Formula 1 (F1) is one of the most popular and prestigious motorsports in the world. It attracts millions of Formula 1 Fans who follow the thrilling races, the talented drivers and the innovative teams. But how many F1 fans are there exactly in 2023? And how do they consume the sport across different platforms and regions? In this article, we will try to answer these questions using some of the latest statistics and data available.
Formula 1 Fans – TV Audiences
One of the main ways that F1 fans enjoy the sport is by watching it on television. According to Statista1, the cumulative TV audience for 2021 was 1.55 billion, up +4% from the 2020 season. This means that this number of people watched at least one minute of F1 coverage during the year. The average audience per Grand Prix in 2021 was 70.3 million. This was slightly lower than the 2020 average of 72.2 million. It is still higher than the 2019 average of 66.9 million.
The season finale in Abu Dhabi was huge with 108.7 million viewers, +29% higher than the same race in 2020. This wasthe highest viewing figures for a race during the season. The season opener in Bahrain (84.5 million), and the three Sprint weekend events at Silverstone (79.5 million), Monza (80.4 million) and Sao Paulo (82.1 million) also attracted large audiences.
There is no data for the TV audience for 2023 but we can expect it to be higher than the 2021 figures. This is because of the popularity and competitiveness of the sport. Based on a projection of a similar growth rate as between 2020 and 2021 (+4%), we can estimate that the cumulative TV audience for 2023 will be around 1.61 billion, and the average audience per Grand Prix will be around 73.1 million.
Formula 1 Fans – Digital Platforms
Another way that F1 fans consume the sport is through digital platforms. These include social media, websites, apps and streaming services. F1 was the fastest growing major sports league on the planet in terms of follower growth in 2021. It had 49.1 million followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitch and Chinese platforms. This is up +40% from 2020. It also had 7 billion video views and 1.5 billion total engagements on its social posts.
Total video views across F1.com, the F1 app and social media were up +44% vs 2020 to 7.04 billion. Unique users were up +63% to 113 million and page views were up +23% to 1.6 billion.
In China, F1 saw very strong digital growth with followers on Chinese platforms (Weibo, WeChat, Toutiao and Douyin) up +39% to 2.7 million.
Formula 1 Fans – F1 Outperforms Other Major Sports
The results mean that F1 is outperforming other major sports in the digital arena. The digital share of total minutes consumed has grown from 10% in 2020 to 16% in 2021.
Again, there is no official data for the digital platform performance for 2023 yet.. We assume that it will continue to grow at a similar or higher rate as between 2020 and 2021 (+40%). We can estimate that F1 will have around 68.5 million total followers across its social media platforms. There are 9.8 billion video views and 2.1 billion total engagements on its social posts in 2023.
It is also estimated that total video views across F1.com, the F1 app and social media will be 10.2 billion. Unique users will be around 164 million and page views will be around 2.3 billion in 2023.
In China, we can estimate that F1 will have around 3.8 million followers on its Chinese platforms in 2023.
The digital share of total minutes consumed (across broadcast and digital) will likely increase further. This is as a result of more fans switch to online streaming services or watch highlights on social media platforms.
Formula 1 Fans – Race Attendance
Another way that F1 fans enjoy the sport is by attending the races in person. According to Formula 1’s official website, F1 successfully and safely delivered a record-breaking 22-race calendar in 2021 despite the global pandemic still presenting challenges around the world. The season included new venues and a revised format at three races with the new Sprint events.
The season was also well-attended by fans, with a total of 2.4 million spectators across the 22 races, an average of 109,000 per race. This was a significant increase from the 2020 season, which had only 13 races and a total of 323,000 spectators, an average of 25,000 per race.
A total of 11 events attracted crowds of over 100,000, including Belgium (213,000), the Netherlands (195,000), Turkey (190,000), Brazil (181,000), Abu Dhabi (153,000), Saudi Arabia (143,000), Austria (132,000) and Hungary (130,000).
The most attended race of the season was the Belgian Grand Prix, which had a total of 213,000 spectators over the three days. The least attended race was the Monaco Grand Prix, which had a total of 25,000 spectators over the three days.
While there is no official data for the race attendance for 2023 yet, we can expect it to be similar or slightly higher than the 2021 figures, given the popularity and excitement of the sport. Based on a projection of a similar growth rate as between 2020 and 2021 (+643%), we can estimate that F1 will have a total of 17.8 million spectators across the 23 races planned for 2023, an average of 774,000 per race.
Based on the available data and projections F1 has a large and growing fan base across different platforms and regions. The sport is attracting more viewers on TV and online. It has more followers and engagements on social media, and more spectators at the races. It is estimated that F1 will have attract the following.
- 1.61 billion TV viewers
- 68.5 million social media followers
- 164 million unique users on the F1.com website and app
- 17.8 million spectators in 2023.
F1 is clearly one of the most popular and prestigious motorsports in the world, and its fans are passionate and loyal. The sport is also constantly evolving and innovating to provide more excitement and entertainment for its fans. With new venues, new formats, new teams and new drivers joining the grid in 2023, F1 is set to deliver another thrilling season for its fans around the world.