“European sports” F1 has big ambitions in the United States

   “The new track is very challenging,” Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu commented on Miami. On May 8, local time, the 2022 F1 season opened the Miami Grand Prix round, which is the only new track for F1 this season. The opening of Miami also means that for the first time since 1984, the United States will host two F1 Grand Prix races in one year (the other is in Austin in the second half of the year). The British “Guardian” said, “F1, as a European sport that has been committed to entering the American market for a long time, is now ushering in another breakthrough moment.”
   “3.36 miles of track, palm-shaded villas and VIP clubs, F1 drivers drive multi-million dollar cars on picturesque streets overlooking yachts by the harbour” – Bloomberg imagines F1 Miami scene. The media said that the popularity of F1 in the United States is now due to a series of measures implemented by the American Liberty Media Group after the acquisition of F1 in 2017, so that every weekend with F1 races is as lively as a “Super Bowl”. The group collaborated with Netflix’s documentary-style series “F1: Struggling to Survive” to turn F1 drivers into celebrities on social platforms and attract the attention of new audiences. According to the ESPN website in the United States, the average viewership of F1 in the United States in 2021 will increase by 56% compared with 2020; the audience of the Austin station in 2021 will exceed 400,000, of which nearly 70% are watching the game for the first time. This year’s Miami Station “3-day suite + grandstand ticket” package also costs a minimum of $600 and sells out within 24 hours. The second-hand market for top-tier tickets is as high as $32,000. Not only that, but 2023 will also host the Las Vegas Grand Prix, making the U.S. the country that hosts the most F1 events each year.
   British billionaire and former F1 boss Ecclestone said that Liberty Media Group gave the sport an “American style”, but he also worried that F1’s reputation would be ruined – “Those (operations) are not my style of doing things. “. Ecclestone’s concerns are not unreasonable, not all Americans are basking in the festivities of F1’s arrival. “The Guardian” said that in the Florida city of Miami Gardens, the locals tried to move the sport elsewhere three years ago. In 2020, the former mayor of Miami-Dade County led some residents to sue F1 and Hard Rock Stadium on the grounds of racial discrimination, arguing that the introduction of F1 was “environmental racism.” There are also many viewers who are confused: Why can’t we see F1 players born in the United States competing? “It’s a very complex issue,” said Buxton, a longtime F1 commentator and reporter, as the European Junior Karting League is seen as a surefire way to F1, and sponsors rarely offer drivers from the US overseas. Financial support, “If you choose this path, you will be looked down upon because you betrayed your hometown – after all, America has its own motorsport: NASCAR and IndyCar”.

   In the past 20 years, the United States has taken many detours in high-tech weapons and tossed out several projects. Among them, the three “Zumwalt” 10,000-ton stealth guided missile destroyers are typical. The three ships, together with R&D and construction costing more than 20 billion US dollars, are still a gorgeous steel shell. The most amazing thing is , it spent at least nearly 1 billion dollars in research and development of large-caliber advanced main guns. Recently, the French “Navy News” website reported that the US Navy once again confirmed that the “Advanced Artillery System” (AGS, stealth turret 155mm main gun) of the “Zumwalt” class stealth destroyer will be removed. “The
   AGS naval gun is a 155mm long-range naval gun with a caliber of 62 times, with a total weight of up to 104 tons. In order to be invisible, its gun barrel can be completely folded in the invisible turret. However, its rate of fire is only 10 rounds per minute, Since the first $376 million development contract in 2005, the U.S. Navy has allocated a total of nearly $1 billion to develop the gun. Where AGS is really advanced is the use of precision-guided long-range land attack munitions (LRLAP). A kind of rocket-assisted gliding projectile with GPS satellite/INS inertial composite guidance. In the live-fire test in 2005, the range was as high as 109 kilometers, and the CEP precision was high. However, the ideal is very beautiful and the reality is very skinny .
   Since the total number of “Zumwalt” class construction has been greatly reduced from 32 to 3, the price of this kind of artillery shell has skyrocketed from the original 30,000 US dollars to an astonishing amount. It is 800,000 US dollars, and the Tomahawk cruise missile is only 1.5 million US dollars. The “black” of Lockheed Martin, which developed LRLAP shells, can be imagined. In November 2016, the US Navy cancelled the procurement of such shells, and AGS As a result, the naval guns never really fired.

   As the main allies of the United States in the Western Pacific region, Japan and South Korea are important investors in the F-35A fighter jets, and they are also “big buyers”. At present, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force has installed 26 F-35As and formed 2 fighter squadrons, all of which are deployed at Misawa Base. Japan’s Ministry of Defense said that the F-35A mainly replaces the F-4 fighter jets, thereby reducing the burden on the main fighter jets in active service. Japan originally planned to purchase 42 F-35As, but as the budget increased, the number soared to 105, and the delivery time was delayed until after 2025.
   South Korea’s F-35A was installed later than Japan. Basically, four were delivered in batches in one group. In February this year, all 40 aircraft were accepted for acceptance. The ROK Air Force established the 151st and 152nd Combat Flight Groups equipped with the aircraft at Cheongju Airport. Despite the late pick-up time, the South Korean Air Force announced in 2020 that the F-35A has formed a combat capability. According to reports, this type of aircraft mainly conducts training in interception, refueling, formation flight and other subjects, and participates in US-South Korea military exercises. The South Korean Air Force has decided to continue to purchase 20 of the aircraft.
   The number of F-35As in Japan and South Korea is “small” in the respective air fighters of the two countries. When performing large-scale deep air defense or attack missions, they need to be used in conjunction with other fighter aircraft in their own countries, and mainly provide target guidance for other fighter aircraft. Comprehensive effectiveness Unable to release effectively. For example, South Korean Air Force officials said that in recent large-scale air combat exercises, the F-35A has been a “supporting role.” Japanese media also analyzed that the F-35A cluster has superior air defense performance, but in military operations such as the containment and control of key sea areas, whether it is joint cooperation with maritime forces or self-protection, it loses its color.
   In terms of aircraft performance, the F-35A has a relatively small amount of bombs, and in the absence of sea and air support in other directions, the grouping combat value is not large.