F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix TV Ratings Solid, Despite Brutal Start Time

Jackson Wheeler
4 Min Read

Well, the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix wasn’t the ratings golden goose that networks and sponsors may have hoped for when the race was first announced.

It wasn’t the disaster that many predicted, either.

F1 fans proved to be a resilient bunch, turning out in solid numbers to watch this year’s inaugural race on the The Strip, despite a 1 a.m. ET start time on Nov. 19 that was undoubtedly designed to give the race a more friendly start time for its larger European fan base.

TV ratings from race week revealed that this year’s race, held early—very early—Sunday morning bought in an average of 1.312 million viewers on ESPN, making it the third-largest viewed F1 race of the season on cable and the sixth-largest overall.

The Las Vegas race produced the biggest numbers since the Canadian Grand Prix in June pulled in 1.76 millions viewers and provided a slight up tick from average viewership numbers for the season. This year, F1 broadcasts in the U.S. are averaging about 1.12 million viewers.

Formula 1 qualifying from Las Vegas on EARLY Friday morning, Nov. 17, was most affected by a lengthy delay and downright dreadful time slot. That session, which aired from 2:54 – 4:09 a.m. ET, averaged 626,000 viewers on ESPN.

The Las Vegas race was also likely hurt by the fact that the F1 championship was decided weeks ago, with Max Verstappen clinching his third championship with six races left in the season.

As for the three U.S. F1 races in 2023, Miami was the TV winner in terms of average overall viewership:

• Miami Grand Prix (May 7, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC): 1.96 million

• Las Vegas Grand Prix (Nov. 19, 1 a.m. ET, ESPN): 1.3 million

• U.S. Grand Prix at Austin, Texas (Oct. 22, 3 p.m. ET, ABC): 882,000

The largest U.S. TV audience for an F1 race is the inaugural Miami Grand Prix in 2022, which attracted an average of 2.6 million viewers. This year’s Miami race is also No. 1 for all F1 races in terms of U.S. television audiences in 2023.

Headshot of Mike Pryson

Mike Pryson covered auto racing for the Jackson (Mich.) Citizen Patriot and MLive Media Group from 1991 until joining Autoweek in 2011. He won several Michigan Associated Press and national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for auto racing coverage and was named the 2000 Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club’s Michigan Motorsports Writer of the Year. A Michigan native, Mike spent three years after college working in southwest Florida before realizing that the land of Disney and endless summer was no match for the challenge of freezing rain, potholes and long, cold winters in the Motor City.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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