We all know that esports and sim racing is booming at the moment, but proof has come down from Formula 1 as the viewing figures for the 2021 F1 Esports series have been revealed.
2021 season bought excitement
The 2021 F1 Esports Series presented by Aramco saw 12 amazing races from September to December.
Lucas Blakeley got the season off to a bang with his maiden win in the first race of the season. Jarno Opmeer's big brain strategy in China saw him go from last to first in changeable conditions. Then Red Bull came roaring back with a trio of consecutive wins.
In the end, Opmeer was able to retain his Drivers Championship crown as well as lead Mercedes back to the top of the Teams Championship.
It's no surprise that the dramatic and entertaining season, broadcast from the Gfinity Arena in London, bought in a record amount of viewers.
Formula 1 has shared viewing and engagement figures from last year, and they are staggering!
The F1 Esports Series Pro Championship drew in 13.8 million views, a 47% increase from 2020. Overall, the F1 Esports Series presented by Aramco drew in 23 million digital views. That includes the Pro Championship along with the Challenger Series, Pro Exhibition, and Preview Show.
That's a +103% year on year increase.
Each event of the Pro Championship broke the previous event's viewing record, with the Grand Final receiving 4.5 million views, up 67% year on year.
On social media, the F1 Esports Series was more popular than ever. The Pro Championship had 10.5 million engagements on the official F1 Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and Huya channels, more than double the 4 million in 2020.
F1 Esports content also received 458 million impressions and 4.1 million video views. Increasing on 2020 by 93% and 71% respectively.
Ben Pincus, Director of Commercial Partnerships at Formula 1, said: “It is fantastic to see the F1 Esports Series presented by Aramco break records across the board once again,
crowning a brilliant year of action throughout our virtual racing. Not only are we seeing competition at thehighest level, but thanks to the increased content output across our social channels, our strong communityof fans has never been more engaged.”
Paul Jeal, F1 Senior Franchise Director at Codemasters, said: “It’s an incredible time to be associated with Formula 1, and we are extremely proud of the continued growth of the F1 Esports Series presented by Aramco. The quality of the racing has kept us all enthralled, and congratulations again to our champions Jarno Opmeer and Mercedes.
Each year, we are driving new players into our game. The dream of getting to sign and race for a Formula 1 team is driving up participation, and the emerging talent coming up through the 2022 Challengers is a testament to that.”
John Clarke, CEO at Gfinity, said: “The significant increase in viewership of the F1 Esports Series presented by Aramco is due to a growing passion for virtual racing and the appeal of all things Formula 1 amongst young gamers. The drivers are at the peak of their powers and the racing is competitive and exciting, and they are becoming true social mediapersonalities. This is great news for the future of F1 Esports.”