In the round-up: Live television viewership of Formula 1 is still showing signs of growing in the USA, according to ESPN.
ESPN reports strong US viewership of F1
Formula 1 has drawn three of its four largest live US television audiences over the first races of 2023, according to ESPN’s viewership figures.
Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix was watched live by an average of 1.76 million viewers in the USA. The Monaco Grand Prix drew 1.79m and the Miami race – the first of three in the USA this year – 1.96m. The three are among the four highest such figures recorded for live race broadcasts in the country, which Liberty Media has targeted as a major focus for future growth.
However the figures fall short of the record 2.6m people who watched last year’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix live. Last weekend an alternative Miami Grand Prix broadcast presented by Will Arnett at Daniel Ricciardo was screened on ESPN2 and watched by 114,000 people.
Formula E to modify IndyCar’s Portland track
Formula E returns to the USA this weekend to race at Portland International Raceway, and will use a slightly different track configuration to other series.
The permanent circuit, which has hosted IndyCar 28 times since 1984, normally runs to 3.166 kilometres but has been extended by 23 metres for use by FE. That change is primarily at the opening corner, which is a right-hander that is part of a chicane comprising the first three corners, while the stretch of track where Attack Mode can be used has been placed on the outside of the turn seven right-hander.
“The circuit is super-fast. Energy management will play an important role,” said Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa. “In terms of strategy, it certainly won’t be easy, but that said, we did well at other new racetracks this season.”
Da Costa is currently sixth in the standings, which are led by his team mate Pascal Wehrlein.
“I’ll support the team and Pascal as much as I can and do everything to ensure that both world championship titles go to Porsche,” added da Costa. “I’m happy to take on this role because I’m sure Pascal would do the same for me if the roles were reversed. That’s not a problem for me. This is a team sport. Our common goal is to win races and championships. That’s our job.”
New NASCAR game announced
A new official NASCAR game will arrive later this year, taking inspiration from arcade racing games.
At least six of the tracks on the 2023 NASCAR Cup series schedule will feature in NASCAR Arcade Rush, but will be reimagined “with jaw-dropping twists, hair-raising turns, gravity-defying jumps, nitro boosts and other surprises”, and the number of playable vehicles spans 75 years of stock car racing history.
The game will include a career mode as well as 12-user online multiplayer racing. It will be available for Xbox Series S and X, PlayStation 4 and 5, Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam.
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