Formula One’s American dream hits top gear

Domenicali’s next step will be to consolidate the progress.

The Telegraph understands talks are underway for a third race in America, with Las Vegas the most likely host.

Greater riches could also come by capitalising on streaming giants’ growing appetite for live sports. In March, Amazon paid $1bn (£700m) per year until 2023 for the exclusive rights to Thursday broadcasts of the National Football League.

Pivotal Research analyst Jeff Wlodarczak is sanguine about F1’s future, recently raising his annual revenue predictions for F1 from $1.8bn (£1.3bn) to $2bn. He expects even stronger results next year when fresh rules deliver more competitive racing.

Wlodarczak believes F1’s rising popularity in America will not only lead to a much bigger pay TV deal, but serious interest from the streamers.

“F1 is basically not getting paid by ESPN, and given ratings success and the momentum in the sport, they will be due for a very healthy increase.

“Globally they need to get the internet based players like Amazon, Google and Facebook involved in bidding for rights.

“The larger [the American streamers] get, the more difficult it is getting to continue to grow – and sports is still a huge advertising driver. So in their quest for growth I think it is inevitable they will bid much more aggressively on sports rights.”

Liberty could even go a step further in their commercial ambitions by rolling-up the F1 brand with another significant motorsport such as MotoGP, the motorcycle Grand Prix, according to Wlodarczak.

“I am sure it would improve under Liberty management as its private equity owners tend to focus on shorter-term cash flows rather than building out of the medium to long term,” he adds.

“They are going to look to sell and Liberty is a natural buyer, but Liberty is not going to overpay and this is actually why I think a deal has not happened yet.”

Liberty’s US marketing attack will have come at a cost, yet such investment is justified if it yields a steady string of new commercial and sponsorship opportunities that come from being embedded in one of the world’s biggest economies.

Creating the next marketing success on the scale of Drive to Survive will be a worry for Liberty and F1 executives. But if the new rules deliver the kind of high-octane racing hoped for then the sport will be much more capable of speaking for itself.