting, as quoted by Express. “But there’s great respect and trust between the two of them. For any top sportsman, they lean on the people around them. And I think GP (Gianpiero Lambiase) is the one having that interaction.”
The better Red Bull performs, the funnier Christian Horner gets with his answers in interviews. His analogies and humor have been on point this year. If his team can keep up their performance, he might have a good future in Stand-up comedy.