F1 TV Ratings: The United States Grand Prix

The winner's podium after the Formula One United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, on October 24, 2021. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

The F1 Tv ratings struggled to keep up with the rising trend once again this weekend. Why was that and what does the future look like?

This weekend’s race saw Red Bull win the Constructors’ Championship, and Lewis Hamilton fighting for a race win once again. It was an exciting race to say the least, but ESPN once again had a drop in viewers from last season. This time it was a drop of 9% compared to the 2021 US Grand Prix. Though the F1 TV ratings on ESPN have had a steady growth all season that is two races in a row that have seen a drop.

Contributing Factors

While the circuit saw 450,000 pass through the turnstiles over the course of the weekend in Austin, TV coverage had several obstacles to overcome. First, the race started at about 3 p.m. on the East Coast, which is towards the end of the early NFL games on Sundays. One thing that is certain about American TV is that the NFL is king. Second, NASCAR was racing at the same time, is in the midst of its playoffs, and is still the dominant motorsport in America. Finally, unlike last season the Drivers’ Championship battle is over. Losing the Hamilton vs. Verstappen title fight surely impacted ratings.

Season Trends for Ratings

Race TV Rating Audience 2021 Rating 2021 Audience Difference
Belgian GP 0.57 1.045 M 0.39 637 K 64%
Dutch GP 0.62 1.148 M 0.53 870 K 32%
Italian GP 0.53 0.995 K 0.53 880 K 31%
Singapore GP 0.54 1.036 M 0.37 574 K (2019) 80%
Japan GP 0.28 .549 K 0.5 756 K (2019) -27%
US GP 0.64 1.113 M 0.72 1.225 M -9%
Totals/Avg 0.53 .981 K 0.507 824 29%
Data for the table can be found on this website

What Does the Future Look Like?

Moving forward, it is clear that F1 is continuing to grow in America. And a big part of that is people seem to like the F1 coverage in America. ESPN broadcasts SkySports coverage from the United Kingdom. This past weekend it was announced that this arrangement would continue for another three years. This will likely see the growth in America continue next season. Another benefit is the number of fans that have discovered the series from the Netflix show “Drive to Survive” and with this show continuing for at least another two seasons, it is likely that more new fans will be tuning into the races on Sundays for years to come.

Featured Image Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images