F1 Esports Series sets new viewer records again

f1 esports virtual grand prix

Organisers behind the 2021 F1 Esports Series presented by Aramco say the tournament has broken viewership and engagement records again.

The full series, which ran throughout 2021 and was delivered once again by UK-based esports and gaming company Gfinity, apparently achieved more than 23m views across digital platforms, a year-on-year increase of 103%.

For 2021, on the digital and TV front, the F1 Esports Series’ flagship event, the Pro Championship amassed 13.8m views, representing a 47% increase from 2020. The remaining views were split across the F1 Esports Series’ mix of output, including the return of the F1 Esports Series Challengers, as well as the Pro Exhibition and Preview Show.

Each 2021 Pro Championship event subsequently broke the previous event’s viewing record, culminating in 4.5m views for December’s Grand Final, up 67% year-on-year, which saw Jarno Opmeer clinch his second consecutive Drivers’ Championship, this time for Mercedes, who also secured the Teams’ title for the first time since 2018.

In addition to digital viewership, the cumulative TV audience for the whole of the Pro Championship and the Preview Show reached an estimated 858,000 – more than three times the total audience for the 2020 series (269,000).

“The significant increase in viewership of the F1 Esports Series presented by Aramco is due to a growing passion for virtual racing and the appeal of all things Formula 1 amongst young gamers. This is great news for the future of F1 esports.

John Clarke, Gfinity

Looking towards social media, across the Pro Championship events in 2021, there were 10.5m engagements on the official F1 Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Twitch and Huya channels – more than double the 4m total in 2020. The content also received 458m impressions and 4.1m video views, increasing on 2020 by 93% and 71% respectively.

For 2022, the action is already underway, with the F1 Esports Series Challengers starting in January, with events for Xbox, PC and PlayStation competitors taking place every fortnight as competitors look to qualify for this year’s Pro Exhibition. A record 494,000 participants attempted to qualify in 2021, which was an increase of 108% on the previous year.

The news comes after the 2020 F1 Esports Series set new viewing records.

Ben Pincus, director of commercial partnerships at Formula 1, said: “It is fantastic to see the F1 Esports Series presented by Aramco break records across the board once again, crowning a brilliant year of action throughout our virtual racing. Not only are we seeing competition at the highest level, but thanks to the increased content output across our social channels, our strong community of fans has never been more engaged.”

John Clarke, CEO at Gfinity, added: “The significant increase in viewership of the F1 Esports Series presented by Aramco is due to a growing passion for virtual racing and the appeal of all things Formula 1 amongst young gamers.

“The drivers are at the peak of their powers and the racing is competitive and exciting, and they are becoming true social media personalities. This is great news for the future of F1 esports.”

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