Latest US viewing figures revealed in dominant Max Verstappen era

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, holds winner's trophy. Belgium, July 2023.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, holds the winner's trophy and bottle. Belgium, July 2023.

It would appear Max Verstappen dominating Formula 1 is no turn-off for the American audience, judging by figures revealed by Liberty Media.

Formula 1 is now very much living in the era of Verstappen, the Dutch driver currently on a streak of eight grand prix wins in a row, 10 overall for the F1 2023 season, as he marches towards his third World Championship crown.

With Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez P2 in the Drivers’ standings but 125 points behind the dominant Dutchman, only the most incredible of implosions could stop Verstappen becoming a three-time champ now.

United States audience gripped in Max Verstappen F1 era

Verstappen’s stranglehold over Formula 1 has sparked a debate over whether this is positive for the sport, with no other drivers getting a sniff of victory, or if viewers should be revelling in the history they are seeing unfold?

Verstappen is now just one victory away from matching Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine in a row, while Red Bull have surpassed McLaren’s long-standing record with their streak of 13 wins on the bounce, the prospect of Formula 1’s first undefeated season still very much on.

And in numbers released by Liberty Media to their investors, the American audience look to be along for the ride, with viewing figures rising.

“Viewership on ESPN is up on season to date versus the 2022 average viewership with strong F1 TV performance as well,” said Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei.

“The 2023 season has already seen three of the four largest live audiences in F1 history on US TV, including Miami, Monaco, and the Canadian GPs. All but two of our races have averaged more than one million viewers. Huge numbers for the US market.” recommends

Top 10 earliest season finishes: Where could Max Verstappen rank on all-time list?

F1 points all-time rankings: Where do Hamilton, Verstappen and Alonso feature?

Sprint races a driving force

Something else which has polarised the F1 fanbase is the introduction of sprint races, which for F1 2023, have taken place in an altered format where a sprint qualifying session and race on the Saturday has made the concept effectively a standalone event.

Fans, drivers, pundits and all those in-between have offered mixed feedback on the success of this race weekend format versus the traditional one, but Maffei believes sprint weekends are putting fans in seats at the racetracks, and gluing those watching at home to their screens.

“We continue to have sell-outs at almost all races,” he stated. “The sprint weekends are driving year-over-year growth in viewership.

“For example, the Spa total audience across race, sprint shootout and qualifying was up versus the Belgian GP last year.”

F1 2023 will resume with Max Verstappen’s home race, the Dutch Grand Prix at Circuit Zandvoort, from August 25-27.

Read next: Red Bull would be ‘stupid’ to ignore castaway as potential Sergio Perez replacement