The 2021 Formula 1 season marked the best year yet for the iconic racing series, which has exploded in popularity since Netflix debuted “Drive to Survive” in 2019.
Liberty Media acquired F1 for $4.6 billion in 2017 from private equity firm CVC Capital and has since led the motorsports business to a meteoric rise.
- Across ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC, F1 averaged 934,000 viewers per race in 2021, a 54% increase year-over-year and its most-watched season yet.
- The 2021 season finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on ESPN2 averaged 963,000 viewers, compared to an average of 523,000 viewers for last year’s finale.
- The most-watched race came in October at the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, which averaged 1.2 million viewers on ABC.
- In June, the racing series announced a five-year, $100 million global partnership with Crypto.com.
A Season That’s Paid Off
Liberty Media — which also owns the Atlanta Braves and SiriusXM — posted $2.2 billion in revenue in Q3 2021, up 9% year-over-year.
Its F1 segment generated $668 million in revenue during the quarter, up from $597 million in Q3 2020.
The 2022 F1 season is slated to run from March 20 through Nov. 20 and will include a record 23 races, beginning with the Bahrain Grand Prix and another season finale in Abu Dhabi.