F1 2021: Bahrain GP breaks Sky Sports viewing records after Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen duel
The first race of 2021 peaked at 2.23 million viewers - placing the Bahrain GP as the highest ever on Sky; Watch every race of the Formula 1 season live only on Sky Sports F1 - with Imola hosting the next GP on April 18
Last Updated: 30/03/21 5:27pm
Formula 1's gripping 2021 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix was the most watched race ever on Sky Sports, it can be revealed.
The Bahrain GP was watched by an average of 1.98 million viewers, peaking at 2.23 million, as viewers tuned in to watch Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen fight for the top of the podium in an enthralling duel.
These figures place the race as the highest viewed ever on Sky, beating previous races that have even been simulcast on Sky One and becoming the first ever race to peak at more than 2m viewers.
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These record numbers far surpass last year's Bahrain GP (1.39m) in November by +42 per cent as well as the opening race of the 2020 season in Austria (1.51m) by +31 per cent.
Qualifying viewing figures (averaging at 1.14m with a peak of 1.34m) also saw record viewing figures, with the Bahrain GP becoming the first ever qualifying session with an average audience of more than 1m, as well as the highest ever average peak.
Meanwhile on digital, F1 fans were offered a live-stream of the opening lap of the race on Sky Sports' social media accounts, which achieved 17.4k total views, of which 9.3k were live, while 2.1m people read an F1 story on its digital platforms last week and a quarter of a million people followed the race on the live blog.
Sky Sports F1 is the only place to watch exclusive live coverage of every race this season. The next race weekend is the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, starting with Practice 1 on Friday 16th April.
When to watch the Emilia-Romagna GP on Sky Sports F1
Friday, April 16
10am: Practice One build-up
10.30am: Practice One LIVE!
1.45pm: Practice Two build-up
2pm: Practice Two LIVE!
Saturday, April 17
10.45am: Practice Three build-up
11am: Practice Three LIVE!
1pm: Qualifying build-up
2pm: Qualifying LIVE!
Sunday, April 18
12.30pm: Emilia-Romagna GP - Grand Prix Sunday
2pm: THE EMILIA-ROMAGNA GRAND PRIX LIVE!