The F1 Esports – Virtual Grand Prix series, which drew to a close last weekend, achieved a record breaking 30 million views across TV and digital platforms during the lockdown period, as fans tuned in for live sporting action, including eight Virtual Grands Prix, Pro Exhibition races and #Challenge events.
The series was created to enable fans to continue watching Formula 1 races virtually, despite the ongoing COVID-19 situation and to watch their favourite drivers battle it out when racing was not possible. Throughout the series over half the F1 grid took to the track, with 11 drivers competing in at least one race in the series. The F1 drivers were also joined by a host of famous faces, including a Ryder Cup winner, professional footballers, and music chart toppers.
The Virtual Grand Prix races reached 21.8 million views on digital platforms alone, including the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels as well as Weibo and Huya channels in China. TV viewership estimates suggest the Virtual Grands Prix also accumulated a further 5 million views through broadcast partners in over 100 countries.
The second event, titled the Virtual Vietnam Grand Prix but took place on the Albert Park circuit, was the #1 trending video on YouTube UK post-event that day (Sunday 5 April). Further success was evident on YouTube, with F1 having three of the top five sports videos on the platform in leading European regions* between 15 March – 28 April, with #2 and #5 being Virtual Grands Prix.