Max Verstappen dominance not the reason for Saudi Arabian GP’s viewers drop

After another blockbuster run at the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP, Max Verstappen—the reigning F1 title holder—has sent a shockwave of ‘2023 all over again’ flashbacks to the F1 world, likely even scaring them off with the ‘monstrous’ RB20 challenger.

His spectacular stats on Bahrain grounds have again forced the F1 pundits to point their fingers at him as the clear favorite to win the 2024 title. However, fast forward to a week later, Max Verstappen is being pointed at again, due to a certain ‘non-Formula 1’ stat.

Saudi Arabian GP viewers drop not related to Max Verstappen dominance

Following the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP, the viewership data of the Grand Prix event revealed a surprising decline in the number of viewers for the 2024 calendar year. In the United States alone, ESPN2 witnessed 920,000 viewers for the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which is a staggering 40-percent decline from 2022’s 1.52 million viewers, and even lower than the 2021 numbers (937,000).

As a result, it led to the resurfacing of the fans’ theory, which has been brewing for the past few seasons, that Formula 1 was becoming ‘boring’ and extremely one-sided, due to one driver winning over and over again- Max Verstappen’s dominance since 2021.

Despite the blame cards being played on Max Verstappen, there are two primary reasons behind this huge decline in views. Firstly, the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP was aired on ESPN2–ESPN’s second-tier channel–as opposed to being broadcasted on the main ESPN channel in 2023.

On the other hand, this year’s race at Saudi Arabia took place on a Saturday, instead of its usual Sunday slot, which heavily clashed with the work timing of the Western countries.

With that said, the 2024 Bahrain GP also witnessed a 14-percent knock-down in viewership, due to the race being held on a Saturday- despite being aired on the main ESPN channel.

Amidst the debate against Verstappen, his ex-Red Bull teammate Alex Albon was seen discussing the theory that Verstappen’s winning streak is making the competition boring.

Alex Albon dismisses dull F1 theory due to Verstappen’s winning streak

In the latest episode of Formula 1’s ‘Beyond the Grid‘ podcast, Williams’ #1 Alex Albon, who was Max Verstappen’s driving partner at Red Bull from 2019 to 2020, came out in defense of the current World Champion, and straight-out dismissed the theory that ‘Verstappen’s winning streak is making Formula 1 boring’

When asked on his views about F1 getting boring due to Verstappen’s dominance, he replied, by saying, “In some ways, it’s a bit of a shame to see comments about Max and it being a boring season, because it’s totally not that, at least from my perspective.”

“Because you take him out of the equation, you have one of the best grids, the best fields, the tightest grids ever in Formula 1. And even if you include Max, still it’s the tightest field in Formula 1. It’s hard because it’s the leader, so everyone focuses on the leader. But the racing at the back is so intense,” he added.

“We pitted two laps too late in Bahrain during the race and we lost six positions- went from 11th and finished 15th. So, it’s tight,” he quoted, concluding the topic.

Max Verstappen and his ex-teammate Alex Albon will now take on the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on 24th March at the 2024 Australian GP- whether the ‘F1 has become boring’ theory is true or not.

Is the Max Verstappen dominance really to blame for the viewers drop at the Saudi Arabian GP? Has Formula 1 really got ‘boring’ due to Verstappen’s winning streak? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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