Guenther Steiner said he’s not concerned by a drop in viewing figures for Formula 1 in the United States, as Max Verstappen‘s depressing domination of the 2023 season begins to take effect.
Viewership is down all across F1 media with Red Bull having won every race in 2023 ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, and Verstappen is closing in on the record for consecutive grand prix wins.
The TV audience for the Miami GP was down almost a quarter from 2022, which featured a much closer battle between Ferrari and Red Bull, and the Haas boss was asked whether he’s concerned by the news.
“No, not really,” Steiner told the media. “TV ratings is one of these things, I’m not an expert in TV ratings and TV so don’t take my words as the gospel, but I think there’s a lot of things watched now, not on TV, especially young people.
“And there’s not the instrument you have to measure this, because I think there’s more people watching than we actually know, because we still measure TV ratings like we did 20 years ago.
“I’m not the guru of TV ratings, but I’ve just spoken to people which know about it and they said, I think we need to go to a more correct way to measure eyeballs on a race you know.”
How are TV viewing figures calculated?
In the US, the Nielsen Company installs trackers on the television sets of a sample set of people, logging everything those households watch.
They track around 25,000 people across the country (there’s an estimated 123.8 million households with a TV in the US), and keep a note of who lives in each household to build up different pictures across different demographics.
They then extrapolate that out across the whole of the country to find the figures that are announced publicly – such as 35,000 less Americans watching the 2023 season-opener compared to 2022.
Predictably, this trend is down to the predictability of the F1 season, after Verstappen stormed to the title in 2022 with a dominant second half of the year that form as continued into 2023.
Red Bull broke McLaren‘s 35-year-old record at the Hungarian GP for longest win streak by a constructor and Verstappen is just three races away from breaking Sebastian Vettel‘s driver record too – he could equal it at his home Dutch GP.