Formula One chief executive Chase Carey has stated that the drop in television viewing figures has no correlation with a lack of interest in the sport.
Stats show there has been a four per cent drop in viewing numbers compared to 2017, but Carey was quick to react and has said the minor dip is simply due to coverage in Italy moving from free-to-air TV to a subscription service.
The F1 transfer market has certainly picked up steam since the summer break began, with Daniel Ricciardo trading in his seat at Red Bull for Renault and Lewis Hamilton signing a new £40m-per-year contract to stay at Mercedes, making him the highest paid driver in F1 history.
Carey explained to investors this week exactly why there has been a slight decrease in the latest viewing statistics.
“That (drop) is largely due to our move from free to pay television in Italy,” he stated.
“Excluding Italy, our television viewership is up three per cent year-on-year and our Saturday viewership for qualifying is up even more.”
Carey was also quick to stress that attendances on race weekends have also risen.
“Live attendance in aggregate is up 4 per cent year-on-year at the 10 tracks where we raced last year,” he added.
“Also, attendance at the 2 tracks we did not have in 2017, which are France and Germany was well in excess of expectations. In Germany, the promoter even had to build new grandstands to meet demand.”
Research carried out by Liberty also suggests that fans are more engaged with Formula 1 now compared to prior seasons.
He stated: “44 per cent of our average fans are more interested in the 2018 season than they were in 2017 versus only 7 per cent a year ago.
“66 per cent of fans believe F1 has improved versus 2 years ago, just 15 per cent say it’s worse.
“And 67 per cent of fans say F1 is in good hands with Liberty while 10 per cent disagree.”