The season has only begun, and already, record-breaking viewership figures have been seen by Sky.
According to data obtained by Sky from the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB), over 2.2 million people were tuned in to the action last Sunday, with an average viewership of 1.98 million across the entire race.
The new figures mark the Bahrain Grand Prix as the most watched Grand Prix ever on Sky F1 channel.
The audience numbers are significantly higher than last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix, which was held in November and was watched by an average of 1.39 million viewers.
The 2021 season opener also outscored last year’s delayed opening race in Austria, which 1.51 million Sky viewers tuned in for.
Not only did the Bahrain Grand Prix see record-breaking viewership, but Saturday’s qualifying session broke viewing figures.
An average of 1.14 million people were watching on, with a peak of 1.34 million. This marks the first qualifying session with an average audience of more than one million on Sky’s channels.
Formula 1's gripping 2021 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix was the most watched race ever on Sky Sports
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) March 30, 2021
Meanwhile in Ireland, as level 5 restrictions rage on, the third season of Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’ has remained at number one since its release on March 19.
The interest in Formula One in Ireland is on the rise, and whether that’s down to the closer battle expected on track this season, or that fans have finally been given a glimpse into the lives of the drivers and the teams themselves is unknown.
Back in January, the FIA released figures that showed 72% of spectators thought F1 had improved over the past 2 years compared to 52% in June 2019, 68% believe F1 is in good hands under Liberty Media vs 56% in 2019.
The highest audience figure for a race in 2020 was 103.7m for the Hungarian Grand Prix across all tv and streaming services, +7% higher than the same race in 2019, and we saw strong figures for the new races that joined the revised calendar with 100.5m for Portugal, 98.1m for the Bahrain outer track and 89.1m for Turkey.
Racing will resume at Imola on April 18, where fans await another epic on-track battle between the front runners as well as the tightly packed midfield.