The inaugural Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix was a spectacle to behold that attracted strong American viewership despite a late-night start time and a host of other issues.
ESPN’s presentation of the race, which ran from 1 a.m. to 3:05 a.m. ET, averaged 1.3 million viewers — the third-largest F1 audience of the season on cable and the sixth-largest for any Disney-owned platform this season. The telecast peaked between 1:15 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. ET with 1.5 million viewers.
Las Vegas posted the highest local market rating for Max Verstappen’s win with a 7.4; the next closest was Los Angeles with 1.5.
The LVGP was the most-watched Formula 1 race since the Canadian Grand Prix in June, which attracted 1.76 million viewers on ABC. It was also the second-most-streamed F1 race on ESPN+, just behind this season’s Miami Grand Prix (streaming numbers were not disclosed).
Despite the overnight telecast, the highly anticipated Vegas race posted better viewership numbers than ESPN’s season-long average of 1.12 million viewers — down 9% from last season’s record 1.2 million viewers per race.
Although the weekend started with a few bumps — both figurative and literal due to poor track conditions — the first F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix will likely be seen as a success.
Aside from the robust viewership, national and local Las Vegas sportsbooks reported record betting handles for the race. BetMGM said it saw triple the number of bets of any prior F1 race.
Formula 1 and owner Liberty Media are pleased with the product, as they have already committed to keeping the race in Las Vegas through 2032.