Rossi urges IndyCar to create same 'sex appeal' as US F1 interest booms

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Alexander Rossi believes IndyCar needs to recreate Formula 1's "sex appeal" as popularity builds in the United States.

This weekend, F1 is in Miami for the first Grand Prix in Florida since 1959 at a much-hyped event located on the grounds around Hard Rock Stadium.

The race is part of a major expansion of the sport's presence in the States, including a third US GP in Las Vegas in 2023, and comes as interest has boomed in the country in recent years thanks mostly to the 'Drive to Survive' Netflix series.

“I’m just excited for Formula 1 and America, honestly,” Rossi, who raced for Marussia in 2014-15, said on F1's growth via

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"It’s been a long time coming to have multiple races in the States. It’s a big country. There’s no reason not to have three.

“Obviously starting next year in theory we’re going to have three. That’s an amazing thing.”

The Californian is one of five former F1 drivers who currently races in IndyCar, the premier open-wheel category based in the US.

And Rossi thinks the series needs to take heed of the growing threat of F1 on its turf.

“Sure, it is, especially when you look at U.S. market share," he said on if F1 was a genuine competitor to IndyCar.

“With three races, it’s something we need to be aware of, certainly continue our development and plan in terms of what we’re doing with the series, with the driver personalities, the teams, the representation we have out there. I think it’s certainly a moving target.”

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One big advantage Rossi thinks F1 has over IndyCar is the spectacle during weekends.

“It’s hard to sell someone on devoting three days of their lives, with all the distractions we have in the world now, to just watch cars going around the track, right? It’s all the other things that are going to keep people captivated for the entire day, want to bring their friends and families out," he said.

“I think Formula 1 has that kind of sex appeal to it. They’ve done a good job of marketing it, pushing that, displaying that.

"I think IndyCar to a certain extent needs to work on that, but also we just need to continue to push the product that we do have in creative ways.

“I think what we have is very special, but we just need to be creative and continue to push the envelope in terms of showing that to people.”

Fellow IndyCar driver Josef Newgarden has a slightly different view, however, believing the series can capitalise on F1's growth due to their similarities.

“I think the momentum from the Formula 1 side is undeniable,” he said. “It has been for the last couple of years.

"We’re seeing the effect of that. It’s just continuing to impact here in the United States probably more than anywhere else in the world.

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“What I love about this effect is we’re drawing in so many new fans into motorsports that typically wouldn’t give it a look, and I think that can only be positive for us on the IndyCar side, to be quite honest.

“If you are interested in Formula 1 and that captivates you, I don’t see any reason why if we get you exposed to IndyCar racing, why you wouldn’t be captivating about that as well, if not more.

“I’ve always been in the camp that if you are a motorsports fan, you’re typically a fan of everything. Maybe that’s not the classification for everybody that’s being part of this influx into Formula 1, but I think because our style of racing is so similar and there are so many parallels between the two series, we can really engage with the surge of fans that they’re growing.

“Yeah, I love it. I love Formula 1. I love IndyCar a little bit more, but I think both of them have plenty of room to grow together, and that’s not a bad thing for us.”