Austrian Grand Prix Draws Strong Ratings For ESPN

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Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix from the Red Bull Ring drew strong numbers for ESPN. (LAT Images Photo)
Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix from the Red Bull Ring drew strong numbers for ESPN. (LAT Images Photo)

BRISTOL, Conn. – After a four-month delay to start the season, Formula One kicked off with an event viewership record for the Rolex Austrian Grand Prix.

The live telecast of the race on ESPN on Sunday earned the largest U.S. television viewership for the event since it returned to the F-1 schedule in 1997. With an average of 752,000 viewers, the audience was up 16 percent over ESPN2’s telecast last year (646,500 average), which had set the previous event viewership record.

The Austrian Grand Prix telecast started at 9:05 a.m. ET and the audience peaked at 890,000 viewers at 10:40 a.m. as Valtteri Bottas captured the victory for Mercedes.

F-1 remains in Austria this weekend for the Formula One Pirelli Styrian Grand Prix, the second race of the championship’s modified calendar. The race airs at 9:05 a.m. on ESPN.