F1: New F1 Season Launches This Week on ESPN Networks; Commercial-Free

Coming off of the record-setting 2021 season that attracted more television viewers in the United States than ever before, and featured one of the closest driver championships ever, the Formula 1 World Championship kicks off its 2022 schedule this weekend with ESPN Networks once again set to bring action from the full 24-race season to American viewers.

Opening the season will be the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix from the Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday, March 20. The race will air live on ESPN at 10:55 a.m. ET, following the 90-minute Grand Prix Sunday pre-race show that begins at 9:30 a.m.

Again this year, ESPN’s robust F1 race weekend coverage will include Friday’s two practice sessions, practice and qualifying on Saturday and Sunday’s race. The Checkered Flag post-race show on ESPN3 will follow race telecasts with additional post-race interviews and analysis.

For Americans, the new season also brings a new race on American soil – the May 8 Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix – giving U.S. fans two F1 races in the country in a season for the first time since 1984. The Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix returns to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 23.

All races will air live on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC, also streaming on the ESPN App, with practice and qualifying airing on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS or ESPNU. New this year is the addition of ESPN3 simulcasts as an added opportunity for fans to watch qualifying or practice sessions that air on ESPNEWS or ESPNU.

The race telecasts will again be presented commercial-free with sponsorship from Mothers Polish, which also is the presenting sponsor of practice and qualifying telecasts and race re-airs. CrowdStrike returns as telecast presenter of Grand Prix Sunday.

As it has since Formula 1 returned in 2018, ESPN is again teaming with Sky Sports and Formula 1 to bring Sky Sports’ award-winning presentation of Formula 1 racing to American viewers. As has been done in past seasons, ESPN3 will add bonus F1 programming from Sky Sports during the season.

In 2021, as Max Verstappen won the World Championship over Lewis Hamilton in a battle that went down to the last lap of the season finale, the F1 season averaged 934,000 viewers per race on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. It was the most-viewed season in the U.S. on record, shattering the previous season record average of 748,000 that was set in 1995. The 2021 season average was up 54 percent over the 2020 season average of 608,000 viewers and up 39 percent vs. the 2019 season average of 672,000 viewers.

ESPN Deportes remains the exclusive Spanish-language home for all F1 races in the U.S. Spanish-language coverage of races, qualifying and practice sessions will be made available to fans on the ESPN Deportes television network and ESPN3 all season.

F1 returned to its original U.S. television home in 2018 – the first race ever aired in the country was on ABC in 1962. F1 races also aired on ESPN from 1984-1997. ESPN’s coverage of F1 also includes a dedicated website that reports on the championship year-round.

Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on ESPN Networks (ET)

Friday, March 18 Practice 1 7:55 a.m. ESPN2
  Practice 2 10:55 a.m. ESPNEWS/ESPN3
Saturday, March 19 Practice 3 7:55 a.m. ESPN2
  Qualifying 10:55 a.m. ESPNEWS/ESPN3
Sunday, March 20 Grand Prix Sunday (pre-race) 9:30 a.m. ESPN
  Race 10:55 a.m. ESPN
  Checkered Flag (post-race) 1 p.m. ESPN3
  Race (re-air) 9 p.m. ESPN2
Monday, March 21 Race (re-air) Midnight ESPNEWS

ESPN Deportes (Spanish)

Friday, March 18 Practice 1 7:55 a.m. ESPN Deportes
  Practice 2 10:50 a.m. ESPN Deportes
Saturday, March 19 Practice 3 7:55 a.m. ESPN Deportes
  Qualifying 10:55 a.m. ESPN Deportes
Sunday, March 20 Race 10:30 a.m. ESPN Deportes

All races, qualifying and practice sessions also will stream live on the ESPN App and will be available for on-demand viewing.

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