The prices of official merchandise at the U.S. Grand Prix have surged significantly ahead of the busy racing weekend, with Formula 1 anticipating yet another sold-out crowd for the second American race weekend of the season. But fans are expressing their growing discontent, seeing this as yet another instance of what they consider to be another fleecing.
It should come as no surprise that American Formula 1 fans are once again paying extra for the increased interest in the world’s premier motorsport.
We’ve seen it throughout the season; Vegas’ worst hotel raised its room prices over the Grand Prix weekend; American fans were expected to pay the highest prices for their F1 tickets compared to other circuits around the world; even Hollywood actor Steve Carrell was forced to warn punters against the dangers of gambling at Vegas.
And now as the Formula 1 travelling convoy rolls into the Circuit of the Americas for everyone’s favourite weekend, the U.S. Grand Prix, fans are feeling the pinch once again, with reports that prices of official merchandise have been hiked up for American fans attending the race.
One Redditor posted an official Mercedes cap from the Circuit of the Americas merchandise shop with the extortionate price of $100 USD (~$160 AUD); not even the biggest Lewis Hamilton fan would part that sort of cash for this Mercedes gear.
Fans took to Reddit to voice their dissatisfaction with what they consider to be yet another “fleecing” of American F1 fans, with the top comment reading:
“That hat’s £43 on the official F1 site in the UK. Google tells me that’s $52ish. Just fleecing the good folks who shelled out for tickets to the race?”
Interest in Formula 1 has reached unprecedented levels in recent years, thanks to the resounding global success of Netflix’s drama-filled docuseries Drive to Survive, presenting the exciting narratives emerging from the sport to a whole new and engaged audience.
It’s led to record-breaking numbers of Formula 1 fans discovering a new-found passion for the world’s greatest race, and now, for the first time in history, F1 fans will enjoy three races across three Grand Prix events this season; Miami, Austin and the highly-anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix.
The ten racing teams and their drivers have already arrived in Austin for this weekend’s racing action, with the likes of Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz and the returning Daniel Ricciardo, all getting into American spirit for what will likely be another blockbuster Formula 1 weekend.