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Miami GP grabs biggest live F1 US TV audience

The Miami Grand Prix delivered Formula 1 its biggest live United States television audience, according to figures released on Tuesday.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20,Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20,Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24,Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Photo by: Erik Junius

ABC's broadcast of Lando Norris's maiden F1 victory attracted an average audience of 3.1 million viewers, which beats the previous record of 2.6 million that watched the inaugural Miami event in 2022.

It also marks a 48% uptick in viewership compared to last year, when the audience had dropped to 2.1 million for Miami's second event.

Although the late afternoon timing of the Miami event pitches it late for a European and Asian television audience, it has clearly proved beneficial for capturing eyeballs in the USA, as its races are the three most viewed in the country's history.

The Saturday sprint race, which was broadcast on ESPN, attracted 946,000 viewers, which was the largest US audience for a sprint since the format was introduced in 2021. Official qualifying on Saturday drew an audience of 625,000.

The uplift in US interest in the Miami race is good news for F1's broadcast partner as the start of the season had delivered some mixed figures.

The season-opener in Bahrain had earned 1.12 million viewers, which was down from the 1.31 million that tuned in in 2023.

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix then posted a 40% drop in viewership year on year, with it having 920,000 viewers compared to the 1.523 million who watched the 2023 race.

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren F1 Team, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, Lando Norris, McLaren F1 Team, 1st position, Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari, 3rd position, on the podium

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren F1 Team, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, Lando Norris, McLaren F1 Team, 1st position, Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari, 3rd position, on the podium

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

However, some of this drop was put down to the race being broadcast on a Saturday and shown on ESPN2.

The Chinese Grand Prix, which had aired at 3am Eastern Time, drew just 626,000 viewers – although this was well up from the 268,000 who watched the previous Shanghai race in 2019.

With F1 making big efforts to increase the audience in Miami, a sell-out crowd of 270,000 last weekend showed a strong appetite for grand prix racing.

Daniel Ricciardo suggested over the weekend that the Miami GP felt like it was being surrounded by the kind of hype that is normally associated with the Super Bowl.

"It feels like, and I'm not trying to say it's the Super Bowl, but Super Bowl week," he said.

"It's like a whole week of things. I feel our weeks have built out now, not to the extent of a Super Bowl week but it's getting there with events and people are interested.

"It's from a Wednesday onwards, and it's not just the Sunday that they're excited for the race. We had a really good crowd, a lot of young people I feel, and a lot of new audience coming in. So, it's good to grow the sport for sure."

Watch: F1 2024 Miami GP Review - Lando Seizes his Historic Maiden Win

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