Formula 1 Has Triumphant Return to North America; Viewers Respond to U.S., Mexican Grand Prix Telecasts


Formula 1 Has Triumphant Return to North America; Viewers Respond to U.S., Mexican Grand Prix Telecasts

Formula 1 Viewership Average of 947,000 on ESPN Networks Up 56 Percent Over 2020, 41 Percent Over 2019 Averages

After an absence of two years due to the pandemic, the FIA Formula 1 World Championship made a triumphant return to North America over the past two weeks and television viewers in the United States tuned in, continuing a season-long trend of strong viewership for the races across ESPN networks.

The Oct. 24 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix from Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, averaged 1.2 million viewers during the live telecast on ABC, with a viewership peak of 1.6 million. It was the most-viewed race since ESPN reacquired Formula 1 rights prior to the 2018 season and the average viewership was up 42 percent from 2019, the last year the race was run.

The Nov. 7 Mexican Grand Prix from Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City attracted an average audience of 968,000 viewers, peaking at 1.2 million, making it the most-viewed Mexican Grand Prix since the race’s rebirth in 2015.

The 2021 Formula 1 season is now averaging 947,000 viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, an increase of 56 percent over the shifted 2020 season (608,000 viewers) and up 41 percent over the 2019 season average (672,000 viewers).

This year’s average of 947,000 viewers is 44 percent higher than the first 17 races in the 2019 season (658,000 average viewers).

Only four races remain in the 2021 Formula 1 season, starting with this weekend’s event in Brazil (Sunday, 11:55 a.m., ESPN2 and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes).

Formula 1 returned to its original U.S. television home in 2018 – the first race ever aired in the country was on ABC in 1962. F1 races also aired on ESPN from 1984-1997. 

Remaining Formula 1 schedule:

Date Race Time (ET) Network
Nov. 14 Formula 1 Heineken Brazilian Grand Prix 11:55 a.m. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
Nov. 21 Formula 1 Ooredoo Qatar Grand Prix 8:55 a.m. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
Dec. 5 Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 12:25 p.m. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
Dec. 12 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 7:55 a.m. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes

ESPN Networks also will have live coverage of all three practice rounds and qualifying rounds for each event as well as pre and post-race shows. All Formula 1 telecasts also stream live and are available for on-demand viewing on the ESPN App.


Media contact: [email protected]

Andy Hall

My main responsibility is PR/Communications for ESPN’s news platforms including the Enterprise/Investigative Unit, the E60 program and SportsCenter. In addition, I’m the PR contact for ESPN’s Formula 1 coverage, golf majors (the Masters and PGA Championship) and TGL golf. I’m based in Daytona Beach, Fla., and have been with ESPN since 2006.
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