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2021 Bahrain Grand Prix breaks viewership records

Max Verstappen started from pole at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images.
Max Verstappen started from pole at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images.
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Modified 07 Apr 2021
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The 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix becomes the most viewed race in the UK and US

The 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix recorded an all-time high audience viewership on ESPN in the US, as well as Sky Sports F1 in the UK & Ireland.

The Formula 1 season-opener became the first race to cross the 2 million viewer mark on the Sky Sports F1 channel, with a total viewership of 2.23 million. The Bahrain Grand Prix smashed races in previous years, which did not exceed 2 million viewers.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s nail-biting duel resulted in the Bahrain Grand Prix becoming the most-watched race on the British broadcaster's channel. The qualifying session, too, had a record viewership of 1.34 million viewers, compared to the previous high of 1.14 million.

The audience figures for the race were much higher than last year’s Bahrain race weekend, which had a maximum audience of 1.39 million. It was also higher than the 2020 season-opener in Austria, which had an audience of 1.51 million viewers.

Lewis Hamilton fended off a charging Max Verstappen in the dying stages of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Photo: Lars Baron/Getty Images.
Lewis Hamilton fended off a charging Max Verstappen in the dying stages of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Photo: Lars Baron/Getty Images.

Similarly, in the United States, the race broadcast on ESPN 2 saw an average viewership of 879,000. The figures peaked to one million viewers when Lewis Hamilton held off Max Verstappen in the dying stages of the race. This became the most-watched Formula 1 race since 1995.

The tight duel between Honda-powered Red Bull Racing and Mercedes could break many more viewership records throughout the 2021 season. Formula 1 audiences will expect to be treated to more wheel-to-wheel action between drivers in the upcoming 22 races.

The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix will be the next race, held at the iconic Imola Circuit in Italy on the weekend spanning from April 16-18, 2021.

Published 07 Apr 2021, 00:29 IST
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