Just over 2 million viewers watched Nico Rosberg win the Bahrain Grand Prix in Channel 4’s first live race of the new Formula One season – 1.5 million down on BBC1’s coverage of the same race last year.
Channel 4 pulled in 2.3 million viewers (a 16.2 per cent share) for the second fixture of this year’s F1 calendar, across three-and-a-half hours of coverage of from 3pm on April 3rd, peaking with 3.2 million.
Last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix was the fourth of the F1 season and averaged 3.8 million viewers (26.4 per cent) when it aired live on BBC1 on April 19th.
Channel 4 bought the rights to F1 racing, shared with Sky, after the BBC moved to pull out of its deal three years early in a cost-cutting measure. The commercial broadcaster will air 10 F1 races a year, with all of the races shown live on Sky.