F1 Ends 25-Year Dry Streak With the United States Amidst Recent Surge in Fan-Following

Published 12/15/2021, 2:31 AM EST
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021 General view of the fans in the grandstand during the race Pool via REUTERS/Darron Cummings


Americans have often had their eyes wrapped around quite a few racing leagues including NASCAR and IndyCar for decades now, with Formula 1 hardly ever being one of them. Instead, until the start of 2020, F1 remained entitled to European and Asian countries, amassing the biggest number of spectatorships from around the two continents.

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However, 2021 has written an entirely new script, a script the Liberty Media can feel proud of. Formula 1 is starting to attain global attraction, with the United States coming up as the latest fan hub.

According to reports, ESPN has witnessed a staggering average number of viewers per race this season from around the United States. Consequently, the country has also broken the previous highest record, which was set long back in 1995.

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F1 continues to grow in the US

We can quite confidently say that F1 is starting to garner a massive cult following from the American spectators. And of course, credit to Liberty Media; They are reaping rewards for their hard work and smart play by focusing more on the entertainment sector including social media.

So, what is the reward that they’ve managed to earn?

Well, ESPN apparently managed to average 934,000 viewers per race in 2021 making it the most-watched season in the history of F1. The previous best was 748,000, set back in 1995. And there is no denying that this is just the beginning, as the growth is likely to become steeper and steeper as we head towards 2022.

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How much did the dramatic finale record?

Although the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP was one of the most dramatic races in F1 history, ESPN only managed to record an average of less than 1-million viewers in the United States. But, we can’t really bemoan the fact that they weren’t able to exceed 1-million.

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Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 22, 2021 General view during practice REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Why you might ask? Because ESPN is only one of the two Formula 1 broadcaster around the country. The other being F1 TV itself. Hence, F1 TV is likely to have averaged, if not the exact numbers as ESPN, at least half of it throughout the season.

Overall, the growth is unlikely to fall from here, unless F1 endures a miraculously unfortunate circumstance. So, will the US manage to hit the 2-million mark in terms of average viewers next season? We’ll know in time.

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Rohit Kumar

1672 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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