F1 Academy breakthrough after huge broadcast deal struck for US series finale

Thomas Maher
The race start in Barcelona for the Formula Academy round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The race start in Barcelona for the Formula Academy round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Formula 1’s own all-female racing series, F1 Academy, will broadcast the United States round which serves as this year’s title finale.

2023 marked the beginning of the ‘F1 Academy’, F1’s own attempt at an all-female racing category after the collapse of the W Series championship.

The series, which uses 175bhp Tatuus chassis equivalent to F4-level, began a seven-round calendar back in April, with events taking place in Austria, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, and France.

Fans will be able to watch the F1 Academy finale

However, despite the push to create the racing category, fans around the world have found it very difficult to actually keep track of what’s going on in the series as broadcast deals, or lack thereof, meant that the races essentially took part behind closed doors with only sparse highlight packages released through F1 TV and on social media.

However, that will all change for the series finale at the United States Grand Prix, where the F1 Academy is part of the support bill.

The three-race finale will be broadcast live over 100 territories, with 18 international broadcasters providing live coverage of the three races. In the UK and Ireland, this includes Sky Sports F1.

Fans will be able to watch the two qualifying sessions, as well as the three races, live on F1’s own YouTube channel, as well as on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and on F1 TV.

2024 coverage looks set to be far more comprehensive, with broadcast arrangements set to be announced: “in due course”.

Live broadcast a ‘sign of growing popularity’

With F1 Academy embarking upon its first live broadcast, it follows on from the recent news that the series will act as an F1 support event throughout 2024. Added to that, all 10 F1 teams will nominate a driver as well as supply the livery for one car competing in the championship, which aims to help support a female racing driver to kickstart her journey up the junior ladder.

The defunct W Series championship produced one Champion over its three years, with Jamie Chadwick claiming the titles during its lifespan – securing her a place on the Williams Academy and helping her land a seat in the IndyCar feeder series IndyNXT.

Spanish racer Marta Garcia looks set to wrap up the inaugural Formula Academy title, as she enjoys a 48-point advantage over Swiss driver Lena Buhler.

“I’ve always said, ‘You have to see it to believe it’,” said Formula Academy managing director and former racing driver Susie Wolff.

“There is nothing more powerful than racing globally alongside F1. I would like to thank our broadcast partners for their support and commitment to bringing F1 Academy to existing audiences and a new generation of fans around the world. We hope to inspire young girls and women at home and show them the possibilities in our sport, both on and off-track.”

Ian Holmes, Director of Media Rights and Content Creation at Formula 1, said:  “This first live F1 Academy broadcast is a sign of the series’ growing popularity and the huge appetite from fans to follow along.

“We are proud that together with the support of our trusted broadcast partners, we can provide F1 Academy with a fantastic platform to showcase incredible female racing talent to new audiences.”

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How can I watch the F1 Academy series finale and who will broadcast it?

  • Pan Africa – Supersport
  • Australia – Fox Sports Australia, Foxtel & Kayo Sports
  • Austria – ORF
  • Brazil – Bandeirantes
  • Canada – TSN
  • Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Poland, Iceland & Baltics – Viaplay
  • France – Canal+
  • Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg & Lichtenstein – Sky Germany
  • Greece – ANT1+
  • Italy, San Marino & Vatican State – Sky Italy
  • Latin America & the Caribbean – ESPN
  • MENA – MBC / SSC / Shahid
  • Mexico – Fox Sports
  • New Zealand – Sky New Zealand
  • Spain & Andorra – DAZN F1
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and the Republic of
    Ireland – Sky UK
  • United States of America, including Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa – ESPN

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