The Great Debate: Is F1 More Popular Than NASCAR?

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Formula 1 and NASCAR racing have been two of the most popular motorsports in the world for years. But which one has more of a following? Does F1’s high-tech, international appeal give it an edge over NASCAR’s homegrown charm? Let’s take a look at both to see if we can determine which is more popular.

Comparing Formula 1 and NASCAR

Formula 1 is known for its flashy, fast vehicles and exotic locations around the globe. It attracts some of the best drivers in the world, who compete against each other on tracks with extreme levels of speed and precision. The series also benefits from worldwide TV coverage that reaches millions of viewers across different countries.

NASCAR, on the other hand, has become a staple in American culture since its inception in 1948. Its popularity lies mainly within North America, where races are held at oval tracks located across states such as Florida, California, Texas, Michigan, and more. Unlike F1’s international audience reach –– NASCAR mostly focuses on broadcasting events to local fans through Fox Sports Network or NBC Sports Network channels.

Who Has More Followers?

F1 may be seen as cooler than NASCAR by some because it takes place around Europe instead of just America –– but it isn’t necessarily ‘more’ popular than stock car racing when you consider global viewership numbers alone. According to research conducted by Nielsen Media Research between 2010-2019 –– F1 had an average viewership rate per race event totaling 8 million, while Nascar enjoyed 10 million viewers each time they went live from 2009-2020 (only during pandemic year 2020 there was a decrease). So overall, when comparing the average number across all seasons for both leagues – we can say that NASCAR comes out ahead with a higher fan base compared to Formula One Racing Series.


When considering whether F1 or NASCAR is more popular –– it really depends on what factors you’re looking at: international appeal versus localized crowd engagement, flashy cars versus traditional stock car designs, speed versus reaction times. However, based purely on total viewer count data collected by Nielsen Media Research throughout multiple years – we can conclude that currently, Nascar carries greater numbers among race lovers than any other racing league, including Formula One Racing Series.