Germany’s free-to-air broadcaster RTL has reported than an average of over 10 million viewers tuned in to watch the seven-time World Champion’s return to F1 competition at last weekend’s Bahrain GP.

RTL’s average viewing figures for the 2009 season were a little over the 5 million mark.

Schumacher's return saw the German TV viewership soar

However, not all was good in the viewers’ eyes…

Many TV viewers complained that Schumacher’s final Q3 qualifying lap was not shown on television.

"Michael Schumacher’s onboard camera was unfortunately not working," a spokesperson for Formula One Management (FOM) told Germany’s Bild am Sonntag.

"He was also seventh, so the cameras were focused on the cars placed further forwards."

I think the latter was probably the reason!

I must agree that the qualifying broadcast was rather sloppy compared with FOM’s usual standards – we had little in the way of onboard footage and next-to-no radio transmission between the pits and drivers.

Furthermore, the audio satellite feed from Australia to the BBC must have dropped out on about five occasions during the race broadcast. OneHD, you’d better get your techies working harder!

[Image via Bruno Mantovani]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.