The 2021 Formula 1 season started with a down-to-the-wire race for the win and a strong television audience on ESPN2.
The Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28th attracted an average audience of 879,000 fans, a viewership larger than all of the F1 races run during the pandemic-shifted 2020 season. The race was the most-viewed live Formula 1 telecast on ESPN2 on record dating back to 1995 and the most-viewed Bahrain Grand Prix on record since the event started in 2004.
The audience peaked at 1 million viewers between 12:30-12:45 p.m. ET as Lewis Hamilton withstood a strong challenge from Max Verstappen to capture the victory by just 0.7 second.
The race was up 72 per cent in viewership over 2020’s Bahrain race, which was moved to November because of the pandemic and averaged 511,000 viewers on ESPN2. The audience also was up 21 per cent over the 727,000 average on ESPN2 for the 2019 race, run on a similar weekend in March.