Bahrain GP is most watched F1 race on ESPN since 1995

Season opener reaches average audience of 1.35m as viewership peaks at 1.54m.

Bahrain GP is most watched F1 race on ESPN since 1995

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  • Race was second most watched ever on ESPN, topped only by 1995 Brazilian GP
  • Broadcast drew average of 656k viewers in 18 to 49 age category

The 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix has become the most watched Formula One race on ESPN since 1995, reaching an average of 1.35 million US viewers.

ESPN says that the Bahrain Grand Prix was the second most watched Formula One broadcast of all time on its network, surpassed only by Michael Schumacher’s win at the 1995 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc’s victory for Ferrari in the season opener on 20th March also brought in the largest audience for any Formula One race on ESPN since the Disney-owned broadcasting giant replaced NBC as the global motorsport series’ US broadcast partner in 2018. Viewership peaked at around 1.54 million viewers.

The ESPN broadcast drew an average of 656,000 viewers in the 18 to 49 age category, marking a significant increase on the 2021 season high of 486,000 during last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The US coverage of Formula One’s 2022 season opener also marked a new national high for the Bahrain Grand Prix itself, surpassing the previous record of 927,000 who tuned in to watch last year’s race.

Disney’s previous post-2018 Formula One audience high was for the 2021 US Grand Prix, which brought in an average audience of 1.2 million on the ABC commercial network.

Building on the popularity of the Netflix docuseries ‘Drive to Survive’, the 2021 Formula One season was the most-watched ever in the US, with races averaging 949,000 viewers.

The 2022 Formula One season continues with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on 27th March.