The 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix may not have gone the way local fans trackside were hoping for, but the event attracted its highest-ever US television audience since returning to the Formula 1 calendar in 2015.
According to Blackbook Motorsport, the Dinsey-owned sports network ESPN saw an average live audience of 1.46 million for the race coverage, peaking at 1.94 million viewers.
With pre-race and race coverage combined, the entire broadcast of the event also achieved a record average viewership of 1.08 million.
Ever since Liberty Media acquired Formula 1 in 2017, the sport has seen rapid growth in a previously untapped US market.
This peaked in 2022 when ESPN saw 12 of the 22 Grands Prix set US Television event records, more female and younger viewers and a record 1.21 million viewers per Grand Prix, beating the previous record of 949,000 average viewers in 2021.
These viewership numbers dwarf that of the average numbers for US audiences in 2018 – 554,000.
The introduction of Miami last year encouraged 2.583 million average viewers, the most of any US broadcast of F1 in history.
However, despite the introduction of the upcoming Las Vegas Grand Prix next weekend – bringing the total US-based Grand Prix on the calendar to three and the total based in the Americas to six – US viewing figures have seen a slight decline in 2023.
The record numbers of Mexico prove to go against the trend as through the first 19 races of 2023, average audiences on ESPN have gone down by seven per cent to 1.12 million viewers.
Miami’s viewing numbers also declined from the record high of last year to 1.96 million viewers for the 2023 edition, but this is still the second-highest US F1 television audience in history.
Whilst there has been a slight decline in average viewership across the 2023 season, no doubt due to the lack of a title fight that saw interest start to skyrocket in 2021 and carry over into 2022 before Verstappen started to lay down the gauntlet, there has still been some other outliers – similar to Mexico – that have stood out.
The 2023 Monaco Grand Prix became the third-largest US F1 audience ever, with an average of 1.79 million tuning into the race and Canada slotted into fourth on the record books with 1.76 million.
Las Vegas’ return to the F1 calendar after a four-decade absence will likely see US audiences hit another high next weekend as the F1 tour of the Americas comes to a close ahead of the season finale in Abu Dhabi.