SPORTS


Pandemic reflected in F1 viewing figures

Baku, February 9, AZERTAC

Formula One saw a 4.5% drop in its average race television audience last year and a reduced overall viewing figure that reflected a smaller season hit by COVID-19, the sport said on Monday, according to Reuters.

The Hungarian Grand Prix was the most watched with an audience of 103.7 million, 7% higher than the previous year, while new additions to the revised calendar also showed strongly.

Portugal, whose Algarve circuit hosted a grand prix for the first time, had an audience of 100.5 million while 98.1 million turned on for Bahrain’s outer layout -- also making its F1 debut.

The average television audience per race was 87.4 million, compared to 87 million in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

“The audience figures for 2020 show the strength and resilience of our sport,” said new chief executive Stefano Domenicali.

The cumulative television audience of 1.5 billion compared to 1.9 billion in 2019, when the season was made up of 21 races rather than 17.

“It does not reflect a drop off in audiences in general but is a result of fewer races and therefore fewer events to watch on TV,” said Formula One of a season in which Britain’s Lewis Hamilton won a record-equalling seventh title.

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