Formula 1's thrilling opening season round in Bahrain captivated audiences on both sides of the Atlantic on Sunday.
The riveting showdown between Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen produced an average viewership of 1.98 million for SKY which broadcasts exclusively in the UK and in Ireland. At its peak, Sunday's race drew an audience of 2.23 million viewers.
The figures represent the highest ratings ever recorded by SKY since the British pay-TV broadcaster acquired the rights to Formula 1 in 2012.
- Read also: F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2021 Bahrain GP
Comparatively, last year's Austrian Grand Prix curtain raiser attracted 1.51 million viewers while the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix was watched by 1.39 million fans.
SKY's ratings also… skyrocketed on Saturday, with a record 1.14 million viewers tuning in to watch qualifying.
In the US, ESPN which holds the rights to F1 in America reeled in an average audience of 879,000 viewers on its ESPN2 channel, the highest figure for F1 ever recorded by the broadcaster in over 25 years.