Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel owes F1 around 50 million TV viewers

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel’s dominant 2013 season is responsible for 50 million television viewers staying away Formula 1, according to Bernie Ecclestone.

The recent publication of the F1 media report 2013 shows the annual television audience dropped by 10% compared with 2012. The last time F1 confirmed an annual audience tally was in 2011 when 515 million viewers tuned in for at least 15 minutes of coverage across a full season. It’s thought the 2012 figure also had a slight drop to around 500 million, meaning the 2013 audience was approximately 450 million.

“The less-than-competitive nature of the final few rounds, culminating in the championship being decided ahead of the races in the USA and Brazil, events which often bring substantial audiences, had a predictable impact on reach,” explained Ecclestone.

It’s also worth noting there were only 19 races in 2013 compared with 20 grands prix in 2012. The biggest fall in the 2013 audience was seen in China (down 30 million viewers) and Brazil (down 9 million). Even in Germany approximately 3 million viewers stopped tuning in to F1 in 2013.

With the dramatic new changes in the technical and sporting regulations introduced this season Ecclestone is hopeful viewing numbers will rise.

“One thing I am sure of is that this coming season will not only offer a heightened level of unpredictability, but renewed excitement and fierce competition,” he said.

[Source: Mail Online | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]