Formula 1 has lost millions of viewers worldwide since former boss Bernie Ecclestone negotiated exclusive broadcasting rights with Sky Sports.

In the UK, Channel 4’s usual ten race coverage fell to just one last year – the British GP at Silverstone in July. The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board, which sets the benchmark for channels to sell advertising, said that Channel 4’s post-race highlights were watched by a total of 34.7 million viewers in 2019, 10.8 million fewer than 2018.

The total size of the UK audience is down 13.6 percent. Channel 4’s most-watched highlights were for the German Grand Prix, won by Max Verstappen after Lewis Hamilton crashed.

Four percent more viewers, 2.1 million, watched it compared to the Monaco GP. F1 chiefs, including global research director Matt Roberts, had said 12 months ago that Channel 4’s audience would surge with the post-race highlights being shown in a prime time slot.

PHOTO: Lewis Hamilton wins the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix Motor Authority