Back

F1 Virtual Grand Prix Nets 30 Million Total Viewers

Formula One’s (F1) Virtual Grand Prix esports series eclipsed 30 million views across TV and digital platforms combined during the COVID-19 lockdown.

In the absence of the F1 live competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the esports series featured eight races from March 22, with a mix of professional drivers and popular personalities, including cricket’s Ben Stokes.

Over the eight races, the series reached 21.8 million views on digital platforms alone, including the official Formula One YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels, as well as Weibo and Huya channels in China.

Across the F1’s broadcast partners in more than 100 countries, the Virtual Grand Prix totalled another five million views, as well as earning a total of 695 million impressions across social platforms, and more than 85 million views on video content.

F1 head of digital business initiatives and esports, Julian Tan, said the series was originally created to provide relief for those fans missing out on live racing action due to the suspension of F1 competition.

“Now the series has come to an end, it gives us a chance to reflect on the huge success that it has been, which is reflected in the very impressive viewing figures and engagement stats,” Tan said.

“Our aim at the start of this journey was to provide live sporting action for those craving some racing relief, and now as we, and the teams, whom we are extremely grateful to for their support and commitment throughout the series, turn our focus to the 2020 season and the F1 Esports Series, we can be proud that we were able to provide such entertainment to our fans, and beyond,” he said.

The official Formula One 2019 game, which was used for the esports competition, also notable recorded a 1,000 per cent month-on-month growth in streaming hours on Twitch, with drivers including Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Lando Norris, and Alex Albon reaching an additional 2.7 million viewers after streaming themselves on the platform.