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British GP suffers audience drop despite 2019 thriller

British GP suffers audience drop despite 2019 thriller

F1 News

British GP suffers audience drop despite 2019 thriller

British GP suffers audience drop despite 2019 thriller

The British Grand Prix was watched by fewer people in 2019, despite the thrilling race being viewers' only chance to see Formula 1 on live free-to-air television this season.

There was certainly enough on-track action to attract viewers as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas engaged in a stunning battle at the start before Max Verstappen took centre stage in squabbles with Charles Leclerc and then Sebastian Vettel, which ended in a crash.

Hamilton took a record-breaking victory to send the Silverstone crowd happy. However, those watching around the country had choices to make as the race clashed with two other major sporting events: the Wimbledon men's singles final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, as well as the men's Cricket World Cup final between England and New Zealand.

Hamilton had warned that F1 could lose out when speaking before the race.

"What I don't understand is why the organisers put the race on the same day as all these other big events, like Wimbledon," Hamilton said.

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"I really don't understand it. This is such a special weekend and it needs all the focus of the country and not a small amount.

"I think people will be switching between channels on Sunday not sure what to watch."

And the world champion's fears seem to have played out. Last year's race – another thriller – won by Vettel, peaked at 4.55million viewers as the Ferrari man got the better of Bottas late on.

However, last weekend's race could not attract more than 3.7million – the lowest figure for Silverstone in 13 years, according to Motorsport Broadcasting.

The figure is dwarfed even further by the viewing figures for the other events, as Wimbledon's longest men's final in history took in 9.6million viewers at its peak, while a twice-tied Cricket match that England won to secure a maiden World Cup triumph hit a high of 8.3million – although that total is likely in fact much higher as viewing parties were staged up and down the country.

The results will throw further scrutiny on the scheduling of the British GP, which has clashed with Wimbledon's final day in three of the last four years, while F1's disappearance back behind Sky Sports' paywall for the remainder of the season now may prevent newfound fans from maintaining their excitement for the German GP in two weeks' time.

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