Analysis: F1 Faces Increased Pressure

Formula One is likely to face increased pressure to prove its entertainment value for sponsors and television companies, with the latest viewing figures suggesting that MotoGP is now attracting equal audiences in some countries

Analysis: F1 Faces Increased Pressure

A recent decline in viewership of Grand Prix racing, caused in part by Ferrari's dominance and a lack of excitement on the track, allied to the surge of interest in Valentino Rossi's exploits in motorbikes have left the two series now neck-and-neck in terms of popularity in certain regions.

Although there is no suggestion of a mass defection away from F1 or a rivalry between the two categories for the same audience, similar viewing figures could leave some sponsors questioning the big budgets required to back F1 teams and television stations asking why F1 broadcast rights cost so much money.

According to the latest television figures released by MotoGP, the spectacular opening round of the series at Jerez last weekend attracted similar audiences in Spain and Italy to those that F1 have been grabbing. The two countries enjoy easily the biggest interest in MotoGP.

In Italy, Italia 1's coverage of the race attracted a total transmission audience of 11.5 million viewers. There was an average of seven million for the race with a total of eight million tuning in for the final lap. The market share was an impressive 34.4 percent.

This compares to an estimated figure of 11.3 million who watched last year's European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring - suggesting that Rossi's domination of motorbike racing is as attractive to Italians as Ferrari winning in F1.

In Spain, as well as the 127,000 crowd who attended the Jerez event, Television Espanola attracted 3.7 million viewers for the race, with a peak of 5.5 million viewers for the closing stages. These represented a 38 percent market share for the race and 46 percent for the end of the event.

This 3.7 million figure is identical to the audience that watched last year's European Grand Prix on television in Spain - although interest in F1 this season may be higher because of Fernando Alonso's recent successes.

The Italian and Spanish viewer figures have clearly been boosted by the nationality of front-runners Rossi and Sete Gibernau, because in Britain the sport still has a little way to go to catch up with F1.

The BBC's live coverage of Jerez attracted 1.2 million viewers (a 14 percent market share), which compares to the 3.3 million who watched last year's European Grand Prix on ITV.

shares
comments
McLaren on Top at Paul Ricard
Previous article

McLaren on Top at Paul Ricard

Next article

Stoddart Disappointed by Red Bull Decision

Stoddart Disappointed by Red Bull Decision
Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga Plus

Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga

The appearance of a revised Aston Martin in Spain caused controversy but PAT SYMONDS explains why the FIA investigation found the Silverstone team had no case to answer

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Plus

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 2, 2022
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Formula 1
Jul 1, 2022
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022