Mercedes dominance hurting F1 television numbers

Image: PAU BARRENA / AFP
Image: PAU BARRENA / AFP

The one-sided 2019 world championship is affecting television viewing figures.

RTL, the German free to air broadcaster, reports that one million fewer people sat down to watch the Barcelona race compared to the 2018 Spanish grand prix.

"As much as you have to pay tribute to Mercedes, they suffer as much as so many motor sport fans worldwide due to the current lack of excitement," RTL spokesman Matthias Bolhofer told Bild newspaper.

"The fact that this affects the viewers' interest is the logical consequence."


And Lewis Hamilton, the new championship leader following five consecutive 1-2s for Mercedes, says it is even more complex than that.

Hamilton said: "Honestly, the cars are not hard enough to drive. Now you see 18 year olds come in and have no problems.  That has to be looked at for 2021."

Hamilton also admitted the lack of competition is "not as much fun" from a personal perspective as when rival teams like Ferrari and Red Bull are fully competitive.

"When you don't have that, it's definitely a lot less exciting and not how F1 should be," he said.

"But it's not our fault that our guys are good at their jobs.

"Red Bull has improved their engine but it seems like their car is not as good as it usually is.  And Ferrari has a lot of power but problems in other areas," Hamilton added.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner doesn't deny that Mercedes appears to be cruising to an easy 2019 title.

"It looks like it's going to be a Mercedes championship, yes," he said.

"But everything changes.  The year is still long."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Do you think Lewis Hamilton deserves to be knighted by the Queen?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, he is an incredible athlete
35% - 100 votes
No, he hasn't done anything special
20% - 57 votes
He is good, but doesn't deserve the honour
45% - 130 votes
Vote