Formula E has been trying to gain popularity since its debut in 2014, and it has now been revealed that the sports season 8 viewership was record-breaking.
According to FE, 381 million fans watched the latest season which is a 20% increase from season seven. 216 million of those were watching live which is a 10% increase from the previous year. The sport has been trying to gain recognition in motorsports and with some of the latest announcements, such as the removal of the Fanboost system for next year, they are hoping these viewership numbers will keep increasing. As well as the number of fans watching the sport, the total viewing hours also went up by 58% from last year.
Formula E feel the more consistent races made it easier for fans to keep track of when to watch. Season eight had races on a fortnightly basis. The qualifying format was also altered for this year which gave a more competitive feel, prior to this there was a lot of feedback that the qualifying sessions were utter chaos.
Jamie Reigle, Formula E CEO, has said about the growth of the sport:
“The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is building a passionate global fanbase, establishing itself as an appointment-to-view, premium live sport,”
Bringing the sport back to Asia was surely another contributing factor to the growth in numbers. Formula E has proven to be very popular in Asia and bringing the sport to Seoul in South Korea and Jakarta in Indonesia will have helped the numbers massively.
It has been difficult for the sport to get interest from die-hard Formula 1 fans, however, with Nyck de Vries making his F1 debut when he stood in for Alex Albon in the Williams, F1 fans have been more interested to see where he came from. De Vries did such a great job that he ended up securing an F1 seat for next season with AlphaTauri. The Dutchman has driven for the Mercedes Formula E team since 2019 and won the championship in the 2020-21 season.
More things for fans to look forward to for the upcoming season are the next-generation racecar and the possibility for “lightning pit stops”. Formula E is working with ABB to make 600kW charging possible to create more interesting pit stops.
The calendar for the upcoming season has recently been updated to include three new cities, Cape Town, Sao Paulo, and Hyderabad. Pre-season testing kicks off in Valencia, Spain from 13-16th December.