Formula 1’s fan base reached new heights in 2018 with plenty of improvements across a whole range of F1’s platforms.

In just Liberty Media’s second season of holding the commercial rights to the Formula 1 World Championship, the organisation have significantly grown Formula 1’s reception, particularly on social media.

Overall, Formula 1 reached a global cumulative audience of 1.758 billion people in 2018. Brazil, Germany and Italy shared the top three markets with China and France improving significantly thanks to new TV broadcast deals.

The Monaco Grand Prix had the highest overall audience of the season with 110 million viewers, 10% more than 2017’s edition. Six events also had more than 90m viewers at the Bahrain, French, Austrian, British, Italian and Mexican Grand Prix.

The Monaco Grand Prix was the most watched Grand Prix of the year with 110 million people across the globe tuning in.

2018 saw the number of users across Formula 1’s social media platforms boom, with the total number of followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube reaching 18.5m, up 53.7% from to 2017. The increase confirms Formula 1 as the fastest growing major sport on social media platforms.

The average number of unique users per race week was 11.1% higher than the previous year, while more and more content is being viewed online.

F1’s growth on YouTube was particularly successful with a 115% increase and a total of two billion users viewing content. This was backed with followers watching a whopping 1.75bn minutes of content, over double the amount of minutes watched in 2017. Formula 1 had the highest subscriber growth rate and interaction rate of all major sports’ rights holders.

New initiatives such as the podcast ‘Beyond The Grid’  brought in 5.1m listeners releasing 26 podcasts in six months.

The Formula 1 fan base also increased slightly during 2018, moving from to 503m to 506m. Many efforts have been made by Liberty Media in the last two years to bring more fans to the centre of the sport and attract a new and younger audience. Of all the new fans acquired in the previous two years, 61% are under 35 while 36% are under 25 helped by the initiative of the Formula 1 eSports Series.

Younger fans waiting for Max Verstappen at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

According to data released by Nielsen, 205m fans were under the age of 35 while 62% of followers were 45 or younger. The sport boasted an average fan age of 40 sitting in line with other major global sports and leagues (e.g: Premier League, NBA and NFL), which have average ages between 39 and 40.

Liberty Media’s third season under control of Formula commences on March 15 at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne with pre-season testing in Barcelona getting under in under a month.

Images via Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

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Luke McCullough

Melbourne Based - 17 Grand Prix attendances and counting in Australia, Singapore, Canada, France, Austria and Great Britain.