Race start, Miami International Autodrome, 2023

Strong US TV audience figures for F1 over opening races

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In the round-up: Live television viewership of Formula 1 is still showing signs of growing in the USA, according to ESPN.

In brief

ESPN reports strong US viewership of F1

Formula 1 has drawn three of its four largest live US television audiences over the first races of 2023, according to ESPN’s viewership figures.

Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix was watched live by an average of 1.76 million viewers in the USA. The Monaco Grand Prix drew 1.79m and the Miami race – the first of three in the USA this year – 1.96m. The three are among the four highest such figures recorded for live race broadcasts in the country, which Liberty Media has targeted as a major focus for future growth.

However the figures fall short of the record 2.6m people who watched last year’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix live. Last weekend an alternative Miami Grand Prix broadcast presented by Will Arnett and Daniel Ricciardo was screened on ESPN2 and watched by 114,000 people.

Formula E to modify IndyCar’s Portland track

Formula E returns to the USA this weekend to race at Portland International Raceway, and will use a slightly different track configuration to other series.

The permanent circuit, which has hosted IndyCar 28 times since 1984, normally runs to 3.166 kilometres but has been extended by 23 metres for use by FE. That change is primarily at the opening corner, which is a right-hander that is part of a chicane comprising the first three corners, while the stretch of track where Attack Mode can be used has been placed on the outside of the turn seven right-hander.

“The circuit is super-fast. Energy management will play an important role,” said Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa. “In terms of strategy, it certainly won’t be easy, but that said, we did well at other new racetracks this season.”

Da Costa is currently sixth in the standings, which are led by his team mate Pascal Wehrlein.

“I’ll support the team and Pascal as much as I can and do everything to ensure that both world championship titles go to Porsche,” added da Costa. “I’m happy to take on this role because I’m sure Pascal would do the same for me if the roles were reversed. That’s not a problem for me. This is a team sport. Our common goal is to win races and championships. That’s our job.”

New NASCAR game announced

NASCAR Arcade Rush will arrive later this year

A new official NASCAR game will arrive later this year, taking inspiration from arcade racing games.

At least six of the tracks on the 2023 NASCAR Cup series schedule will feature in NASCAR Arcade Rush, but will be reimagined “with jaw-dropping twists, hair-raising turns, gravity-defying jumps, nitro boosts and other surprises”, and the number of playable vehicles spans 75 years of stock car racing history.

The game will include a career mode as well as 12-user online multiplayer racing. It will be available for Xbox Series S and X, PlayStation 4 and 5, Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam.

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Comment of the day

On Tuesday the World Motor Sport Council announced the new spec car for Formula 2 that will be introduced next year will be used for six seasons. While the tendering proccesses to supply engines and tyres are in full swing, the FIA is still yet to publish an invitation to tender to supply the chassis.

That seems a really short lead time for the new F2 chassis, if 2024 is the target. You need to produce 30 (ish) ready to race and spare tubs, plus hundreds and hundreds of the bits they keep braking. Have we even had any renderings yet ? “Looks similar to current F1” was the thing said back when.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Domprez and Rhys Lloyd!

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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9 comments on “Strong US TV audience figures for F1 over opening races”

  1. Wow, can’t imaging something like the 1981 Pocono 500 happening today. Those dirt cars might have finished several laps down. In my wildest dreams, I would love to F1 and IndyCars racing together at the Indy 500!

    1. In my wildest dreams, I would love to F1 and IndyCars racing together at the Indy 500!

      I think that was 1 of the most dreamed of race of a lot of race fans.

      Could it happen yes but ONLY when the indycars doesn’t drive in their Oval spec OR F1 may develop a special oval chassis…

    2. Yeah, multi-class racing in sports cars is entertaining, bit that Pocono mismatch was bizarre. But they got decent prize money for making up the numbers!

  2. The F2 thing sounds suspiciously like Dallara already have the contract, and have been designing / developing the new car for the last year or so, cos surely there’s no other option unless they wanna head into the new season blind. Remember the numerous issues during the 1st season if the current car? It seems like there are no lessons learnt.

  3. Magny Cours is a fun track, even if it’s located in a dull environment. It has some good variety, with long corners, fast chicanes and a long enough straight for some organic slipstreaming. F1 these days would no doubt put a huge DRS zone there like at Kemmel at Spa.

  4. well.. in 10 years’ F1 will be acquired by WWE i guess!

    all street tracks and more show, most important: no racing!

    1. Time for a new king of motorsport to arrise, european f1

      1. Or euro-asian, as long as we dont get that american prudity and showbarf

  5. Those viewing figures seem a bit trifling but I’m not really sure what a reasonable comparison is these days. I remember reading that BBC used to get up to 6m in the mid-90s at the height of the Hill-Schumacher rivalry. Even when they got the coverage back in 2009 they were getting multiple millions.

    For the USA to be getting <2m (population about six times bigger than the UK) doesn't seem all that impressive.

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