Formula 1: Miami Grand Prix won by Lando Norris sets United States viewership record

McLaren's British driver Lando Norris celebrates with his crew after winning the Miami Formula One Grand Prix at the Miami International Autodrome in Miami Gardens, Florida, the United States, May 5, 2024. (Photo by Qian Jun/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Lando Norris celebrates with his McLaren team after getting the first Formula 1 win of his career at the Miami Grand Prix. (Photo by Qian Jun/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Formula 1 set a United States viewership record on Sunday.

Lando Norris’ win in the Miami Grand Prix was watched by an average audience of 3.1 million people on ABC. That’s the largest U.S. audience for a Formula 1 race ever and breaks a mark previously set by the first Miami Grand Prix.

The inaugural race in 2022 got 2.6 million viewers on ABC. Max Verstappen won that edition of the race and also won in 2023. But he lost the lead on Sunday when he pitted ahead of a mid-race safety car. Norris took over the lead when he was able to pit after Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant’s crash and drove away from Verstappen over the second half of the race.

The win was Norris’ first victory in Formula 1 and a potential sign that Verstappen won’t be as dominant in 2024 as he was in 2023. Verstappen won 19 of 22 races in 2023 on the way to his third consecutive Formula 1 title.

The viewership number for Sunday’s race is also a significant jump from 2023 after just under 2 million people watched a year ago. ABC televised the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Game 7 win over the Orlando Magic before the F1 race and game coverage ended just before the race began.

Sunday’s F1 race also got more viewers than Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race. The rain-delayed race at Kansas Speedway won by Kyle Larson had just under 2.3 million viewers on Fox Sports 1. The race was delayed over three hours because of rain, but was also pushed into a potentially more favorable television window. Late Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening are prime TV viewing times, and F1 and NASCAR avoided going head-to-head on Sunday afternoon thanks to the rain delay.

Kyle Larson won the Cup Series race in the closest finish in NASCAR history. Larson beat Chris Buescher to the finish line by 0.001 seconds in a thrilling race from start to finish. Larson’s win broke the previous close finish record of 0.002 seconds that was set 21 years ago by Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch at Darlington.