Not a fan, but....
The United States Grand Prix will happen in a few weeks at a new track near me. The city is bracing for the influx of wealthy fans from outisde the country. (Formula 1 fans seem to be rich.) We are anticipating traffic jams, too many people in restaurants, and general headaches all around.
F1 is bigger in Europe, for sure. American auto racing fans focus mostly on NASCAR which has a race somewhere in the US most weekends.
Even with this new track in Texas, there will be only one F1 race per year, I think. (I might be wrong; there is some sort of similar race in New Jersey.)
The automotive technology: I'm sure you're right about that. One of the selling points when they put in the new track here was that it would attract engine technology companies.
I actually enjoy Formula 1! I find it much more interesting that 100 cars racing around an oval track. Most Formula 1 races are shown on the SPEED channel here, and I will take-in a race from time to time.
Btw... Vettel was a real dummy getting himself DQ'ed and having to start the race from pit row. You are correct... a lot did happen in his favor.