ABC broadcast the much hyped Miami GP providing live TV coverage of all the sessions on track. The American F1 viewing public set record after record throughout the weekend.
Sunday’s live race drew 2.6 million viewers making it the largest ever live F1 telecast in the U.S. The previous record was set for the 1995 Brazilian GP with 1.744 tuning in on ESPN.
It was a race that for long periods of time saw the most excitement in the midfield battles as Max Verstappen passed pole sitter Charles LeClerc and disappeared off over the horizon.
Whilst Verstappen eventually won the race, a late safety car reset the field and caused some late race drama.
The pre race show which aired for 90 minutes averaged 2.1 million viewers
That said the biggest U.S. viewing audience ever was a same day delayed broadcast of the 2002 Monaco GP which followed the live Indianapolis 500. This drew 2.784 million Murican F1 fans to their TV screens after Hélio Castroneves had warned them up with his gamble to stay out under a full course yellow and made it first to the the brickyard line almost running on fumes.
Yet the real story is how F1 compares to NASCAR.
Well the big demographic win for F1 was in the coveted 18-49 year age range. NASCAR attracted just over 500,000 of these fans while F1 won hands down with around 700,000 younger viewers.
The Cup series race in Darlington barely scraped home as the overall TV audience winner, though at 2.6 million peak viewers, F1 was a mere few thousand behind America’s favourite racing series.