Formula 1 United States Grand Prix sees big viewer gains despite going against NFL, NASCAR

·2 min read

Over 1 million people watched Max Verstappen win Sunday's United States Grand Prix.

The lone Formula 1 race in the United States this season was watched by 1.23 million people (according to Sports Business Journal) despite being run at the same time as the 1 p.m. ET NFL games and the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. It's the biggest audience for the F1 race since it was first run in 2012.

The record TV audience on ABC is another sign of F1's growth in the United States. Race organizers claimed that 140,000 people attended Sunday's race. That crowd size — if true — was likely about four times the size of the crowd that attended Sunday's NASCAR race. The race at Kansas was so sparsely attended that you could see the words "Kansas Speedway" on the grandstand seats in overhead shots of the track.

The NASCAR race still drew more television viewers than Formula 1 did, however. Over 2 million people watched the rain-delayed race on NBC Sports Network. The NASCAR race started just after the F1 race began but was quickly (and briefly) delayed for rain and lightning.

While NASCAR outdrew F1 on the TV, the gap between the two series is smaller than it's ever been. The previous viewer high for USGP was just over 1 million viewers in 2017. The Kansas NASCAR race that same weekend had 2.77 million viewers — meaning that the viewer gap between F1 in the U.S. and NASCAR has effectively been cut in half over the past four years.

F1 and NASCAR won't go head-to-head again until 2022. The Mexico Grand Prix on Nov. 7 is set to begin at 2 p.m. ET ahead of the NASCAR championship race at Phoenix at 3 p.m. ET. The F1 race will likely end just minutes after the NASCAR race begins and race fans won't have to choose between events.