F1 Continues to Post Strong Numbers for the Saudi Arabian GP
Third most watched race in UK; social media continues to grow
The second race weekend of the year started with a controversy. An attack on an Aramco oil field less than 12km from the track on Friday evening caused quite the stir in the paddock, many questioning whether the race would even go on.
Fortunately, no one was hurt and there were no other incidents after this. I believe it may be something to keep an eye on for future races in Saudi Arabia.
While Formula 1’s growth in North America has gotten a boost from Drive to Survive and a social media blitz, the audience that has been there forever continues to grow.
According to Motorsport Broadcasting, SkySports broadcast the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in the UK to an audience of over 2 million.
That makes it the third most-watched race ever on Sky, only behind Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi from last year.
Sky Sports F1 is a television channel created exclusively for Sky’s UK and Ireland coverage of Formula 1, with Sky having a package of rights from the 2012 season to the 2024 season.
From 2019 to 2024, Sky Sports F1 has the exclusive rights to broadcast Formula 1 live in the UK and Ireland and will sub-license highlights of all races and qualifying sessions plus the British Grand Prix live to Channel 4. Since 2017, Sky Sports F1 has broadcast Formula 1 in 4K.
Here’s the biggest surprise: there was no English racer in the fight on Sunday, making these numbers even more impressive.
For reference, Sir Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris, and George Russell all race under a British flag. Russell and Hamilton are currently 4th and 5th respectively in the driver’s championship race while Norris sits in 10th.
Saudi Arabian GP by the Social Media Numbers
The social media numbers from the series’ second round showed promise over last year as well.
According to Zoomph, the Mexican audience, American audience, and millennial audience all saw significant growth over the last year. Sergio Perez’s pole position definitely helped the audience in Mexico, but the growth percentage is impressive.
Other fascinating numbers from the Saudi Arabian GP include Haas continuing to cause a buzz on social media. Their team has stepped it up to match the refreshed vibe on the track, and it’s paying off.
Haas gained nearly 90,000 followers on social media over the weekend, one that saw their young star crash on Saturday and their fan-favorite finish lower than last week. The engagement rate per 1,000 fans is also very impressive as it’s over double any of the other teams on the grid, which means they’re going viral. Keep it up Haas!
I can’t ignore the brands that are on display every week.
For clarification’s sake, we calculate the brand value as full equivalent media value credited to a brand in a social post based on logo placement, clarity, size, and the post's performance.
This weekend, Oracle, Puma, and Tag Heuer came out on top thanks to the Perez pole on Saturday, Max Verstappen and the team’s overall win on Sunday — Red Bull was the top constructor.
Mercedes, Ferrari, Alpine, and Aston Martin sponsors all saw strong value as well for various reasons.
What I’m seeing with the social media trends right now is that success on the track followed up by great social media engagement is adding followers.
Red Bull does a great job on social with their content.
Haas has really stepped it up this year and it’s noticeable.
Scuderia Ferrari has also been crushing it. The content is more engaging, the admin is more talkative to the fans and it’s working.
Ciao for now 👋🏻
The F1 Guy Merch
I partnered up with the folks at BreakingT to launch a Formula 1 line of apparel. The goal is simple: make cool stuff you actually want to wear that doesn’t break the bank. The collection is growing, be sure you get yours and wear the moment.